This was always going to be a tough game despite most Leafs fans acceptance of the Slide since it came against a historic rival. It just got worse because tonight the Habs could move into first place in the Eastern Conference. HF29 correctly labels it a 'trap game' but that's just theory because the Carey Curse will be in effect tonight.
Here are some fun stats from TSN's preview:
- Toronto has losses in 6 of their last 8 visits to the Bell Centre.
- Toronto has lost 9 of their last 10 road games.
- Bryan McCabe could return tonight.
McCabe's return, at the expense of the dearly departed Andy Wozniewski, caused a bit of a confused feeling in Leaf fans as they realized that Woz was being replaced by a better defenceman. What some people have forgotten is that McCabe also inspired the following:
In terms of The Slide McCabe is just as strong a cog in the machine as Make-A-Wish.
From the "Where Are They Now?" files, JFJ
has a new job! He'll be the Eastern Conference scout for Hockey Canada's entry into the 100th anniversary of the IIHF World Championship this Spring. Presumably, Yzerman will then pick the exact opposite players for the team.
[Update - 2:23PM] Greg Wyshynski's NHL Closer reminded me of just what the Leafs are missing: grit. Check out the following video. Potvin is tougher than 95% of our team right now and don't even start on Wendel. Once upon a time this team didn't take shit from anybody. Now it lets 8-0 losses pass with fights from MATT STAJAN!, Ben Ondrus, and Kris Newbury.
Remember to put your SPG guesses (First Shot, Penalty, Goal for the Leafs) in the comments and feel free to share any hardships that you will undoubtedly suffer at the hands of friends/relatives/acquaintances that are Habs fans after tonight's looming debacle. Luckily, the worst I have to deal with is senators fans and one quiet Red Wings fan.