Habs vs. Leafs: a playoff preview?

The Canadiens take on the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre in what could be a first-round playoff preview (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

“Could you imagine what that would be like?” Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban told reporters after practice Friday in Toronto. “That would be crazy, but we’re not thinking past tomorrow night’s game.”

The Leafs’ Nazam Kadri grew up as a Canadiens fan in London, Ont., and has fond memories of the Habs-Leafs rivalry.

“Canadiens-Leafs, Saturday night, Hockey Night in Canada, that was hockey for me,” Kadri told reporters on Friday. “I remember all my friends would be excited and we’d make bets, silly things like if your team lost you’d have to wear the other team’s sweater.”

A Habs-Leafs matchup would be a dream for Canadian TV networks and businesses around the Bell Centre.

“As a fan, I’d love to see Montreal-Toronto,”  Patrick Massari, part owner of Madisons New York Grill & Bar across from the Bell Centre, told The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell.

“I think just for the country and for the sport, it would be amazing,” Massari added.

Asked if he worried about the Canadiens playing the Leafs, who have beaten them twice this season, Massari said: “The only thing I worry about is losing to them,” adding that he has friends who are Leafs fans and wouldn’t hear the end of it.

“Whatever they rub in our face, all we have to say is 1967,” he joked, alluding to the last time the Leafs won the Stanley Cup.

“It’s all in good fun.”

The Canadiens did not hold a morning skate Saturday in Toronto.

Carey Price will start in goal against the Leafs. The lines at practice Friday in Toronto were: Bourque-Plekanec-Gionta; Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher; Galchenyuk-Eller-Ryder; Prust-Halpern-Moen; White-Dumont-Blunden. The defence pairings were: Markov-Bouillon; Subban-Gorges; Beaulieu-Drewiske; Weber-Kaberle.

(Photo by Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Preview: Canadiens vs. Leafs, canadiens.com

Canadiens and Maple Leafs renew hostilities, nhl.com

Habs-Leafs rivalry heats up, by Pat Hickey

Habs could face Leafs in playoffs, by Brenda Branswell

Leafs-Habs playoff series would rock, by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com

Leafs-Habs playoff would be “exciting”, by Toronto Sun

Bergevin has Habs set up for future, by Pat Hickey

Habs tickets were a luxury to GM Bergevin as a kid, by Stu Cowan

Toronto looks like “centre of hockey universe” from outer space, by Stu Cowan

NHLPA’s Fehr happy to be out of spotlight, by Dave Stubbs

Showing no emotion part of job for Fehr, by Dave Stubbs

Leafs’ Carlyle earns top coach buzz, by Toronto Star

Leafs’ Lupul clearing his head, by Toronto Sun

Maple Leaf jokes, by Stu Cowan

Subban’s brothers shining on ice, by Pat Hickey

242 Comments

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  2. Alvin says:

    Not much that hasn’t already been said I’m sure.
    Leafs play a very physical game on the boards and open ice hits.
    Habs carriers will have to have their heads up all night.Without Emelin Leafs won’t have to worry much about getting hit that’s for sure.If I’m not mistaken I remember Reimer saying something to the effect of…….” you don’t know how much confidence it gives us with those 3 guys out there ” referring to Orr, McLaren and some other douche bag whose name a forget.
    With Lupul and Grabo out the Leafs are a weaker team however Kessel is a hell of a goal scorer with speed to burn and Kadri ain’t no slouch either.
    May come down to special teams but I would think that both teams will be playing very carefully in terms of taking penalties.
    I hope Prust keeps his head as to see him get clocked would utterly demoralize the Habs.
    As usual it will come down to goalkeeping.
    May the best goalie win.

  3. 100HABS says:

    When was the last series between Habs and Make-Believes?

