TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS VS MONTREAL CANADIENS
7:00PM - SCOTIABANK ARENA
CBC, TVA SPORTS, SPORTSNET, CITY-TV
OTHER GUYS: EYES ON THE PRIZE
Did you know that the Toronto Maple Leafs traded for Ryan O’Reilly (and a couple other guys) last night? It’s true! I really hope this isn’t the first you’re hearing about it.
The Leafs dropping a trade after 11PM last night, right before a Leafs/Habs game on Hockey Night in Canada is probably going to get Kyle Dubas some flowers and chocolates today from Sportsnet producers.
It’s been confirmed that O’Reilly (not to be confused with the spelling of Morgan Rielly) and Acciari are coming to Toronto this morning and insisted on playing in tonight’s game. That’s exactly what you want to see from the new guys. That’s the exciting part of heading into tonight’s game.
The less exciting part? Both Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov are out, so we have the Marlies duo of Joseph Woll and Erik Källgren up for the big team. Woll starts, Källgren is the back up. It’s illness that is keeping Samsonov out, not injury, so this shouldn’t be a long term solution, hopefully just one game.
Woll is having a great year in the AHL so far; an 11 game win streak, 14-1 record in 15 games, and a .931sv%. Now we know AHL success doesn’t guarantee anything in the NHL - his one game up so far this season has him with a 4.22GAA and .900sv%- but it’s nice to see him having success after such limited playing time the past two seasons.
So much news before tonight’s game, I’m the most excited I’ve been for a regular season game all year.
Toronto Maple Leafs Lines
It’s all guesswork. Keefe will spend tonight mixing lines, figuring out how best to use the new guys. Here’s what we see via Daily Faceoff.
Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Ryan O’Reilly - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Alexander Kerfoot - David Kämpf - Calle Järnkrok
Zach Aston-Reese - Noel Acciari - Pierre Engvall
Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie
Mark Giordano - Timothy Liljegren
Rasus Sandin - Justin Holl
The Montreal Canadiens
Ugh, these guys.
The Leafs are 0-1-1 against them this season - love to lose against the worst of the league - losing 4-3 on opening night, and 3-2 in overtime at the end of January. The Leafs should be getting tax receipts for the charity work they do for this league.
So the Habs are existing this year, hoping one of their two first round picks ends up being Connor Bedard, and mulling around the bottom ten teams of the league, not able to out-bad Columbus or Arizona.
The majority of this team is injured. I recognize the names on IR more than I do the roster; Brendan Gallagher, Cole Caufield, Sean Monahan, Juraj Slafkovsky, Jake Evans. Then there’s the guys on the ice (via Arpon Basu)
Rafael Harvey-Pinard - Nick Suzuki - Josh Anderson
Joel Armia - Christian Dvorak - Jonathan Drouin
Evgenii Dadonov - Alex Belzile - Mike Hoffman
Michael Pezzetta - Rem Pitlick - Jesse Ylönen
Mike Matheson - Justin Barron
Jordan Harris - David Savard
Corey Schueneman - Jonathan Kovacevic
The Canadiens are actually winning a lot in February - beating the Islanders, Oilers, and Chicago before losing to the Hurricanes. Two good wins as well, 6-2 over Edmonton and 4-0 over Chicago. The did lose four straight after their last win over Toronto, including back to back losses to Ottawa, so it’s the randomness of hockey getting them wins I’m sure.
A box of numbers
Toronto vs Montreal
|186GF - 147GA - +39||Goal Differential||150GF - 200GA - -50|
|25% - 6th||Power Play||17% - 28th|
|80.6% - 13th||Penalty Kill||73.9% - 28th|
|William Nylander - 30||Most Goals||Cole Caufiled - 26|
|Mitch Marner - 46||Most Assists||Nick Suzuki - 25|
|Mitch Marner - 65||Most Points||Nick Suzuki - 42|
|Michael Bunting - 66||Most PM||Arber Xhekaj - 101|
|Morgan Rielly - 22:36||TOI Leader||Mike Matheson - 23:31|
|Joseph Woll - .900sv%||Starting Goalie||Jake Allen - .895sv%|
Everyone is excited for this game: the fans, the players, the sponsors....everyone!
The new players make their debut on the biggest stage they possibly could.
Don’t miss out.
Go Leafs Go!