Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pregame Preview: Canadiens at Maple Leafs (Game #49)

montreal canadiens vs toronto maple leafs 
Match Up:

The Canadiens (27-16-5) are in Toronto Saturday night to face the rival Maple Leafs (24-20-5) on Hockey Night in Canada. The game starts at 7:00 and airs on CBC and RDS.

It's the third of five meetings between these two original six teams, the Habs have already hosted the Leafs twice at the Bell Centre this year, splitting victories with the Leafs. Max Pacioretty had 2 goals and an assist in the last meeting, powering the Habs to a 4-2 victory.

What to Watch:

Montreal's offensive leaders, PK Subban, Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty each found the back of the net Thursday night in Ottawa, leading the Habs to a rocky 5-4 overtime win. Despite the 4 goals against, Carey Price was the team's biggest star against the Senators. Price had 40 save on the night include half a dozen highlight reel stops.

The Canadiens will have their hands full with Toronto's top line of Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk. Bozak missed over 20 games with injury but is up to 22 points in the 25 games he's played. Phil Kessel leads the Leafs with 22 goals and 24 assists. Kessel has lead the Leafs in points every season since 2009 when he joined the team.

What's at Stake:

The Habs have the opportunity to do something Saturday night that they've only done once since the second week of December, win back-to-back games. Toronto is just 6 points back on the Habs for third spot in the division, making Saturday's match up an important 4-point game.

Who's Out:

The Canadiens are still without Alex Galchenyuk (hand), Ryan White (upper body) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder). Also questionable for Saturday's game are Lars Eller and Raphael Diaz, both battling a case of the flu. In response, Joonas Nattinen and Nathan Beaulieu have been recalled from Hamilton.

The Leafs are missing David Clarkson (elbow), Frazer McLaren (shoulder), Dave Bolland (ankle) and Trevor Smith (hand).

What Else:

While the Canadiens will be doing battle with the Leafs, just down the road in Hamilton at the Copps Coliseum the Bulldogs will face off against the Utica Comets for Dskate Night. Dskate is a one-of-a-kind hockey camp for youths aged 8-16 with type-1 diabetes, they've partnered with the Hamilton Bulldogs to support JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the initiative was started by Montreal Hockey Talk's own Steven Hindle. The Bulldogs will be wearing Dskate and JDRF patches on their jersey's to mark the event. Learn more about Dskate on their website:

The Question Mark:

48 games into the season the Habs have 4 less points than they did during the lock-out shortened 2012-2013 campaign, but they've also gone up against tougher Western Conference opponents that they didn't have to play against last season. So, we want to hear from you, have the Habs improved, regressed or held steady since last season? Are some areas improving while others are regressing?

Let us know what you think, leave a comment or send us a tweet by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.


I won't be able to catch the pre/post game shows due to work. So I'll post my comments here.

This game could be a high-scoring affair, as the Leafs have slumped horribly since their fast start and the Habs have abandoned any shred of credible defense the past 10 games, aside from a couple of solid outings (Hawks & Panthers).

When Montreal tries to play the Leafs game, we get burned and burned hard. When we play our puck-possession game, we embarrass them. Problem is, we haven't played that game in a while and we tend to fall into the goon vs goon trap every other game against Toronto. Considering we won the last matchup....

The Habs have regressed, especially offensively. DD has value now and should be dealt ASAP. He won't be. He'll play out that contract. Lets face it.

Cudos to Steven Hindle on creating the DSkate initiative. Good work, bud!

I never heard of DSkate but I am so happy someone is having it. GREAT JOB!!! I have type 2 diabetes so I know type1 diabetes is like a job within itself for a person to have all there lives
As far as the game goes if they play like they did in Ottawa they will lose 9 out of 10 pathetic display of team defense they left Price out to dry.

Toronto-5 Habs -3..Isnt the Leafs the team Habs fans are always making fun of?? The Collapsitants will struggle from here. Anyone else notice when Montreal loses, it's Blamed on the refs?? FOR 20 Years now lammao.