  4. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    And what will that LEAF FOR HIRE DON CHERRY say about OTT taking a charging run at our Future Captain? and how with the highest class our future captain tapped Desharn off, but then the warrior CUBE did the cheapshot artist in…

    CUBE has been doing justice for years, recall TUCKER…

    Point is, if it was his kissing partner Kadri, it would have made the front pages of the CBC for days…

    despicable, that CCorner…and it hasn’t even aired yet…


    The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
    GALLAGHER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

  5. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    will that PUNK PHANUEUF, back down from PRUST again?

    does he think he can manhandle our great VETERAN YOUTH MOVEMENT GALLAGHER/FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN??

    this is going to be a WAR tonight….a bloody battle… because we cannot let those GOONS attempt to injury our Youth Movement…

    along with an early lead and fast skating puck possession to take control of the tilt, we have to be ready to diffuse the goonery that will come our way against our veteran youth movement…

    thats where the N.A.G. element will have to come into play,

    problem is MT will probably be sitting 2 N.A.G. players, and I hope he doesn’t pull a JM and hope for the REFS to save us…

    The NHL REF SYNDICATE is at play and will push for the Leaf win.


    The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
    GALLAGHER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

  6. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …October 11th 1952 I was 5 1/2 years old …it was also the date of the very first broadcast of an NHL game

    …though it was played in the old Montreal Forum, Montreal vs Detroit, if I remember right, and it was Rene Lecavalier that was the play-by-play announcer

    …broadcast in French, or Swahili, I could not give a hoot at the time whether I could understand the play by play or not …I was just riveted sitting on the floor in front of the box with the rabbit ears My Dad had brought home a few dayz before, …watching black & white images (Toe behind the bench with a fedora, Jacques doing the splits to save a Gordie Howe drive :) ) …all I knew, as I pressed My nose only inches from the snowy screen, was …I was addicted for Life to My Montreal Canadiens

    …November 1st 1952 was the first English language broadcast of HNIC, between Beantown and da Weeds

    …one of the perks of being ‘older’ is the memories I have that most of You will never have

    …I ‘get’ WHY ??? the majority of Y’all think Beantown are Our most formidable rivals, but if You had lived those days of the 50s and 60s, You would very certainly know it’s the Turds in Turdranna that are Enemy # One :)

    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    • Ron says:

      How about the kids you grew up with that were laffs fans and since you only saw mostly Habs or laffs on TV you’d actually get into some very loud and almost physical bouts after games. The school yard was a battlefield haha. The first TV broadcast I seen was around the same year as you HIS and I remember sitting in front of the snow covered screen listening to the french broadcast picked up on rabbit ears out of the CBC station from Halifax. All you could go on was the raising and lowering of the announcers voice and could always tell when they scored. The Habs/laffs is by far the more meaningful to me.

    • Habs-zealot says:

      I’ve been a habs fan living in Toronto since 1966 and the rivalry with the leafs (and their fans) was always fierce. However, that rivalry disappeared a long time ago. Montreal has had a great rivalry since the 70′s with the Briuns and of course when the Nordiques came into the league there was never a greater rivalry than Mon vs. Que. Don’t forget that the Laffs and the Habs weren’t even in the same conference for a number of years and they only played each other once or twice a year. How can that be a rivalry. My two sons never knew that rivalry. They only know about the rivalry between Tor- Ott. However, I believe that the rivalry between Mon and Tor. is coming back. Until the Nordiques come back, if that ever occurs. I hope the Habs & laffs don’t meet until the conference finals. Now that would be something especially with the Habs winning!

  7. H.Upmann says:

    Guys, if there is a Habs Leafs series, don’t try kidding yourselves: you’ll be hating the Leafs just as intensely as the Bruins!! I know I would

    • Da Hema says:

      That is likely true, but it is the current artificiality of this alleged Montreal-Toronto “archrivalry” which is at issue. I suspect, for many of us, what is resented is CBC’s lack of professionalism when it comes to broadcasting national hockey games. The Leafs to me are a pitiable organization, and I feel sorry for their fans who have been so corrupted and perverted by failure and humiliation. But when I watch HNIC, I am nauseated by its announcers. I suspect this has been a conscious choice by CBC’s management to try to stoke interest –good or bad — in the Toronto Maple Leafs. But it’s all contrived — on the ice, the Leafs will always be losers. The real rivalry is with Boston and Philadelphia. The proof is in the pudding: if we were playing Boston tonight, there would probably be 700 posts here by now.

