Playoff preview? A primer for Tuesday night? With a win, the Leafs could go a long way in making it so. The playoff implications have been laid out here for this final game of the regular season for these two rivals.

As if this game didn’t already have enough intrigue, Brendan Gallagher, proud owner of arguably the douchiest face in the National Hockey League, made a  douchey remark about how Nazem Kadri plays scared when he’s on the ice, something the vast majority of us failed to notice between the two or three times Kadri ran Gallagher over last game.

Joffrey Lupul further fanned the flame by delivering this statement of fact:

When Joffrey Lupul told sportsnet.ca Friday afternoon that Toronto is “physically a lot bigger and stronger” than Montreal — which is essentially a statement of fact — the Habs took notice.

In general, I’m against giving an opponent cause for so-called “bulletin board material,” but it’s to the Leafs‘ advantage if the Habs want to play this game in the trenches. It’s a distraction for the Habs and only business as usual for a Leaf team that leads the NHL in fighting majors. Between the two blowouts this season, the Leafs are already in their heads and if the Habs want to lose their discipline tonight, I say by all means go for it.

You can bet on the outcome of tonight’s Leafs vs. Habs game on Unibet.

The Leafs will not have Tyler Bozak in the lineup tonight (day-to-day, upper body), meaning the Lupul – Kadri – Kessel line, also known as the rosterbator’s wetdream, will likely stay in tact. To refresh your memories, here were the lines from the 4-0 win over the Panthers:

There will be a raucous atmosphere in the ACC tonight. The car flags are flying and the jerseys are out all around town. The playoffs are here.

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder and editor of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He's published five magazines on the team entitled "The Maple Leafs Annual" with distribution in Chapters and newsstands across the country. He also co-hosts "The Battle of the Atlantic," a weekly show on TSN1200 that covers the Leafs and the NHL in-depth. Alec is a graduate of Trent University and Algonquin College with his diploma in Journalism. In 2014, he was awarded Canada's Best Hockey Blogger honours by Molson Canadian. You can contact him at alec.brownscombe@mapleleafshotstove.com.