Toronto Maple Leafs (22-13-5) vs. Montreal Canadiens (26-9-5)
Hopefully you have power, and hopefully you and your loved ones survived the Great Ice Storm of 2013 over the past 48 hours. Mother Nature is clearly a pissed off Flyers fan.
Toronto looks to make a dent in the 8-point lead Montreal has on them in the standings tonight but will likely have to do it without Mikhail Grabovski, who is sidelined with an apparent 2-year old stomach ailment. As a father myself, it’s no coincidence that this ailment has been around the same amount of time as his children.
Phil Kessel is as hot as a pistol right now, with 4 goals in his last 2 games. So yeah it’s good that he’s scoring again and is also now tied with Kadri for points lead on the team. Sitting on Carey Price will probably help produce some goals too. Joffrey Lupul (IT’S NOT A TUUMAAAH….. I MEAN, IT’S NOT A CONCUSSION… OK WAIT MAYBE IT IS A CONCUSSION…. Yeah it’s a concussion, guys) is unlikely to play tonight either but had his first practice with the team, so he’s probably very close to returning. Ryan O’Byrne is also facing off against his former team tonight. I’m sure he’s in the mood to crush some little Habsters. Jake Gardiner may get into the lineup tonight after Liles put up a bit of a stinker last game.
Led by Brian “Flying Elbow” Gionta, “Les Habitants” (loose translation: tiny annoying men from a far away french land) are inexplicably still in first in the Northeast division despite having Michael (LOL) Ryder (LOL) as their top scorer (WTF?). Well, ok.. he’s tied with PK Subban for the lead. Those speedy, pesky Habs will be at their speedy and pesky best tonight, attempting to dazzle us with a display of such skill we have not seen since, well since the Leafs had the puck ’cause they are just as freaking skilled. So there. Except for our 4th line. We will not talk about the 4th line (but they rule. Hockey fights rule. So there.)
This will be an interesting preview of what could be a first round playoff match up in a few weeks. Should be fun.
Line combos for the Leafs TBD with Grabbo and other possible changes in the works.