    • sevenman says:

      There’s no question that Boston is the more hated rival. A lot of the rivalry though also depends on where you live. As a Southern Ontario guy I can tell you when the Leafs beat the Habs this ain’t a fun place to be. Sure I’d love to see the Habs knock off the Leafs in the playoffs but the opposite would be completely unbearable. They’re still talking about that 6 – 0 game over two months ago. A playyoff loss to the Leafs…no thanks. I’ll take the Habs finishing 2nd over the Rangers finishing 7th in the first round and let the Leafs and Bruins duke out, one of them is guaranteed to lose.

      _________________________________

      Full-time reader…..part-time poster

  8. Da Hema says:

    TSN describes Montreal and Toronto as “archrivals.” It’s good to have a morning chuckle.

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      To quote Commandant who said it much better than I could.

      “I hate Toronto, and there certainly is a rivalry there. But, its just not like Boston. Maybe after we play them in 2 or 3 playoff series it will matter the same, but not right now. I hate Boston with every fiber of my being.” The Laffs Habs rivalry comes a distant 2nd to the Habs Bruins archrivalry.

      • Ron says:

        Too you Saint or Commandant who you say the Boston rivalry is on a higher level than the laffs one may be for a younger generation which it appears you come from. For us older gents on here, the laffs and Habs is far more real. Even the regular season games have much more meaning to alot of us. Growing up through the 50′s and 60′s we’ve been at it for 50 to 60 years in most cases.

        • Da Hema says:

          It’s easy to forget there are folks here who do recall the days when Montreal and Toronto were genuine archrivals. Goodness me, though, that was such a long time ago! Most of my life the Leafs have been either irrelevant or an embarassment (e.g., Harold Ballard). It’s hard for many of us here to get worked up over the Toronto Maple Leafs. To describe Montreal’s and Toronto’s hockey teams as “archrivals” just seems so forced and contrived. The only reason why I want Montreal to clobber them is to spite all the bozos at CBC. But that’s not much of a basis for a rivalry.

        • LizardKing12 says:

          That may be the case but you can’t deny that that rivalry has been quite meaningless for a while now. Since the last time the Habs and Leafs faced each other in the playoffs the Canadiens have faced off against the Bruins in 15 playoff series, including 8 years in a row from 84-92, and 5 times between 2001-2011.

          The leafs on the other hand have been one of the most pitiful franchises in pro sports over the last decade. The most meaningful game we played against the leafs in the last 10 years was the last game of the season in Carbo’s first year as coach when we had to beat them to get into the playoffs and we lost. Other than that I’d have to say we’ve even had a more intense rivalry with the Flyers since 2000 than the Leafs.

          I don’t doubt that once upon a time it was the most heated rivalry in the NHL but it is hard to argue that this rivalry has been anything but reminiscing about the good old days for quite a while.

          • Ron says:

            It all comes back to ones age King. As I had said to me it will always be the Habs/laffs because of those early years and the many arguements or fights that seemed to follow between kids growing up. It was installed deep then and will always be there for me.

          • LizardKing12 says:

            That makes sense to me. I understand your deep rooted hatred for the maple leafs! I hate the leafs with a passion, although not as much as I do the bruins, but admittedly it was instilled in my by my father because in my lifetime the Habs and Leafs rivalry has not been nearly as big as the Habs and Bruins.

  9. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    Betcha we get a whole pile of new members this evening, coming over to troll the old main drag here. And they’ll get a good percentage of the posts in as a lot of the less settled regulars here will be busy trolling wherever Maple Leafs fans go to have reasonable discussions.
    Ah, the internet.
    I’ll be here, hoping to read a perceptive level of hockey analysis and the usual dry humour.

  10. Stu Hackel brought this clip up (from 1932!) a couple years back, but I thought I’d pass it on seeing the Habs and Leafs are gearing up.

    http://www.letiretlebut.com/2013/04/as-old-as-it-gets-habs-vs-leafs-from.html

    The game recap notes the Leafs tried to use their size and strength to slow down the faster Habs. Some things never change.
    ___________________________________________

    Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

    • on2ndthought says:

      great footage! my, how the equipment and game have changed!
      loved the fact the the lines were just suggestions, the ref let anything close go…. and it appeared some guys played most of the game (the D catching a breather e.g.)

