It’s all over now but the crying. Except there won’t be any tears shed on my behalf.
Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs will ice a team that looks like something out of 2013, with Matt Frattin and Joe Colborne both making their debuts.
The team will host the arch-rival Canadiens at the Air Canada Centre, and will be playing for some more pride after their elimination from playoff contention earlier this week.
Montreal on the other hand, have squeaked into the post-season and will look to lock up 6th place with a win tonight.
With 2 games remaining for the Boston Bruins, it’s quite tough to tell who the Habs will lock up with in the first round. It will obviously be one of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Boston, but there’s still some positioning to be sorted out through tonight and tomorrow atop the Eastern Conference.
In other words, you’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
It isn’t necessarily one-hundred percent about pride with the Leafs however. A win this evening could help their cause in besting the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild, and leaving up to ten teams in their dust points-wise, thus moving Boston’s first round pick as low as possible.
The Leafs have won three of the previous five meetings this season – the last matchup being a four-point outing from Phil Kessel in a 5-4 Leafs victory in Montreal.
With the debuts of both Colborne and Frattin, the Leafs offer fans a chance to see some bright prospects play against real NHL competition for the first time. The entire lineup can be found right here at the Eat. Sleep. Leafs blog.
From Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:
An Edmonton native, Frattin signed a 2-year deal with the Leafs on Friday, having been previously drafted by the team No. 99 overall in 2007. The 23-year-old forward led the NCAA with 36 goals and was named the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Player of the Year and a WCHA First Team All-Star.
It looks as though Frattin will skate on the third line with Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri, while the big pivot Colborne receives a top line spot between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.
From the Toronto Star:
â€œIâ€™ve been working my whole life for this,â€ said Colborne. â€œIt doesnâ€™t get much better than that, Hockey Night in Canada. I canâ€™t wait.â€
Indeed, it doesn’t get much better than the Leafs and Habs on Hockey Night in Canada (except actual Leafs playoff hockey, if I remember correctly). So grab a few of your favorite beverages and plant yourself on the couch for the last Leafs regular season game until October.
Enjoy the game, folks.