Tonight, the Buds and Habs are set to battle it out and put their win streaks on the line. The Leafs are 5-1-0 in their last 6 outings, while the Canadiens are riding an impressive 6 game string of victories. With Toronto now over 0.500 at home (15-14-5), they are looking to play the role of heartbreakers this season, and what better way to continue doing so then by throwing a big fat L at Montreal tonight?
The Habs are 18-16-2 on the road this season, good enough for 13th in the league, and Toronto will be pressing them harder than Montreal will be accustomed to. The youth that has been instilled in this club not only shows signs of promising potential first and second line players, but reveals the overall team grit and hunger for wins. If the Habs don't come out treating this like a playoff game, they will soon find themselves on the wrong side of a blowout.
A win for Montreal tonight would allow them to leap frog the Senators and Flyers into 5th place, while a win for Toronto would get them within 2 points of the Carolina Hurricanes. With every game the Leafs win, the Bruins become a little more sad, and I, as a Leaf fan, want them to be crying if the Leafs can get out of the top 5.
If we go by rotation, tonight should be Jonas Gustavsson's game. He has gone 4-0-0, 2.17, .920 in his last 4 games played. Will his streak continue tonight?
Who's Hot? Montreal:
Andrei Markov (D) 7 pts in last 4 GP
Hal Gill (D) 3 pts in last 3 GP
Sergei Kostitsyn (RW/LW) 5 pts in last 3 GP
Dominic Moore (C/LW) 3 pts in last 2 GP
Benoit Pouliot (LW/C) 6 pts in last 6 GP
Travis Moen (LW/RW) 3 pts in last 3 GP
Tomas Plekanec (C) 5 pts in last 6 GP
Jaroslav Halak (G) 2-0-0, 1.50, .930 in last 2 GPI
Who's Hot? Toronto:
Phil Kessel (RW) 7 pts in last 5 GP
Nikolai Kulemin (RW/LW) 7 pts in last 6 GP
John Mitchell (C/LW) 2 pts in last 2 GP
Mikhail Grabovski (C) 5 pts in last 6 GP
Injuries – Montreal:
Paul Mara (D) Shoulder surgery (Remainder of season)
Marc-Andre Bergeron (D/LW) Lower body injury (Late March)
Mike Cammalleri (LW/RW) Right MCL (Late March)
Injuries – Toronto:
Mike Van Ryn (D) Left knee surgery (Remainder of season)
Michael Komisarek (D) Shoulder surgery (Remainder of season)
Missed all the big time hits this past week? Click here to watch the NHL’s top ten collisions, including a big time hit in open ice by James Neal on Alexander Semin.
Micheal A. Aldred