Showcasing a rivalry that never disappoints, the Toronto Maple Leafs will take on the Montreal Canadiens tonight to finish their fourth back-to-back of the season. The Leafs beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 last night.
The Canadiens are ranked 6th in the Atlantic Division, with a record of 4-4-2 and 10 points. Toronto sit three spots above the Habs with a record of 6-4-2 and 14 points.
Head Coach Mike Babcock said last night that Michael Hutchinson will start tonight, a respectable decision considering neither Montreal or San Jose represented an easier opponent in this weekend’s back-to-back.
Pre-Game Talking Points
Despite a strong offensive performance last night, fans continue to question the productivity of the team as a whole, with asterisks on Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner in comparison to their hefty contracts. Fortunately, they hushed critics last night when Matthews potted a gorgeous goal late in the third period, and Marner collected two assists and two high quality shots.
The Toronto Maple Leafs may be able to put their rocky start even further behind them with the return of Zach Hyman and/or Travis Dermott. According to Paul Hendrick, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see either Hyman or Dermott return next week. Toronto is certainly missing Hyman’s grit, and have been since he suffered a torn ACL in late April. Dermott’s input on the blue line will be a welcome addition as well. He has been missing time since he underwent shoulder surgery in May.
Projected lines vs. Montreal
Andreas Johnsson – Auston Matthews – William Nylander
Ilya Mikheyev – Alex Kerfoot – Mitch Marner
Trevor Moore – Jason Spezza – Kasperi Kapanen
Dmytro Timashov – Nick Shore – Frederik Gauthier
Morgan Rielly – Cody Ceci
Jake Muzzin – Tyson Barrie
Kevin Gravel – Justin Holl
Puck drop is at 7 p.m on CBC and SN1.