MAPLE LEAFS (46-28-7) at CANADIENS (43-30-8)
7 p.m. EST CBC | SN | SN1
The final game of the season is upon us. All of the playoff positions have been settled and there’s nothing to really play for other than the pride of smashing your opponent and tuning up for the playoffs.
In tonight’s case the former would be preferable primarily because it’s the Habs. It may be a challenge as the Leafs have decided to sit Hainsey, Dermott and Zaitsev. Muzzin remains out. This is a nightmare scenario on display for the Leafs on Defense but if we’ve learned anything watching this outfit this season it is that they don’t seem concerned about much that makes a lot of sense to most veteran fans.
You would think they would have been tightening up their game, better attention to details. You would have expected to see a little more compete in all zones and more consistency from game to game. Nope, not here. To top things off it was decided after game 81 of the season that the back up goal tending situation was untenable. Game 81? Are you f’ing kidding me? What is this Carolina? Geezuz
As I said the other day, this team does not instill any confidence in me that they are prepared to do any damage in this years playoffs. I wont re hash the many reasons as we do that day to day to day here. Some of you will feel this is very negative but it’s not meant to be. I hope beyond hope that I am wrong and that the team is successful. I just don’t see it happening the way things have been handled all season.
On a personal level John Tavares could still shoot for 50 Goals for the first time in his career. Mitch Marner is just a single point way from tying Mats Sundin and Vincent Damphousse at 10th (94 points) for most points in a season for the Leafs. Unfortunately the Season record for most points by a Leafs defenceman held by Ian Turnbull (79 points) is likely out of reach for Morgan Rielly, who, has by any measure had a fantastic season.
On a bittersweet note Bob Cole gets the Game call tonight. His last of a 50 year career. Oh Baby! My favourite duo growing up was Bob Cole and Harry Neale. Mr Cole is a product of a bygone era. Calling the game with unmatched enthusiasm, painting a picture in your minds eye with his eloquent call. Thanks for the great memories forever etched into our brains Mr Cole. Wishing you all the best on your retirement.
Maple Leafs Projected Lineup
Patrick Marleau – Auston Matthews – Kasperi Kapanen
Zach Hyman – John Tavares – Mitchell Marner
Andreas Johnsson – William Nylander – Connor Brown
Tyler Ennis – Frederik Gauthier – Trevor Moore
Jake Gardiner – Morgan Rielly
Calle Rosen – Justin Holl
Martin Marincin – Igor Ozhiganov
Scratched: Nic Petan, Travis Dermott, Ron Hainsey, Nikita Zaitsev
Injured: Nazem Kadri (maintenance), Jake Muzzin (illness)
Canadiens Projected Lineup
Tomas Tatar – Phillip Danault – Brendan Gallagher
Artturi Lehkonen – Max Domi – Andrew Shaw
Jonathan Drouin – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Joel Armia
Nicolas Deslauriers – Ryan Poehling – Jordan Weal
Victor Mete – Shea Weber
Brett Kulak – Jeff Petry
Jordie Benn – Christian Folin
Scratched: Charles Hudon, Nate Thompson, Dale Weise, Mike Reilly, Antti Niemi
Injured: Paul Byron (wrist)
GO LEAFS GO!!!!!