LGD: A New Challenge vs A Familiar Foe

Jeff Veillette
January 07 2017 01:54PM

Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs forced their way into the third seed in the Atlantic Division. Technically speaking, a tie for second. That's about where I saw the Leafs being at the start of the season, so having it come to fruition is definitely nice, but hey, overachieving would be great too. If they really want to go for this, and take a serious run at the Atlantic Division, tonight's game is key.

The Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

LW C RW
Leo Komarov 
Leo Komarov
Nazem Kadri 
Nazem Kadri
William Nylander 
William Nylander
Zach Hyman 
Zach Hyman
Auston Matthews 
Auston Matthews
Connor Brown 
Connor Brown
James van Riemsdyk 
James van Riemsdyk
Tyler Bozak 
Tyler Bozak
Mitchell Marner 
Mitchell Marner
Matt Martin 
Matt Martin
Frederik Gauthier 
Frederik Gauthier
Nikita Soshnikov 
Nikita Soshnikov

Defensive Pairings
Morgan Rielly 
Morgan Rielly
Nikita Zaitsev 
Nikita Zaitsev
Jake Gardiner 
Jake Gardiner
Connor Carrick 
Connor Carrick
Matt Hunwick 
Matt Hunwick
Roman Polak 
Roman Polak

Nothing changes. Points in 10 of the last 11 games and they've looked good in most of those matchups. Why would it change? I mean, there are reasons, but they probably don't outweigh chemistry right now, and they'd largely be difficult to chip away it.

The Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

LW C RW
Max Pacioretty 
Max Pacioretty
Phillip Danault  
Phillip Danault
Alexander Radulov 
Alexander Radulov
Artturi Lehkonen 
Artturi Lehkonen
Tomas Plekanec 
Tomas Plekanec
Sven Andrighetto 
Sven Andrighetto
Daniel Carr 
Daniel Carr
Torrey Mitchell 
Torrey Mitchell
Brian Flynn 
Brian Flynn
Bobby Farnham 
Bobby Farnham
Michael McCarron 
Michael McCarron
Nikita Scherbak 
Nikita Scherbak

Defensive Pairings
Alexei Emelin 
Alexei Emelin
Shea Weber 
Shea Weber
Nathan Beaulieu 
Nathan Beaulieu
Jeff Petry 
Jeff Petry
Mark Barberio 
Mark Barberio
Ryan Johnston 
Ryan Johnston

The Habs have been great this year, but we'll see if they remain great tonight as the basically St. John's IceCaps. Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, David Desharnais, Andrei Markov, Andrew Shaw, and Charles Hudon are all out; that's a lot of talent to lose, even if Hudon himself was to be one of the replacements. 

Starting Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen comes back in for the Leafs. He was great against the Devils, stopping 30 of 32, but the bigger concern there is that it happened yesterday. 

Carey Price is Carey Price. He's faced the Leafs twice this year. He was a 0.971 and that doesn't even sound that unrealistic to happen again. Throw as many pucks as you can on him and hope for the best.

What To Look For

The Leafs are coming into this rendition of the rivalry hotter than they were the first two times. Confidence is sky high, and that's important when facing a goaltender of Price's caliber. It helps too that Montreal are as decimated as they are, but they still have difference makers like Pacioretty and Radulov, and if you get into penalty trouble, facing Shea Weber is sub-optimal. How will this go? It's hard to say, but it would be incredible to sneak out a regulation win after two close-fought attempts.

Puck drop is at 7:00, on Hockey Night in Canada.

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Managing Editor of Hockey Content at the Nation Network. Just here so I'll get the opposite of fined. If you'd like to collaborate or simply have a question, email me at jeff@veillette.me