LGD: Bitter, Miserable Rivals

With just two days left until the trade deadline, the only purpose to tonight’s battle between the Leafs and Habs is to see some players in their respective uniforms for the last time. Both teams are sellers: for the Leafs, this was the expected course of action all season long, but the Habs are selling reluctantly after having one of the most epic collapses in NHL history.

These types of games are great for little victories – seeing the kids play well, Kadri making a nice play, Rielly improving defensively, etc. And those are the victories you hope the Leafs to win, while quietly cheering for them to lose the actual game. At this point, it’s all about Auston Matthews.

The Leafs

Tonight we’ll get to see players continue to determine their long-term fate with the Leafs and if they fit into the big picture – Martin Marincin and Frank Corrado have been great on D since they were given consistent minutes, while Brendan Leipsic continues to be a sparkplug up front. Leo Komarov (suspension) and Matt Hunwick (injury) return for the Leafs tonight, which is only noteworthy if the Leafs are considering moving either of them. It’s their last chance to showcase themselves.

Lineup via DailyFaceoff.com

Defensive Pairings

The Habs

Oh what could have been. After a stellar start to the season, the Habs have disappeared into the abyss alongside Carey Price’s infinitely long injury. And after struggling to know how to deal with it, Marc Bergevin has begun to sell, dealing Dale Weise and Thomas Fleischmann to the Hawks last night. It’s hard to imagine a team with Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Alex Galchenyuk, Tomas Plekanec, and PK Subban being this bad, but alas here they are. 

Lineup via DailyFaceoff.com

Defensive Pairings

Starting Goaltenders

Jonathan Bernier
Mike Condon

What to watch for…

The potential that the Leafs (who are trying to be bad) beat the Habs (who are not trying to be bad).