This year’s edition of the Bleu-Blanc-et-Rouges controls its own destiny of finishing atop the Atlantic Division, and is a team headed into the playoffs on a do or die mission. The question is can they do it? With Max Pacioretty sidelined tonight and possibly beyond, the Habs are without their most effective scorer, and two-way forward. The Habs were able to win on Thursday without him, getting goals from 4 different players (Andrei Markov, Jeff Petry, Tomas Plekanec and Lars Eller), and did not have to stray from the regular game plan to make up for his absence. It was just one game, but if anything, the win against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday shows the potential for this team to come together and step up to fill the void when it’s necessary --- another word for this is depth. Although, lets not forget that Max Pacioretty has been known to have Wolverine-like healing ability, as he was already back on the ice this morning.
It feels like tonight’s game against the Leafs does not mean anything, but Carey Price has been told he will start tonight and not given the night off. The decision to start Price, after his historic win on Thursday night, is a glimpse into the long-term view of the playoffs this team has, as the Tampa Bay Lightning can still steal the Division should they win and the Habs lose tonight, and thus home-ice advantage in a potential Divisional Final playoff matchup.
The Leafs may be a team that shows up to the rink to just watch the clock run out, or may see it as their final chance to have fun playing the game they love together in the most exciting of circumstances: home-ice on a Saturday night. No matter what happens tonight, the Leafs will finish 15th in the Eastern Conference and 27th in the league. They will have a 9.5% chance at drafting first overall in this summer’s NHL entry draft. The Leafs may very well be competing for a playoff spot next year around this time as they rebuild. It should be an entertaining summer nonetheless watching the Brendan-Shanahan-led organization dis and re-mantle their team for next season.
The puck drops at 7:00PM EST. The Habs will be icing the exact same lineup that gave them a 4-3 OT win on Thursday.
In Canada Canadiens (French): RDS
|Alex Galchenyuk||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Devante Smith-Pelly||David Desharnais||P.A. Parenteau|
|Jacob de la Rose||Lars Eller||Dale Weise|
|Brandon Prust||Torrey Mitchell||Brian Flynn|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Jeff Petry|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Greg Pateryn|
Scratched: Mike Weaver, Manny Malholtra, Sergei Gonchar
Injuries: Max Pacioretty (upper body), Tom Gilbert (jaw)
|James Van Riemsdyk||Tyler Bozak||Phil Kessel|
|Richard Panik||Nazem Kadri||Joakim Lindstrom|
|David Booth||Peter Holland||Joffrey Lupul|
|Brandon Kozun||Zach Sill||Colton Orr|
|Eric Brewer||Dion Phaneuf|
|Jake Gardiner||Morgan Rielly|
|Andrew MacWilliam||Tim Erixon|
Scratched: Casey Bailey, Leo Komarov
Injuries: Nathan Horton (back), Stephane Robidas (shoulder), Romak Polak (sports hernia), Trevor Smith (upper body)
Check out the enemy over at Pension Plan Puppets.