      “a cannonading drive”

  11. Today marks the anniversary of the Habs ’44 Cup win, ending what was then their longest Cup drought at 13 years. Some audio of Richard scoring two goals to tie the game up is included. Plus all the other Habs history stuff from the day.

    http://www.letiretlebut.com/2013/04/today-in-habs-history-april-13th-edition.html

    ___________________________________________

    Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

  12. Boomer says:

    Looking forward to seeing Phaneuf and Gallagher continue their battle tonight. Hope no one gets injured though.

  13. jedimyrmidon says:

    A key to the Habs winning: don’t let their slow and non-mobile D always force them to the outside, taking perimeter shots. Also, exploit the fact that the Leafs forwards like to hang out near their own blue line, always seeking to rush down the ice. Make them pay for not contributing defensively.

  14. Loonie says:

    @Ben(Commandant)

    Regarding Esposito and Radulov. They had one season together.

    Dismissing Esposito’s entire junior career based on the production of a linemate in one of three years is a little far fetched.

    • commandant says:

      The one year they had together is the year where Esposito became a phenom. When he was 16 years old, everyone was comparing his point totals to what Crosby did at the same age, and saying he was the guaranteed first overall pick in the 2007 draft.

      When Radulov left after the 05-06 season, and 06-07 came, Angelo Esposito slowly fell down draft boards.

      He changed from a phenom, to a good but not great junior player.

      Go Habs Go!
      Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
      http://lastwordonsports.com/

      • LizardKing12 says:

        His stats dropped off quite a bit without Radulov. Went from producing at 1.72 PPG with Radulov to 1.32 the year after and his last year with the Oceanic he produced at 1.23 PPG. Finally his last junior season with the Montreal Juniors he put up 1.2 PPG.
        Generally speaking good players produce at better rates the longer they play in junior not worse and worse every year!

      • Loonie says:

        Yes, anyone who can read point totals can see that Esposito was at his best with Radulov. And they can also see that he was very good without him.

  15. on2ndthought says:

    What would it take to get “like” and “hate” buttons beside the comments?

    “a cannonading drive”

    • kbhab4ever says:

      I would like those added as well, maybe if all would.. .

    • otter649 says:

      In the past thumbs up & thumbs down were used for comments although for not an extended period……

      • B says:

        PETA was all over them for that as the extra load really stressed out the already overworked hamsters (also the additional expense was cutting into Boone’s game day stimulus fund).

        –Go Habs Go!–

    • 24 Cups says:

      I think it would detract from the entire premise of why we all come here. Mike Boone used to say he wanted it to be a roundtable discussion like some guys talking hockey at a bar. Now I know what guys can be like in bars but that’s besides the point.

      Having “like and hate” buttons would only increase the ill will and hostility around here. There’s enough ill-advised mudslinging as it is.

      Now having a read and unread highlighter system (like on the old site) would be a giant step forward.

      • on2ndthought says:

        OK then: how about a “high five” and a “whatever” button?
        and a thermonuclear “let’s take this outside, buddy” button ;)

        “a cannonading drive”

  16. on2ndthought says:

    Habs / Bruins: hockey rivalry
    Montreal / Toronto: rivalry

    I wish the TO sports fans to be happy, so I’ll cheer for the Blue Jays, even in the World Series against the Nats or the Reds. Losing a series to the Leafs would be WORSE then losing to the Bruins (good thing it will not happen) :)

    Tonight it is our speed and discipline against their toughness and erratically explosive offense. We need to contain their creativity and maintain puck possession and pursuit.

    We have so many power plays for the same reason we have fewer hits. Puck possession. I agree it would make an interesting stat. So would “time hounding the other team in their zone” versus “time being hounded by the other team in your zone”.

    Last year, when JM got a lead, he would back up the D and the “TBHBTOTIYZ” stat is what killed us night after night. Now we (try) to play 60 minutes of the high pressure forecheck (and backcheck), and it makes the games (even those few loses) much more enjoyable to watch.

