Monday, February 26, 2007
On The Outside Looking In
Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs. What more do you have to say. This original six matchup is always a gritty fight to the end, and with these teams being so close in the standings, it should be even better tonight.
It has been almost a month since these teams have met as the Toronto Maple Leafs took the game 4-1 on January 27th. Montreal's Alex Kovelev says he is 70 percent certain he will make his return from a elbow injury tonight while the Leafs still have many regulars out. Some of those players are Pavel Kubina (who had 2 goals and an assist last time facing the Habs), Darcy Tucker, Kyle Wellwood, Micheal Peca, Boyd Devereaux and Kris Newbury. Those injuries haven't stopped the Leafs though as they are 10-3-3 in there last 16 games. Most of those 10 wins have come courtesy of great and gritty play from Mats Sundin and Andrew Raycroft and some youngsters that have become key components to the Leafs.
These 2 teams are separated by only 1 point (the Leafs being the team down by 1), but the Leafs have 2 games at hand on the Habs. Both teams are chasing 7th and 8th place Carolina and NY Islanders. The gap from Toronto(10th) to Carolina(7th) is only 2 points which makes this game that much bigger for both Montreal and Toronto.
The Habs are 2-2-1 against the Leafs this year and are coming of a 3-2 loss on Saturday to the Islanders which ended their 3-game winning streak and the Leafs are coming of a 5-2 win over last place Philadelphia. Toronto's Andrew Raycroft will make his 24th straight start and Montreal's David Aebischer will try to get show the coaches how he can play as the starting job has been taken away from him by Jaroslav Halak.
With all the motivation that this game will bring, it should be a great game. At the end of the game, it will be close, but Toronto will come out with a overtime win.