GDT: Bitter Battle in the Bell

GDT: Bitter Battle in the Bell

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I'm praying for a Belorussian bout tonight

The Leafs are in Montreal tonight trying to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive against the recently flaccid Montreal Canadiens.  The Leafs enter tonight’s contest 8 points out of 8th place, but have been hot of late going 4 – 1 – 1 in their last 6. Montreal comes into the contest ‘ce soir’ with a firm hold on 6th place in the East but are losers of three straight.

Tale of the Tape:

Record (W – L – OTL):

Leafs: 23 – 26 – 6

Canadiens: 30 – 20 – 6

Goals for:
Leafs: 144 (23rd)
Canadiens: 148 (21st)

Goals against:
Leafs: 171 (25th)
Canadiens: 143 (9th)

PP%:
Leafs: 16.6% (22nd)
Canadiens: 19.1% (10th)

PK%:
Leafs: 77.2 (28th)
Canadiens: 84.6% (6th)

Game Notes:

- If the Leafs have even the faintest glimmer of hope for playoff revenue, the club will have to continue to perform as they have in their last six.  That endeavor will be made even harder as the Leafs will be without agitator-extraordinaire Colby Armstrong.  The native of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan is suffering from blurry vision and will likely be out for the next week.  He’s tallied 7 points in his past 6 games and has been a major factor in the Leafs success all season.  The buds are 20 – 16 – 3 with Colby in the lineup and 3 – 10 – 3 without him.

– Tonight is the fourth of 6 meetings between the two rivals.  Home ice has been the deciding factor in the previous three games.  Making matters all the worse for the buds is that Montreal is 18 – 7 – 5 in the Bell Centre, whereas the Leafs are 10 – 15 – 1 as the visitor this season.  Much of the problem spawns from a moribound powerplay which performs far worse away from the (bronx) cheering crowds of the ACC.

– Per Alec: “After meeting with Brian Burke yesterday to discuss his status for the rest of the season, Jean Sebastien Giguere informed his GM that he wants to stay in Toronto providing he gets his fair share of playing time in what will likely be the final 20 games of the Leafs’ 2010-11 season. He’ll get his shot to stake a claim to more starts down the stretch tonight in Montreal, a decision which makes sense on more than one level as he’s a Montreal native and has a good recent history against his hometown team, with a 2-0 record and a 1.52 GAA against the Habs this season.”

– The Habs are coming into tonight just two games back from a barn burner against their (other) dreaded rival, the Boston Bruins.  In a heated affair, the two Northeast division teams racked up 14 goals and 192 minutes in penalties combined.  Here’s hoping that the Habs pugilistic and offensive predilections have been sated.  You can catch the game, as always, on HNIC on CBC.

Enjoy the game, Ladies and Gents.

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