    BTW, I remember the mid to late 60′s ; that was as good a rivalry that ever existed. Two amazing teams!

    “a cannonading drive”

  17. B says:

    Undrafted Alex Belzile, a late addition to the Bulldogs currently leads the team with .7 points per game. He has played 10 games so far.

    –Go Habs Go!–

  18. B says:

    I wonder what the NHL would say if they were presented with a hugely endorsed petition to not assign Chris Lee to any more Hab’s games? Some platitudes (our fans are very important to us…but) followed by a swift rejection?

    –Go Habs Go!–

  19. jedimyrmidon says:

    I find it interesting that Leaf fans are supremely confident in their #3-ranked PK… they like to use it as some magic counter to the Habs’ PP, as if being at #3 automatically negated anyone’s PP:

    Habs on the PP (rank 5 (6?)) – Leafs on the PK (rank 3): 3>5. Leafs automatically win!

    Last year the Habs had the #2 PK behind the Devils and I don’t remember anyone wielding or brandishing it as a weapon, as if the Habs could commit any number of infractions and their PK would somehow almost automatically bail them out.

    It must have been so long since their last decent PK that they are besides themselves.

  20. commandant says:

    I hate Toronto, and there certainly is a rivalry there. But, its just not like Boston. Maybe after we play them in 2 or 3 playoff series it will matter the same, but not right now. I hate Boston with every fiber of my being.

    And that said, I live in Toronto… most of my family and friends and co-workers are Leaf fans, and I should hate them more just for bragging rights reasons.

    But God Damn, I hate Boston…… McLaren on Zednik, Chara on Paciorretty, Jack Edwards, Cam Neely in the early 90s, Claude Julien, Don Cherry, Jeremy Jacobs, even Rene Rancourt. Yes I hate their FREAKING ANTHEM SINGER. They are THE RIVAL, and right now Toronto is a distant second.

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • naweed235 says:

      “But God Damn, I hate Boston…… McLaren on Zednik, Chara on Paciorretty, Jack Edwards, Cam Neely in the early 90s, Claude Julien, Don Cherry, Jeremy Jacobs, even Rene Rancourt. Yes I hate their FREAKING ANTHEM SINGER. They are THE RIVAL, and right now Toronto is a distant second.”
      My thoughts exactly. Even their fans in the stands including their kids look like they need a good slap in the face.

    • Propwash says:

      Agree, the Leafs I feel kind of indifferent, but Boston…..hate that team with the intensity of a thousand suns.

      ____________________
      DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    • Bash says:

      I have a framed (and signed to me) Chris Nilan pic which says:

      “Buck Foston!” To Brian from Chris Nilan

      And I agree with the hate on them! Too many sour memories! Still I am developing a similar lack of respect for Carlyle, Phaneuf, C. Orr et al. And I have aways thought that Leafs fans were sipping a foul corporate koolaid.

      “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

    • Boomer says:

      I don’t like Toronto. I absolutely LOATHE The Bruins and everything they stand for.

    • LizardKing12 says:

      LOL I also can’t stand Rene Rancourt. Something about him just gets to me haha! Personally, the fact that we haven’t face the Leafs in the playoffs since 79 and that over the last decade the Leafs have been one of the most pitiful teams in hockey has a lot to do with me not being as into this rivalry as the Bruins. If I’m not mistaken the Habs and bruins have played in 14 playoff series since the last time we played the Leafs in the playoffs, it’s no surprise that emotions run so high between us and the Bruins.

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      Yup, Boston is the Habs’ main rival. No doubt about it.

      The Habs-Leafs may have been a true rivalry had the Leafs actually been able to make the playoffs since the institution of the salary cap.

    • Thurston says:

      You forgot Mike Milbury and P.J. Stock.

    • aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

      Agreed. Boston is The Enemy. Toronto simply sucks. Despite my hatred of Toronto for myriad reasons, I will admit that it is a perfectly fine city, except for the rampant gun violence. But it’s not anywhere near as livable, edible, and filled with beautiful women as my native Montréal or my adopted Brooklyn.

