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Pre-season preview: Canadiens come to Toronto for one of many losses this year

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The Marlies vs the Habs. It’s a closer game than you think.

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs
Preseason Game Five
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Other guys: Eyes on the Prize
How: TSN4, RDS, TSN Radio

Game five of the pre-season already? Soon it’ll be the pre-playoffs then the pre-draft and before you know it the baseball pre-season is upon us.

Coming into this game the Leafs are a perfect 4-0 and the Canadiens hold a 3-1 record in the pre-season. If you’re heading to the SBA tonight, don’t expect much out of this team. You won’t get to see John Tavares score twice, or Mitch Marner stickhandle like a stickhandling robot, or anything interesting at all.

Here are the rosters/lines for today’s game:

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs are skating their ‘AHL’ camp roster tonight, and just glancing at the list of names, it makes me wonder why this game isn’t being sold at Marlies prices and held at the Coca-Coliseum.

At forward, aside from Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson, we don’t seem to have anyone who’s a lock for the NHL, and tonight’s game is a chance to give players like Par Lindholm, Adam Cracknell, and Pierre Engvall good looks for the fourth line spots.

On defense it’s a fight for every spot. Andreas Borgman and Connor Carrick are names most people figure will be on the NHL roster, but it’s not a guarantee.

Curtis McElhinney and Garret Sparks are still fighting for the back up role, with McE having the NHL advantage but Sparks has the hype behind him.

According to Paul Hendrick, the lines are looking like this:

Johnsson-Lindholm-Kapanen
Grundstrom-Brooks-Bracco
Greening-Jooris-Engvall
Timashov-Cracknell-Moore

Marincin -Carrick
Borgman -Holl
Sandin-Subban

McElhinney
Sparks

The first powerplay looks like this:

Subban
Brooks-Moore-Bracco
Grundstrom

Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens are a bunch of slackers and didn’t bother to organize their roster sheet:

Former Leaf/Marlie Rinat Valiev will be in the line up for the Canadiens tonight. The power play seems to have a Finnish flair to it today:

Tonight’s game may be a lopsided affair - or at least it should be one from the Habs point of view. The Maple Leafs are playing an almost all Marlies line up, while the Canadiens are full of players who are legitimately trying to crack a spot in the NHL.

If the Maple Leafs pull off a win, well, it will be just the first embarrassing loss the Habs will get against the Leafs this year.