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Game Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens

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The Maple Leafs make the trip to Montreal to visit the Canadiens. Who will win? Who will lose? Will PK Subban turn heel and take off that bloo-blank-rooj jersey to reveal the One True Sweater? We can only hope.

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ah, happier times
ah, happier times
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

It’s been a pretty shitty season. And that’s putting it lightly. 13 losses in 14 games. THIRTEEN LOSSES IN FOURTEEN GAMES. The only win was one week ago tonight against the Edmonton Oilers. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. There hasn’t been much to get excited about in Leafs Nation, aside from a possible excellent lottery ticket. There is however one date I have had circled on the calendar since the season began.

Today we renew the rivalry between the Canadiens and the Maple LeafsYes, contrary to some belief, it’s a rivalry. I find it hard for anyone to argue it isn’t when Habs fans won’t shut the fuck up about the Leafs (also they call them "Loafs" and "Laffs" LOL GET IT BECAUSE THEY SPELLED THE NAME WRONG). Is it as strong as it should be? Definitely not. Is it near the top of NHL rivalries? Far from it. The Canadiens/Bruins is #1 in the NHL in my books. The one thing I wish for every season is for the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs to be good at the same time. That’s all I want from hockey.

Alright, alright, some confessions to make first. Yes, I was once a young and unaware Habs fan. Yes, I ended up marrying a Habs fan. And yes, I cheered for the Habs in last year’s playoffs. I am that guy. I don’t hate the Habs. Sorry, I don’t (I also don’t hate the Bruins, so do what you will).

Let’s get on with the preview now.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens
7:00PM
TV: CBC, TVA
Radio 590AM
SBN: Eyes On the Prize

Toronto Maple Leafs

Still a bunch of losers, but now losers with trade rumours hovering about like flies at a shit buffet. Oh wait, that’s a memory of my visit to the Toronto Sun sports department. The Maple Leafs have lost 13 of their past 14 games, earning a victory over the Oilers last Saturday night. They are 23-29-4 this season and have a -14 goal differential. Sigh. They’re kinda depressing. A lot of fans are on the "tank the season" train, and at this date, 13 points out of the playoffs, why bother really. I mean the players will try, despite what people say, but management has to shit or get off the pot on potential UFA’s at the very least and move ‘em before the team starts winning again.

Leafs Players vs Montreal

Phil Kessel - 46GP - 16G 25A= 41P / -9 / 12PM / 10.1 SH%

Nazem Kadri - 16GP - 3G 5A= 8P / -4 / 10PM / 9.4 SH%

Jonathan Bernier - 6GP - 1WL -5L / 3.50 GAA / .892 SV%

James Van Riemsdyk - 20GP - 9G 3A= 12P / -7 / 12PM / 13.8 SH%

Dion Phaneuf - 30GP - 9G 15A= 24P / -3 / 32PM / 10.6 SH%

Montreal Canadiens

Carey Price is currently one of the top teams in the East and has the weird growth on his ba- oh wait it's the rest of the Canadiens. This team has a great record and is winning in spite of its coach. Battling all year for the top spot in the division with Tampa Bay and Detroit the Canadiens are being really fucking annoying. They were a lottery team in 2012 and ended up picking Galchenyuk with the 3rd overall pick, which was the lowest "earned" pick in Canadiens history. Instead of sucking for a few more years this collection of brash, cocky and ugly rodeo clowns went and made the playoffs the next year and went to the conference final the year after that! This isn't how I've been shown it goes. You're supposed to be stuck in purgatory a few more seasons you ugly butts. God I hate this team. Here's some info on their stupid players.

Montreal Players vs Toronto

Tomas Plekanec - 58GP - 14G 22A= 36P / +8 / 46PM / 10.3 SH%

PK Subban - 22GP - 3G 8A= 11P / +2 / 25PM / 4.2 SH%

Carey Price - 28GP - 14W 14L / .913 SV% / 2.74 GAA / 3SO

Max Pacioretty - 26GP - 12G 6A= 18P / -1 / 24PM / 12.4 SH%

Andrei Markov - 62GP - 8G 38A= 46P / -1 / 58PM / 7.2 SH%

Previous Meeting

129 days ago these two teams met. It was a an ok game, just ok. The Canadiens were always just ahead of the Leafs, but future Captain Morgan Rielly scored to tie the game with two minutes left. As it appeared to be headed for a tie and overtime that jackass Tomas Plekanec scored with 43 seconds left to give the Canadiens the lead and their first victory of the season.

NHL.com Line Ups

MAPLE LEAFS

James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Daniel Winnik – Nazem Kadri – Richard Panik
Leo Komarov – Peter Holland – Mike Santorelli
David BoothTrevor Smith – David Clarkson

Morgan Rielly – Cody Franson
Jake Gardiner – Roman Polak
Korbinian Holzer – Stephane Robidas

Jonathan Bernier
James Reimer

Scratched: Petter Granberg
Injured: Joffrey Lupul (lower body), Dion Phaneuf (upper body)

Canadiens

Max Pacioretty – David DesharnaisDale Weise
Alex Galchenyuk – Tomas Plekanec – Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller - Jacob De La Rose – Brandon Prust
Michael Bournival - Manny MalhotraChristian Thomas

Andrei Markov – P.K. Subban
Nathan BeaulieuSergei Gonchar
Alexei EmelinMike Weaver

Carey Price
Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Tom Gilbert, Jiri Sekac
Injured: Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (concussion)

Media Notes

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Today&#39;s <a href="https://twitter.com/mtlgazette">@mtlgazette</a> editorial-page cartoon by <a href="https://twitter.com/TerryMosher1">@TerryMosher1</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Habs?src=hash">#Habs</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Leafs?src=hash">#Leafs</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HabsIO?src=hash">#HabsIO</a> <a href="http://t.co/M7vObevagx">pic.twitter.com/M7vObevagx</a></p>&mdash; Dave Stubbs (@Dave_Stubbs) <a href="https://twitter.com/Dave_Stubbs/status/566605751410757633">February 14, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The Leafs trail Montreal by 24 points in the standings. They sat one point back on Dec. 17, just before slide (21 losses in 25 gms) began.</p>&mdash; Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) <a href="https://twitter.com/jonasTSN1050/status/566641094986072064">February 14, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The Kids Thoughts

"Everyone will smash each other up....no, wait, there will be no fights today. Everyone will give each other Valentine's"

My Thoughts

This is one of the few games remaining this season I can get excited for. Seriously, I'm really looking forward to this. I bought snacks and booze and everything. There are 3 games left that I can get emotionally excited and devastated about this season and this is one of them. Instead of watching the IceDogs beat Sarnia, I'll be tuned to the CBC. Hell, I may even watch coaches corner (LOL). This game holds so much importance my rec league isn't playing tonight. Even if you've given up on this season, even if you hate this team right now, watch this game. The Leafs need all the good karma and vibes to help them win they can get. We have a bet to win after all.

GO LEAFS GO

#BUDSALLDAY