Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs
Air Canada Centre; Toronto, ON
7:00 p.m. ET; CBC (National)
SBN Tabernacs: Habs Eyes on the Prize
The Leafs come off a rough 2-1 SO loss to the New York Rangers Thursday. While the offense failed to click, Frederik Andersen held on for a much needed point. The Leafs failed to get the second because shootouts are evil, in my totally objective opinion.
For all the talk of the sky falling recently, the Leafs are on a 3-game point streak (2-0-1), with a shootout being the lone difference between that and a 3-game win streak. Add in the one-goal (plus two empty netter) loss last Saturday, and the Leafs sit 2-1-1 without Mitch Marner in the lineup. That's not bad for losing the second-best offensive contributor on this team.
This game will be the final game in a 3-game homestand; the Leafs will kick off their "Annual California Road Trip of Death, Presented by Arby's" next Tuesday.
Meet the new coach; same as the old coach! Almost fifteen years after Michel Therrien was fired to make way for Claude Julien, and almost five years after Therrien was rehired, history has repeated itself, as the ex-Bruins boss didn't take too long to find work behind Montreal's bench.
Hoping to reverse a February swoon, the Habs have been spinning their wheels in their three games under Julien thus far. A 3-0 loss to the Islanders dropped them to 1-2-0 under their new coach, and 2-7-1 for the month of February. Since November 12, in which Montreal boasted a 13-1-1 start, they've been an extremely middling 19-20-8.
Here's where things get interesting: the Habs sit with 72 points and 61 GP, while the Leafs have 68 in 60 GP. A regulation win by the Buds tonight would put them just two back of Montreal with a game in hand. The Leafs need to smell the blood in the water and get a win tonight.
Okay; we've covered all that. Now on to the fun stuff!
[studio audience cheers]
It's time for.....
[studio audience shouts]
TRUMP SUPPORTER OR HABS FAN?
That's right! It's time for the game show where the points don't matter, and even if you win, you probably lose! We live in a world where people call the media they don't like "fake news," and people to choose to live in an alternate reality that conforms with their increasingly irrelevant worldviews. And beyond Montreal, this also happens in American politics.
I've compiled a list of ten tweets. While identifying factors (i.e. references to sports or politics; words such as "liberal" or "Habs") have been removed, the spelling, grammar, and syntax of the non-omitted words remains intact. Your job: to guess whether a Trump supporter or a Habs fan made each tweet. Answers are available in the comments, but try to be a good sport and play the game with some honour.
Here we go:
1. The media’s bias is absolutely repulsive & unbearable- a national disgrace.
2. Your media bias is showing. Don’t you think it’s okay to attack the media back?
3. The media is looking for any excuse to bash us. They’re all a bunch of amateurs. What a disgrace.
4. The media...have a bias. But they don’t admit it. That’s dishonest.
5. Stuff like this is why I have trouble believing there’s not a bias (against us) by the commentariat.
6. Everything the media reports from anonymous sources must be proven to be a lie.
7. It’s actually good he shows them who’s boss. Media needs us more than we need media.
8. Media thinks they’re entitled to know everything that goes on. News to all, you’re not!!!
9. You’re an absolute joke. Your bias and agenda make me sick.
10. Media have gone totally off the rails, they have doubled & tripled down. Unwatchable.
Mitch Marner skated on his own prior to practice Friday morning, making his return for this game doubtful. Babcock has indicated he has no plans to sit Andersen in non-B2B situations, so expect him to start tonight. The entire Bozak line was absent from practice on Friday. Given that there have been no corresponding callups or transactions, it seems probable that the trio was given a maintenance day (or perhaps a day off as a reward for being the only line to score on Thursday?) and will play tonight.
Komarov - Kadri - Leivo
Hyman - Matthews - Nylander
JVR - Bozak - Brown
Martin - Gauthier - Soshnikov
Rielly - Zaitsev
Gardiner - Marchenko
Hunwick - Polak
Julien rejigged his lines at practice on Friday, so this is what we're likely to see tonight (combos courtesy of DailyFaceoff and RDS):
Max Pacioretty - Phillip Danault - Alexander Radulov
Artturi Lekhonen - Alex Galchenyuk - Brendan Gallagher
Paul Byron - Tomas Plekanec - Andrew Shaw
Sven Andrighetto - David Desharnais - Torrey Mitchell
Alexei Emelin - Shea Weber
Andrei Markov - Jeff Petry
Nathan Beaulieu - Nikita Nesterov
Your reminder that Max Pacioretty perpetually looks like he just crop dusted an elevator, while Plekanec's turtleneck probably smells like old soup. Also, Emelin is a sentient garbage truck.