The Canadiens (1-4-1) are set to host the Leafs (4-1-1) Saturday at the Bell Centre. Puck drop is set for 7:00 on CBC and RDS (HD).
This is the second of six meetings between the two teams, the Leafs took the first game 2-0 on opening in Toronto. The Habs and Leafs have had very opposite starts to the season, and not in the expected way. Toronto is red hot, but they are coming off their first regulation loss Thursday against the Bruins. To say the Habs have struggled would be a massive understatement, the mood is sure to be tense at the Bell Centre Saturday but if the Habs can score early expect the house to be rocking, this is after all Habs-Leafs on Hockey Night.
What to Watch:
Carey Price will get the call in nets again for the Habs, he’ll be looking for just another win (which would happen to be his 100th). Cammalleri returned Thursday giving Coach Martin an excuse to juggle his lines again, he’ll get to have some more fun with Scott Gomez quickly filling Cammy’s spot in the clinic.
The Habs will be going up against James Reimer again Saturday, the Leafs goalie has gone 4-0-1 in five games this season, including a shut-out versus our very own Habs. Phil Kessel has been unstoppable for the Leafs as well this year, already amassing 12 points in the first 6 games.
What’s at Stake:
Jacques Martin’s job? Just maybe… but probably not. Still Habs fans are beginning to wonder when enough is going to be enough. A 1-4-1 record is not impossible to overcome, but with regulation losses already to Toronto, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, the Canadiens will know they can’t afford to give away points in this match.
Cammalleri’s in, Gomez is out. For some fans that’s a good news, more good news scenario, but looking down the depth chart Gomez would be a much better choice than some of the alternatives. Spacek has begun skating with the team and may be ready for Saturday’s tilt. Markov (knee), Campoli (hamstring) and White (groin) are still out with no set return date.
For the Leafs Tim Connolly (upper body) and Colby Armstrong (ankle) are long term injuries, while Clarke MacArthur (lower body) is day-to-day.
Anyone telling you they know what the Habs’ forward lines will look like in the second period Saturday night is lying, that goes double for the PP. It’s clear something isn’t working for the Canadiens, the man advantage has been horrendous scoring twice and giving up a goal against in return over 25 chances. Improving special teams will be Priority One for JM, something Kirk Muller would have been mainly responsible for last season.
Be sure to tune into Habstalkradio.com before and after the match for the Drive to the Game and the Habs Talk Radio Post Game Show.