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The Old Enemy

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Toronto Maple Leafs
@ Montreal Canadiens

Pre-Game: 6:30pm LeafsTV, HNiC
Broadcast: 7pm Hockey Night in Canada, AM640
Post-Game: 9:30pm HNiC

Opposition Coverage: Habs Eyes on the Prize

Saturday, Feb 7, 2009, 7:00 PM EST
Bell Centre

Complete Coverage >


This isn't even a good storyline anymore since everyone involved has done their best to dampen spirits. The youngest Kostitsyn sister refused to comment on the 'feud' and Grabbo said he'd be willing to reconcile. That is really a shame because we're robbed of amazing comments like calling Sergei 'French'. It might not match some of the highest-rated fights on HockeyFights but seeing these two featherweights go at each other couldn't possibly be worse than this fight.

These Saturday night Leafs-Habs matchups usually tend to be special. Robert L is an especially big fan:

Many of my favorite hockey nights of the season are the Saturday's when the Canadiens meet the Leafs. Even in these times of a watered down rivalry, it's still special because what the players don't bring to the game, or what the situation fails in these times to create, the fans can always be counted on to make up for.

He even makes a hell of a statement:

I'll willingly take a hundred arrows in suggesting this, but Habs fans and Leafs fans are so much alike it is impossible to ignored. The funniest part is that few from either side would ever admit it. That my friends, is where all the fun begins.

And then makes the kind of admission that more and more Habs fans will likely be making:

My team - the Canadiens - are going on sixteen seasons without a Stanley Cup. Toronto is at 42 and counting. As each season passes, I understand Maple Leafs fans better and better.

The whole piece is worth a read if only for the pictures of lovely ladies wearing team colours. Sorry but he only catered to one half of the demographic.

The other must-visit site for Habs fans reactions (and more good looking ladies) is the Four Habs Fans crew:

I can't believe we lost to the Sabres. The seventh-place Sabres. We're now 7 points from missing the playoffs. We suck. No, wait - THEY suck. The Habs suck.

They might be going overstating how bad the Canadiens' play of late has been:

They sucks, and they're gonna lose to the Leafs tonight, while Little Tits is going to be beaten up by Grabovski and we'll all be wearing Leafs jerseys by midnight.

That extra 's' just gives the rant that special Quebecois charm. From the "I can't believe it" files Damien looks up a stat and it's correct and it's interesting!

Of the top eight NHL goalies this season in minutes played, Toskala has faced the fewest shots but has the worst save percentage.

I know it's right because I checked in at NHL.com. I learned 1967ers' lesson! Not only is it right but Toskala is .008 behind second and .019 behind third. Yikes. Kevin McGran gives us some good news:

Leaf coach Ron Wilson made the point earlier this week that he wanted to find a way to get his team to think that it was Saturday. The Leafs play much better on Saturdays, with a 7-5-1 record. It's the only day the Leafs are over .500, but they're horrible on Tuesdays (2-8-3), worst in the league.

"The atmosphere is different on Saturday night," said Wilson. "Everybody knows it's Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night."

and then some bad news:

Predicting tonight's winner as the Leafs travel to Montreal will be difficult, because the Canadiens are 9-4-2 on Saturdays, and have won the last five Saturdays in a row.

Here's the bottom line though: I was meant to be going to this game and had to cancel. This means that the Leafs are going to give their travelling fans a lot to cheer about and they'll save the lemon for the next time I cross the pothole border.