It's been a completely different season for both teams this year.
For the Habs, the season is really just starting with the playoffs on the horizon, while for the Leafs this season couldn't end any sooner. The Habs are 1st in the East with 85 points and 40 wins. The Leafs are 3rd last in the conference, having lost 36 games (5 in OT/Shootout). With a recent slew of shrewd moves by Leafs' GM Dave Nonis, the Leafs are poised to lose as many games as possible on their way to the Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel sweepstakes. After eliminating David Clarkson's contract, and obtaining some more pieces for the future by dealing Cody Franson and Mike Santerelli to the Nashville Predators, the Leafs' may possibly be in the playoff conversation next year around this time. But not today.
Tonight's game is an opportunity for the Habs to continue to maintain a firm grasp on their 1st place standing in the Eastern Conference. Up 1 point on the New York Islanders and 3 on the Tampa Bay Lightning with two games at hand on each team, the Habs are in a tight race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, but hold the keys to their own destiny with 4 potential points to collect in the games they have at hand.
Sergei Gonchar will be back in the line-up tonight, as Jarred Tinordi was sent back to the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday. The Habs will run the same forward lines they ended with against the Blue Jackets on Thursday night. Although P.A. Parenteau was given the green light, he will remain a healthy scratch for tonight's game.
The puck drops at 7:00 PM EST.
In Canada (French): TVA
|David Desharnais||Brendan Gallagher|
|Alex Galchenyuk||Tomas Plekanec||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Lars Eller||Jacob de la Rose||Brandon Prust|
|Michael Bournival||Manny Malholtra||Dale Weise|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Nathan Bealieu||Tom Gilbert|
|Sergei Gonchar||Greg Pateryn|
Scratched: Mike Weaver, P.A. Parenteau
Injuries: Alexei Emelin (upper-body)
|James Van Riemsdyk||Tyler Bozak||Phil Kessel|
|Joffrey Lupul||Nazem Kadri||Richard Panik|
|Leo Komarov||Olli Jokinen||David Booth|
|Zach Sill||Peter Holland||Brandon Kozun|
|Dion Phaneuf||Korbinian Holzer|
|Morgan Rielly||Roman Polak|
|Jake Gardiner||Stephan Robidas|
Scratched: Petter Granberg
Injuries: Trevor Smith (lower-body), Nathan Horton (back)
Check out the enemy over at Pension Plan Puppets.