  21. frontenac1 says:

    Jeeze.Am I the only one not afraid of the Laffs? There”s something about the Islanders that has got me spooked amigos. Should be fun tonight, taking Mrs.Front out for some Sushi and Sake and then home for the second period. Vas-y Les Boys !

  22. Danno says:

    Remember when you could get in to watch the game for just 75 cents?

    Me neither.

    Game Day – Habs And Those Other Guys

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  23. Say Ash says:

    lol, somebody on tsn: “Regardless if grabo plays or not, he’s potting one in tonight.”

    so what happened, wolverine blood poisoned him?

  24. aHabGrowsInBrooklyn says:

    My 2¢, then I’ll step back.

    As an English Montrealer born in 1971, I simply hate Toronto. Everything about it, from their sports teams to their musicians, (Rheostatics excepted.) When I was young, all of the Canadian business interests headed down the 401 after some genuinely frightening stuff with the FLQ and then the near-secession referenda.

    In my experience there is a rivalry of the two cities, and the hockey teams are a facet of that. The fact that the Make-Beliefs were so dreadful for so long doesn’t matter.

    The other salient fact is that Montreal and Toronto were the only two Canadian Original 6 teams, and as hockey is “Canada’s Game”, the better of two teams would have ultimate bragging rights.

  25. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    CHRIS LEE of the NHL REF SYNDICATE will insure a leafs victory tonight.

    MT had better be thinking to protect our talent, WHITE and BLUNDEN should be in and on lines with our kids, along with PRUST and MOEN.

    This game with LEE and the leaf goonery …will require the Habs to be extremely vigilant.

    Our newly acquired N.A.G. element along with the play of the superb VETERAN YOUTH MOVEMENT has been the key to our success this season.

    2 facts that I have been resiliently echoing for the last 4 years on this board….

    but it appears that with success come complacency, and now without WHITE, ARMSTRONG, BLUNDEN etc… we will risk injury over a game that only has pride in the balance.


    The N.A.G. (North American Grit) effect is the only path to success…
    GALLAGHER = FUTURE HAB CAPTAIN

  26. habs_54321 says:

    I’ve been looking over a few draft scouting reports and noticed none have Jordan Subban being drafted in first round. We might actually be able to grab him with one of our 3 second rounders he has 51 points and is a plus 22 with bellville in the ohl this year.

  27. Steeltown Hab says:

    I’d like to see Ryder and Bourque swapped in the line up, pleks n gio could benefit from a pure scorer and I think a north south guy like Bourque works with eller galchenyuk

    ———————————

    Lars, PK, Galchenyuk, Pac, Emelin – @J_Perez22

  28. Small_Town_Boy says:

    Leafs beat the Habs 6-0 & the Habs went on an remarkable tear. What if it happened again on the 27th? That would ensure us a Cup! LOL

  29. jedimyrmidon says:

    You know what I’m concerned about?

    In games like this, the Leafs tend to become a dirty team – a goon squad: if they can’t slow the Habs down, they’ll try to take them out [for the season and beyond] by hitting them late and in a reckless manner.

    We’ve already seen that that team is classless in victory, gooning it up. Putting out Orr and McLaren to rough up, take runs and sucker punch the Habs’ players in what decidedly isn’t hockey.

    And Chris Lee is reffing…

  30. Peterpatch says:

    I am hoping the boys play with some intensity after clinching a playoff spot. Need to lay a serious beating on the Leafs.

  31. ABHabsfan says:

    A lot of people are assuming the Habs will play the Leafs, currently the Habs are in 2nd and the Bruins don’t look great. True this scenario could happen, but there are other match-ups that are just as probable. After the Habs mop the floor with them tonight, the old Leaf 18 wheeler could be heading for the cliff at break-neck speed. Heck we might get them with a 2 v 7 match-up, (or 1 v 8?)

    “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
    Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • jedimyrmidon says:

      The Bruins also have a laughable schedule facing Carolina, Buffalo, Florida and other bottom feeders. In fact, I think their remaining games are exclusively versus bottom feeders.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see them re-take the division.

