Canadiens vs Maple Leafs - The Warmup - A playoff preview?

USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the week, the standings were shaping up like the Habs and Leafs would meet in the first round. That's still a possibility, so is this game even more important than usual?

Sports Club Stats gives the Toronto Maple Leafs the largest chance of any one team to face the Montreal Canadiens in the upcoming playoffs, with a 37.2% chance.

It's no secret that Leafs fans would love this. Usually a win against Montreal in the final game of the series is their Stanley Cup, as their roster then moves on to the golf course.

This year though, the Leafs are in it, in spite of poor possession numbers. Are they a legitimate contender? No, but they have good enough goaltending and enough depth in scoring to win a series if they get some nice bounces.

The Canadiens have this game and another against the Leafs in the last 8 games, closing out the season in Toronto on April 27th. If the two teams meet in the playoffs, that means it's essentially an 8 game series. If that's really the eventuality we're heading towards, is this game more important than just another opponent for the Habs to jockey for position against the Bruins?

Is tonight a statement game?


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