Game Thread: Do You Need to Know who the Habs are Playing?
The Montreal Canadiens travel to the "Centre of The Hockey Universe" to face the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at the ACC. GIven the Leafs Stanley Cup and playoff droughts of late, "The Black Hole of The Hockey Universe" might be more like it.
The Leafs are currently sitting in the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, in a pack of five teams sperated by just five points. Their playoff chances are better than the Habs, who will need miracle run to hit the post season.
The Habs are on a roll, having won three straight, so a chance to take a piece out of the Leafs playoffs hopes couldn't please them more.
Unlike Toronto teams of the past, Ron Wilson has his boys doing a great job of holding the lead after two periods. The Leafs are 20-0-1 after 40 minutes, fifth best in the league. The Habs will not want to be behind, especially in the Blue and White's barn.
The Canadiens had no problem in Toronto in their last meeting, pulling out a 3-1 win for their first win of the regular season series. The Leafs took the first two games,
James Reimer gets the start in goal for the Leafs. Reimer is 2-1-0 (2.70, .919) with a shutout in his career against the Canadiens.
Mike Komisarek will be a healthy scratch for the Leafs.
The Leafs will honor Mats Sundin's Number 13 in a pre-game ceremony. Sundin's Former teammate Tomas Kaberle will take the ceremonial faceoff for the Canadiens
Randy Cunneyworth will decide on his lineup following the warm up. Vegas has it at even money whether he starts six or seven defensemen tonight.
MONTREAL CANADIENS PROJECTED LINEUP
Erik Cole - David Desharnais - Max Pacioretty
Rene Bourque - Lars Eller - Louis Leblanc
Travis Moen - Tomas Plekanec - Mathieu Darche
Aaron Palushaj - Scott Gomez - Andrei Kostitsyn
Alexei Emelin - Tomas Kaberle
Hal Gill - Raphael Diaz - Chris Campoli
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS PROJECTED LINEUP
Joffrey Lupul - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Matthew Lombardi - Tim Connolly - Joey Crabb
Mike Brown - David Steckel - Colby Armstrong
Dion Phaneuf - Carl Gunnarsson
John-Michael Liles - Cody Franson
James Reimer - Jonas Gustavsson
Canadiens vs Maple Leafs coverage
Leafs coverage from Pension Plan Puppets who's minions will be certain to drop by with a few "F the Habs" and mid-90's quality animated gifs throughout the evening.