The biggest hockey matchup in the world has rarely had less on the line in terms of competitive importance. Draft implications could be counted as significant, but they add little to the overall fan satisfaction as far this game is concerned.
A long and frustrating season has come to an end, but each and every time this happens Leafs Nation feels a big loss. To this writer, a win against the eternal rival would be a fitting end to an already weird season. You never expect a truck to climb back after falling from a cliff.
QUOTES TO NOTE:
“We struggled at home for a while, no one was happy about it. We have not been playing the way that we want to play,” said Phaneuf, who has just three points in his last 15 games. “But we wanted to finish our year off, our last game at home in front of our fans, the way we did.”
“We have to get ready to give 100% in our last game now. There’s nothing else to save it for,” goaltender Peter Budaj, who is expected to make his fourth consecutive start in place of injured Carey Price.
The Leafs are missing Joffrey Lupul (separated shoulder), James Reimer (upper body), Nikolai Kulemin (broken finger), and Carl Gunnarsson (separated shoulder) while Jonas Gustavsson and Grabovski are both questionable with lower-body injuries.
Good to see Grabo retaining a sense of humor:
“Like filet mignon,” he joked. “I have fat skin.”
On the Habs side of the puck Carey Price (concussion) has been shut down for the remainder of the season while Yannick Weber (lower body), Brian Gionta (bicep surgery), Mathieu Darche (upper body), Travis Moen (upper body), Scott Gomez (concussion), and Raphael Diaz (lower body) are all on IR.
WHO TO WATCH:
Jake Gardiner joined D Carl Gunnarsson as our only blueliners to score in back-to-back games this year when he tied Thursday’s game in the third period.
Erik Cole has scored 34 goals this season and has 60 points on the year. Heâ€™s also a plus 10 for the season. The winger scored 3 goals and has 4 points in his last 3 games.