LGD: A New Challenge vs A Familiar Foe

Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs forced their way into the third seed in the Atlantic Division. Technically speaking, a tie for second. That’s about where I saw the Leafs being at the start of the season, so having it come to fruition is definitely nice, but hey, overachieving would be great too. If they really want to go for this, and take a serious run at the Atlantic Division, tonight’s game is key.

The Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

Nothing changes. Points in 10 of the last 11 games and they’ve looked good in most of those matchups. Why would it change? I mean, there are reasons, but they probably don’t outweigh chemistry right now, and they’d largely be difficult to chip away it.

The Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

The Habs have been great this year, but we’ll see if they remain great tonight as the basically St. John’s IceCaps. Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, David Desharnais, Andrei Markov, Andrew Shaw, and Charles Hudon are all out; that’s a lot of talent to lose, even if Hudon himself was to be one of the replacements. 

Starting Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen comes back in for the Leafs. He was great against the Devils, stopping 30 of 32, but the bigger concern there is that it happened yesterday. 

Carey Price is Carey Price. He’s faced the Leafs twice this year. He was a 0.971 and that doesn’t even sound that unrealistic to happen again. Throw as many pucks as you can on him and hope for the best.

What To Look For

The Leafs are coming into this rendition of the rivalry hotter than they were the first two times. Confidence is sky high, and that’s important when facing a goaltender of Price’s caliber. It helps too that Montreal are as decimated as they are, but they still have difference makers like Pacioretty and Radulov, and if you get into penalty trouble, facing Shea Weber is sub-optimal. How will this go? It’s hard to say, but it would be incredible to sneak out a regulation win after two close-fought attempts.

Puck drop is at 7:00, on Hockey Night in Canada.

  • DukesRocks

    The Habs most likely will try and key in on the Mathews line defensively, however, Babs has last change this time around. I’m looking for Nylander to get more room to skate and be dangerous.

  • Richard

    All these latest wins are great, but this is the one I want….I have taken so much abuse from Montreal fans, I just need this one for a little get even time !

  • LukeWarmWater

    The Habs are indeed injury riddled. Expect them to play Canucklehead hockey where they will attempt to get a lead, a couple of power play chances and hang on as they did in the first two games. Boring as hell but none the less 2 points in a road game.

    Keys to the game get in close on Price, screen him. Play a more physical game, get the crowd into it. If a one goal lead late in the game, J.V.R.’s derriere is on the bench. Realise the Habs have been waiting for this game and you played last night, so the fourth line gets a few extra minutes.

    But with 5 days till the next back to back scenario, go with the big guns late in the game if it is tied or you trail by a goal. If Emelin tries one of his patented cheap shots, nail the sucker.