Game Thread: Leafs Visit Habs In Carlyle's First Game

TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 11: Carey Price #31 and Tomas Kaberle #22 of the Montreal Canadiens defend against Nikolai Kulemin #41 of the Toronto Maple Leafs in a game on February 11, 2012 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The Canadiens defeated the Leafs 5-0. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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A day after Ron Wilson was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Randy Carlyle begins his tenure with the Leafs against their most historic rivals, our Montreal Canadiens.

Unfortunately for viewers, this isn't likely to be a classic game as the Leafs are currently collapsing out of a playoff spot into a lottery position, and the Habs have nowhere to collapse to. In fact discussion between Leafs and Habs fans on Twitter has given birth to the hashtag #greatesttankbattles.

It will be interesting to see how Joffrey Lupul reacts to Carlyle as head coach as they've had a strained relationship in the past. At this morning's press conference Carlyle stressed that he takes the blame for misusing Lupul and noted Lupul's injury history as a hindrance during that time.

Carlyle's first move as coach was to have Burke recall Jay Rosehill from the AHL's Toronto Marlies. Rosehill is on cecallable waivers and won;t be available until Tuesday. So no tilt with Brad Staubitz until April 7th.

On the Habs front, both Scott Gomez and Aaron Palushaj are out with eye injuries suffered against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday's bizarre 5-4 shootout win. Louis Leblanc and Aaron Palushaj have been recalled on an emergency basis to round out the lineup.

Carey Price missed practice yesterday, taking a therapy day for some minor injuries that are expected after a long season, but he will start tonight wearing a special mask designed by the winner of a contest.

After dropping the first two decisions against the Leafs the Habs have won two straight in decisive fashion, outscoring the Leafs 8-1. If the Canadiens win tonight in regulation, they'll have won the season series against the Leafs for the first time since the lockout.

MONTREAL CANADIENS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole

Rene Bourque - Lars Eller - Louis Leblanc

Blake Geoffrion - Tomas Plekanec - Ryan White

Andreas Engqvist - Petteri Nokelainen - Brad Staubitz

Defensemen

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Yannick Weber

Tomas Kaberle - Chris Campoli

Goalies

Carey Price - Peter Budaj

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TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Joffrey Lupul - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Matt Frattin

Nikolai Kulemin - Tim Connolly - Matthew Lombardi

Mike Brown - David Steckel - Joey Crabb

Defensemen

Dion Phaneuf - Jake Gardiner

Carl Gunnarsson - John-Michael Liles

Luke Schenn - Cody Franson

Goalies

Jonas Gustavsson - James Reimer

Maple Leafs vs Canadiens coverage

Maple Leafs vs Canadiens preview

And the view from the other side, our friends, Pension Plan Puppets

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