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LGD: Blue-Hot Maple Leafs take on Stinking Toilet Seats

It’s funny because the Leafs are blue and also blue is a hotter flame temperature than red. And also the Canadiens logo looks like a toilet seat.

Right. Anyway…

The Leafs take on the struggling Montreal Canadiens tonight in Montreal. It’s an excellent opportunity for the Leafs to continue their 5 game win streak against a team that has been obviously poor this season.The Habs have just 7 regulation or overtime wins (ROW) and have been outscored by a margin of 17. It’s not been a pretty sight for Montreal.

Lines

Here are today’s lines from DailyFaceoff.com. For the Leafs it is assumed that Auston Matthews will not play, but he has been stated as a game-time decision by Mike Babcock. If that’s the case the lines will stay the same as they were for the previous game against New Jersey:

It should be noted the Habs are without Price, Montoya, Hemsky and Lekhonen for this game.

If Matthews is in for the Leafs I imagine the forward group would likely go back to where they were before his injury, with a lineup of:

Hyman-Matthews-Nylander
Marleau-Kadri-Komarov
JVR-Bozak-Marner
Martin-Moore-Brown

Preview

Obviously the Canadiens have been struggling, and the Maple Leafs have been on fire. But that certainly does not guarantee a win. The Leafs’ offense will be a huge test for Charlie Lindgren (and probably Zach Fucale as well by the time this game is over… wink wink). Lindgren has actually been excellent for the Habs since taking over for the apparently injured (and not at all just generally starting to suck) Carey Price. His 95.67% 5v5 Save Percentage is 2nd in the league to Boston’s Anton Khudobin (96.18%), and well ahead of Toronto’s Andersen, who has achieved just 90.64%, good(?) for 34th in the league.

Unfortunately, that isn’t where the advantages stop for the Habs. They also are well ahead of the Leafs in both xGF% (54% vs. 51%) and CF% (54% vs. 50.5%). Not to mention the Habs have been unlucky, with a 97.5% PDO vs. the Leafs’ 101.5%.

All above numbers were rounded to the nearest 0.5%

Numbers-wise, this is a game between one team that has been slightly exceeding expectations (TOR) and one that has been mightily underperforming (MTL). Could be that despite the standings, this is more of a test for the Maple Leafs than the Canadiens, especially if the Leafs are without Matthews.

Tune in for this Original 6, deep-seeded rivalry match-up between the Leafs and Habs on Hockey Night in Canada (CBC) tonight at 7pm.


LGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PINT

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“Make the Pint your home for all things game day. We give away a free pound of wings during every game either home or away. 4.40$ mugs of Bud and Bud Lights.”