The Habs should be well-rested when they hit the ice tonight. After a four day break following a loss to the Boston Bruins - the team's fifth loss in a row - the Habs are in Toronto to take on a team that's lost six of its last seven games.
Over the past few weeks, the fact that there are teams threatening the Canadiens' playoff chances has been a common theme. Now that the Habs sit outside a playoff spot, two points back of the Bruins and Devils, the need for wins to start manifesting for this team has reached a critical level.
And I put it that way on purpose: the wins need to manifest themselves at this point. According to Marc Bergevin, the Canadiens are staying the course right now, and he has full trust and faith in the people and processes in place to run out the course of the season. It is more important to not make any hasty decisions that could sacrifice the long-term vision, which at the beginning of this year, seemed like it was closer to a reality than a distant goal.
Tonight's game should prove yet another test for the Habs as they cannot drop games to teams lower than them in the standings. Each loss should be seen as a stride lost in the race, and when the ground your running on is a developing team like the Leafs - one truly in transition - then the result should be a win if your goal is to make the playoffs.
I'm hopeful the Habs can right this ship, and that they can get it started tonight against the Leafs.
Daniel Carr was called up from St. John's and will play tonight on the third line with Lars Eller at center with Paul Byron out with an upper body Tuesday. No other changes are expected to the lineup that we saw in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Bruins.
The puck drops at 7:00 PM EST.
How To Watch:
In Canada (French): TVAS
In Canada (English): CBC
In the United States: NHLN-US
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
|Max Pacioretty||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Alex Galchenyuk||David Desharnais||Dale Weise|
|Tomas Fleischmann||Lars Eller||Daniel Carr|
|Brian Flynn||Torrey Mitchell||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Jeff Petry|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Mark Barberio|
Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Victor Bartley, Jacob De La Rose
Injuries: Carey Price (lower body) Tom Gilbert (lower body), Paul Byron (upper body)
|Shawn Matthias||Tyler Bozak||P.A. Parenteau|
|Michael Grabner||Nazem Kadri||Leo Komarov|
|Joffrey Lupul||Peter Holland||Josh Leivo|
|Daniel Winnik||Byron Froese||Rich Clune|
|Matt Hunwick||Morgan Rielly|
|Jake Gardiner||Dion Phaneuf|
|Martin Marincin||Roman Polak|
Scratched: Frank Corrado, Brad Boyes
Injuries: James Van Riemsdyk (foot), Nick Spaling (upper body), Stephane Robidas (lower body)
Check out the enemy over at Pension Plan Puppets.