Saturday, March 17, 2007

Much More Than An Original 6 Matchup

Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs will face off against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. These teams are neck and neck in the Eastern Conference race for 8th and there is a lot at stake for both teams tonight.

It will be a very even matchup as both teams will be a little fatigued as they both played games on Friday night. That Friday night, the Leafs faced the Capitals and the Habs played the Penguins. Both got creamed as they gave up goals and chances they shouldn't of.

A big part of the game tonight will be the special teams. The Leafs have been horrific lately on the penalty kill and on the powerplay while the Habs have been great in both those departments all year. "Our power play has been good all year, and that gave us a chance to come back in the game tonight," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said Friday." If the leafs get into penalty trouble, their penalty kill will not be able to hold back the powerful Canadien powerplay.

Another key factor tonight will be the 5-5 play of each team. Both have had troubles 5-5 lately and will need to be better to win. When asked about the 5-5 play of his team after their loss to the Penguins, Guy Carbonneau said Friday, "We obviously need more 5-on-5 and tonight that wasn't the case."

With the always great Habs fans and the overall excitement of an original 6 match up like this, it should be a great game, but I see the Leafs pulling this one out in either overtime, a shootout or late in regulation.

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