Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tonight's Habs/Leafs Game A Playoff Preview?, Brian Gionta, Habs Depth And More...

Good Morning Addicts!

Michael Ryder has been on a tear since re-joining the Habs
notching 20 points in as many games.
There's nothing like Saturday night hockey between the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs, especially now the Leafs are somewhat relevant!

With Toronto poised to make it to the post season for the first time in seven years, it marks the first time since before the 2004-05 lockout that a match up between these rivals this late in the season actually matters for both teams.

What makes it more interesting is the strong possibility that the Habs and Leafs could very well meet in the first round of the playoffs. Toronto currently leads the season series with a 2-1 edge earning a 2-1 victory in the Habs season opener and a 6-0 blowout in February.

Since the embarassment at the hands of the Leafs however, the Habs have gone 20-5-5 including a 5-2 victory over the Leafs.

A big difference between tonight's game and the previous three between the two clubs is the presence of Michael Ryder. The 5-2 win over Toronto was Ryder's first game in his second stint as a Hab and he played without practicing with the Canadiens and on very little sleep after the trade that brought him to Montreal in exchange for Erik Cole.

Since that game Ryder has accumulated 20 points in 19 games.

Montreal will be heading into tonight's tilt without forward Colby Armstrong (knee) and defencemen Alexei Emelin (knee) and Raphael Diaz (Concussion). Nathan Beaulieu who was called up to replace Emelin played extremely well in Thursday night's 5-1 drubbing over the Sabres with 16:50 minutes of ice time while registering four shots on net and posting a +2 rating.

Toronto will be playing without forward Joffrey Lupul (concussion) and Mikhail Grabovski could be a game time decision.

Habs And Hockey News

- Our own Fred Poulin (@FredPoulin98) takes a look at the Habs possible playoff match-ups.

- Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) continues his half season review series on Habs players with captain Brian Gionta.

- Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) of provides a piece concentrating on the Habs balancing their offence with depth.

- Chris Johnston of writes up on what's driving P.K Subban to a possible Norris Trophy nod this season.

(Photo by Bernard Brault, La Presse)


Living in Toronto, Leaf fans are convinced they'd take us in a series.

Its funny, the first game was a close battle, then we exchanged blowouts. When Montreal wins the next 2, their confidence will turn very quickly. They might prefer Boston afterall.

thanks for always posting.

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