Game #7 Preview - Canadiens vs Leafs
With more than just bragging rights at stake tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1-1) will face the Montreal Canadiens (1-4-1) tonight at the Bell Centre. The Leafs will be looking to bounce back from a tough loss Thursday night suffered at the hands of the Boston Bruins. Two things to watch for tonight are: first, can the Leafs put Thursday nights effort behind them and get two important points? Second, can the Leafs take advantage of the Canadiens while they are down?
The Habs have not had a good start to their season. While injuries have been a factor, they have struggled in most areas of their game. A win tonight against their rival Leafs could go a long way in getting le bleu, blanc et rouge back on track. Look for the Habs to be flying on home ice the first ten minutes of this game.
The Leafs will be without Tyler Bozak after the default top pivot blocked a shot off of his foot in Boston. The struggling Matthew Lombardi will replace him between red hot wingers Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel. Kessel will look to get back on the scoresheet after his invisible showing in beantown. Mike Komisarek (healthy scratch) and Clarke MacArthur (hip flexor) will both be back in the lineup tonight. Komisarek will play with John Michael Liles as he attempts to get back to the form he displayed in the first three games of the season. MacArthur should start the game in his usual spot alongside Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin. That line needs to get going if the Leafs are going to continue to get positive results. James Reimer is expected to be back in the net. The Leafs top netminder shut out the Habs in these teams only other meeting this season.
Lupul - Lombardi - Kessel
Kulemin - Grabovski - MacArthur
Frattin - Steckel - Kadri
Brown - Dupuis - Rosehill
Gunnarsson - Phaneuf
Gardiner - Schenn
Liles - Komisarek
Cammalleri - Plekanec - Gionta
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Cole
Moen - Eller - Kostitsyn
Darche - Engqvist - Palushaj
Gorges - Subban
Gill - Weber
Diaz - Emelin
Players to Watch
Leafs: Matthew Lombardi - Given a great opportunity tonight to play with Lupul and Kessel. Can the Montreal native get his game on track in his hometown? He will be a key player to the Leafs this season, and tonight is a good time to get his game to the level it's capable of.
Canadiens: Tomas Plekanec - The Habs top centreman needs will need to carry the offense tonight since Mike Cammalleri is just returing from injury and Scott Gomez is out of the lineup. Can the underrated Plekanec get the job done in an important early season game?
Game Time: 7:00 at the Bell Centre. TV - CBC. Radio - AM640.