I want to personally thank Timo over at HIO site for being one of the few Habs fans to tell it like it is, and lately, it's Sucked.

I read somewhere while Grieving for the loss of a loved one there are a few Steps we all go through during this process.. Now, just think of the Canadien's winning years as that lost loved one..The first thing is Denial, that step simply means you cannot accept the Mediocrity this team has endured for 20 years now, so you syrat denying what others are saying.. To those that have come to grips with this, that is the Acceptance part.. The sooner All Habs fans face reality, nothing will CHange.

And to those on sites like and HIO We all were at those sites once, and some were thrown off for Not accepting the losing, and voicing our displeasure over it.. But you dont want to get thrown off, so you agree with what is stupid..Those Morons are Enabling the Habs to keep on losing...Just remember, if Your house were on fire, and your loved ones were to perish, would you simply sit back and do nothing?? Or would you try to save the house and people you love..

#Guy, I was one of the first fans at Habfans site, that Coffee Club thru me off because I didnt like how Bob Gainey was running the team, and sure enough, while those Losers backed him to the end, and watched, while he left the team in shambles..Same thing here with Bergevin and Timmins, they are again doing nothing, but bad deals, drafts and bad free ahent signings.

Two things I am thinking about, with Bettmans revenue sharing , which Helps smaller market teamms financially , and Montreal Pays into, why not have Habs management give Less , since Montreals Tax situation is the highest in the league, help Us as well.

Habs suck. We are way too small (count the smurfs on the roster), we get outshot, we have lazy players (Bourque, Briere), we can't score 5 on 5, we repeatedly play "catch up" hockey (must be a game plan of Michel's?), Carey Price is a tad overrated, Michel misuses the young players (buries future all-star Galchenyuk on 3rd line), etc etc etc etc etc. Result? .500 team. Bergevin has already accomplished three major faux pas: signing Briere while talking of getting bigger, the 4 year contract to DD and not firing Michel.

I don't normally post on any sites, but get really Sickened with fans that say "Just accept the losing and dont complain" What a bunch of Cr#@p that is. One person that I always see getting none of the share of the blame is Trevor Timmins, Notice he is the commonn denominator between the Gainey, Gauthier and now Bergevin eras. We cannot afford his astakes in drafting anymore, alot more Misses than hits. And facts are facts, why do we have to go out and sign a Briere, a Parros or Murray, I mean, really after 12 years of Trevor Timmins, you ean to tell us we don't have a decent scorer, a decent Fourth line enforcer or a better defense prospect than Doug Murray. wow.

The best thing about Toronto beating us is that fans Finally have to look Inward at our Own team and stop saying, "Yeah, we're Mediocre, but the Laffs are worse." If They're Worse how come they keep Beating us.

The Worst thing about Timmins is he seem to not be able to find those players in the draft that combine Both decent size and skill You see him selecting big players with No skill, or small players with Some skill. I read an article on Yahoo Sports yesterday where they pick the Top 10 players for the 2014 draft that are the best skaters , and they All are decent sized..Anyone can read this article, Maybe Timmins should too...

Oh, BTW..Has Anybody ever gone to the site called Leafs Nation, I went there today just to see their fans reaction about last night's game..What I was Surprised to find was a couple of fans there with the Same Names as fans from HIO and I really would like to know what goes on here..

Interesting crowd here, lmao. I siply deal with facts and what I see, and if anyone thinks this team is headed in the right direction with MB and Timmins, well, do yourselves a favor, go to and Look at this years stats. Pacioretty and Plekanec are tied for the team Lead in Points by a foward, both woth 30 points. So, baded on where the team is at this point, there is a good chance No Habs Foward will reach that magical 50 point season. Now, how sad is that. Fifty Points. Not goals, POINTS!!

I have had a suspicion some Montreal sites are really run by Laffs fans, and don't want any Complainers there, so you get tossed off the site. Funny thing is on the Web, I've chatted with several other Habs fans that have said the same thing.

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