Game Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs v.s. Montreal Canadiens
Mikhail Grabovski must be hungry.
The struggling Leafs sniper may miss tonight’s game against the Habs because he can’t stomach North American food.
I bet the Canadiens are having fun with this one…surely Max Pacioretty is hoping Grabovski isn’t a last minute, hungry addition to the lineup.
Grabo did, after all, try to bite a chunk out of Pacioretty’s arm back in February!
But on to more important matters. This could be a potential playoff preview tonight.
The Leafs and Habs may finish 4/5 in the Eastern Conference. If so, it’ll be their first playoff meeting since 1979, when the Canadiens swept the Leafs 4-0.
Since 1944, the clubs have faced off in the playoffs 13 times, with the winner of the series always going on to win the Stanley Cup. If the Leafs were to play them this year and win, it would even the all-time series at 7-7.
This season, the Leafs are 2-1 against the Habs, including the 6-0 beating they delivered in the February in Montreal – the Grabo biting game.
Last time out, the Leafs lost 5-2 at home – with Pacioretty scoring twice to earn some sweet revenge. OK, no more about the biting incident. I swear. Video recap of game below.
Kessel is coming of two huge games, back-to-back two-goal games, in fact, and I’m hoping he can keep up the good play all the way into the playoffs. But, we first need to make sure we’re in them.
The Canadiens have already clinched a playoff birth after beating Buffalo on Thursday. The Leafs, meanwhile, can’t afford a late-season dive.
With only eight games remaining, including another against the Habs, we need to secure some key victories: the two games against the Habs, and more importantly, a few games against teams right behind us.
The Leafs are in fifth going into tonight’s game, only a few points ahead of teams like the Rangers, Islanders, Capitals and Sens.
The Leafs split the home-and-home series with the Rangers recently. A good start.
Now, after beating the Habs tonight, they must beat the Islanders, Sens and Caps, who they play in succession after facing New Jersey on Monday.
Beating those three teams will help secure a playoff spot. Let’s get back on the winning track tonight so we can make it happen. Then things can really heat up.
Go Leafs Go. Cheers.