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Photo Credit: © Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Turtleneck Reunion

The prodigal son returns. Well, in this case, I guess the family will return to the prodigal son.

When the Habs visit town tonight for an Atlantic Division showdown, Tomas Plekanec will face the Montreal Canadiens, the team for which he played 981 games across 15 seasons, for the first time since being dealt.

You know, Tomas, tonight would be the perfect opportunity for you to prove you’re actually not a sleeper agent sent here by Marc Bergevin to dismantle the Toronto Maple Leafs from within.

Then again, that’s exactly what a sleeper agent would think! Trust no one.

Leafs Lines

LW C RW
James van Riemsdyk
JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK
Tyler Bozak
TYLER BOZAK
Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU
Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI
Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN
William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON
Dominic Moore
DOMINIC MOORE
Tomas Plekanec
TOMAS PLEKANEC
Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Andreas Johnsson on the 3rd line? Heck yeah, buddy!

In all seriousness, it’s pretty remarkable that, given Leo Komarov’s injury, Mike Babcock still chose to slide Dominic Moore over to the wing rather than slotting Matt Martin back in.

For all the grief we give Babs for his often mind-numbingly bad lineup choices, he deserves credit here.

Leafs D

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY
Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER
Roman Polak
ROMAN POLAK
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT
Connor Carrick
CONNOR CARRICK

In other words, the same as in Buffalo.

Connor Carrick rebounded from a truly horrendous outing against Dallas to snipe a point shot home versus Buffalo, belaying his inevitable banishment to Josh Leivo territory upon Zaitsev’s return.

Not to mention, Roman Polak has played surprisingly well lately. I mean, having him in a top-4 role is still absolutely terrifying, but far less terrifying than it would’ve been a month ago.

Habs Lines

LW C RW
Paul Byron
PAUL BYRON
Jonathan Drouin
JONATHAN DROUIN
Brendan Gallagher
BRENDAN GALLAGHER
Alex Galchenyuk
ALEX GALCHENYUK
Jacob De La Rose
JACOB DE LA ROSE
Artturi Lehkonen
ARTTURI LEHKONEN
Nikita Scherbak
NIKITA SCHERBAK
Logan Shaw
LOGAN SHAW
Charles Hudon
CHARLES HUDON
Nicolas Deslauriers
NICOLAS DESLAURIERS
Michael McCarron
MICHAEL MCCARRON
Daniel Carr
DANIEL CARR

My expert analysis can best be summed up in the clip below:

Habs D

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Mike Reilly
MIKE REILLY
Jeff Petry
JEFF PETRY
Karl Alzner
KARL ALZNER
Noah Juulsen
NOAH JUULSEN
Jordie Benn
JORDIE BENN
Brett Lernout
BRETT LERNOUT

Folk’s, Mike Rielly is their #1 RHD. Need I say more?

It’s a darn shame Claude Julien couldn’t have let Rinat Valiev face off against the team that drafted him tonight, on national television no less.

Is it an organizational mandate for the Habs must suck the fun out of literally every situation?

Goalies

Curtis (McVezina) McElhinney will tend goal tonight, playing in his third consecutive game. Such a development brings forth some questions:

Would it have been nice to see Garret Sparks get some game action against a thoroughly terrible team? Yes.

Has McElhinney played so well lately that starting anyone other than him would be highly irresponsible and a vicious slap in the face to a veteran contributor? Also yes.

The guy has a .931 save percentage on the year. You literally cannot ask for anything more out of your backup.

On the losers side, Antti Niemi gets the starting nod for the Habs. Now, it would be easy to mock Montreal for being left with Niemi as their starting option. But, we should really be thanking him.

Niemi and his .931 save percentage are singlehandedly tanking the Habs’ draft lottery odds with each passing save.

Now that’s something to cheer for. The puck drops at 7 pm.

LGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PINT

Pint LGD

Make the Pint your home for all things game day. We give away a free pound of wings during every game either home or away. 4.40$ mugs of Bud and Bud Lights.

 

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  • Chelmsford Leafs

    It seems to me that Nylander is struggling in the centre, when AM returns should the long-term plan to convert him to centre be quietly dropped?
    Or is it a cunning plan to get him to sign or $1M less??