LGP 47: Leafs Look to Set Record Straight Against Habs

Matthews #34 celebrates after scoring Photo: Maple Leafs Twitter

It’s hard to believe that it’s in the second half of January, and it’s only the second game the Leafs have played against the Canadiens. The Canadiens are without some key pieces of their lineup in Slafkovsky, Gallagher, Monahan, Evens, Armia, Caufield, and more. This season hasn’t gone well for the Habs, but they seemingly always play a hard fought game against the Leafs. The Leafs will seek revenge for the loss in their prior matchup at the beginning of the season while not playing down to their opponent.

Leafs Projected Lineup

Canadiens Projected Lineup

Forwards

Anderson – Suzuki – Pitlick

Hoffman – Dach – Dadonov

Harvey-Pinard – Dvorak – Pezzetta

Ylonen – Belzile

Defense

Matheson – Savard

Edmunson – Barron

Harris – Kovacevic

Xhekaj

Goalies

Montembeault

Primeau

Three Things to Look Out For

Matthews

Matthews has been on a heater with goals in 4 straight and points in 8 straight. He has seven goals in that period as well. It seems as if whatever was bothering him is no longer bothering him, but we will see over the next week or so if he can continue the trend of dominating the second half of the season. Matthews has played a better defensive game this year, but it’s time for results to start coming in offensively from the defensive work he’s been putting in.

Timmins

It’s a few days before Brodie is ready to join the Leafs lineup. The last time that the Leafs were healthy on the back end, Timmins was the one who was pulled from the lineup. Tonight it’s important for him to play a strong game and make the Leafs have a hard time justifying keeping him out of the lineup. Timmins has shown lots of potential but has room to grow in his own end. He’s been a solid addition, but I’m not yet sold on him for a playoff run as a mainstay.

Aston-Reese

Aston-Reese hasn’t been noticeable lately. That isn’t terrible, as that means he’s not making many mistakes, but I would like for him to stand out a bit more. The good thing is that he contributes well defensively, but the bad thing is that offensive contribution is needed too. With new players pushing for spots and the trade deadline approaching, he needs to prove why he should consistently be in the lineup. I think he has been a good addition, and I like the idea of him being a regular in the playoffs, but I’d like to see a bit more from his game.

Samsonov gets the nod tonight as the Leafs take on the Canadiens at 7 PM EST on Sportsnet!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to follow me on Twitter @nathan_bondy.

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