  32. Psycho29 says:

    Just finishing a week in Florida, 5 games of golf…..84-88 every day…..But I miss my Habs!!!

  33. Habitant in Surrey says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2lXIiMnbWPM#!

    The George Mark Paul Stroumboulopoulos Tonight Show: ‘Let’s All Hate Toronto; The Movie’

    _________________________________________________________
    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY
    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=423049

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

  34. Propwash says:

    Chris Lee again? Does the guy travel with the team or something?

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  35. OK time to shop for the HNIC party.

    Beer-
    Ribs-
    Wings-
    Nachos-
    Taco Salad Dip-
    Defibrillator-

    There will be one Sens fan, 7 Habs fans and No Leaf fans tonight. Scaled down party in preparation for the last HNIC on the 27th!

    Remember April is Hug a Troll Month.

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    http://www.Sholi2000.com
    Custom Sports Figures

  36. Stuck_in_To. says:

    Taking my 12 year old son to the game tonight … he’s taken my reproduction CCM sweater and made it his own.

    He was on the street a couple of weeks ago in it and some guy stopped to show him a Habs SC ring from the 70s. Of course my son could no remember what year it was from or who the guy was ….

    The way 12 year old boys tell a story … sheesh. : )

  37. frontenac1 says:

    Rivalry my arse. Just look at those clips above.They”re in Black and White! I’m no spring chicken and I can”t even remember that.But,then again,I have trouble remembering last Saturday night .

    • Strummer says:

      It’s a rivalry once again-
      two biggest hockey markets in Canada and Leafs have won 2 of 3 so far this year- If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck..

      ______________________________________________________
      “It’s just an opinion – I could be wrong”

  38. 100HABS says:

    I fear the Leafs in the playoffs. I don’t want to meet them. I’m sure we’d win, but I bet they take out two of our key players – thereby crushing our chances of going all the way.

  39. Small_Town_Boy says:

    The only problem (for me anyway) with the Habs facing the Leafs @ the dance is to watch the games on RDS or CBC. It would ne nice to hear english but that english would turn my stomach.

  40. PrimeTime says:

    Tonight all the Ontario dwelling “closet Leaf” HIO posters will be out in gull force. Gonna be a great Hockey Night in Canada!!!

  41. NTTIAWWT says:

    Here’s hoping Chris Lee doesn’t take over the game (unless the Leafs get dirty, so there’s a greater than 50% chance).

  42. OK here’s some more history bits.

    This one has some audio from the deciding game in the ’44 Cup final, featuring a pir of goals by the Rocket, and the rest of things that happened on April 13.

    http://www.letiretlebut.com/2013/04/today-in-habs-history-april-13th-edition.html

    Sorry guys, but I felt the Hunter goal should be part of it.

    This one was recalled by Stu Hackell a couple years ago, but with Habs Leafs playing, it’s worth another look.

    http://www.letiretlebut.com/2013/04/as-old-as-it-gets-habs-vs-leafs-from.html

    ___________________________________________

    Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

  43. JohnBellyful says:

    So, if tonight’s game is a preview of a possible playoff series, does that make it a measuring stick that shows who’s the favourite when the two meet post-season? Possibly.
    A litmus test? Maybe.
    I prefer to think of it as a citrus test.
    If the Canadiens lose they’re a lemon.
    If they win they’re sublime.

  44. Propwash says:

    Good God, imagine the meltdown this place is gonna have if the Habs lose tonight!

    ____________________
    DOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

  45. The Dude says:

    The reason there’s no rivalry with the laff’s as yet is Reimer isn’t as good as the Habs second best tender Price.

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Roy? Dryden? Plante? Durnan? Hall? Vezina? You may be over-rating Pricey!

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • LizardKing12 says:

      Budaj has been an excellent back-up for the Habs and was stellar in the his two outings against the Bruins. However those happen to be his only two wins against playoff teams. He’s faced less than 20 shots in 5 of his 7 wins (although gotta give him credit for staying sharp in those games).

      You may not be a big Price fan, and that is fine not everyone has to love the guy, but you can’t seriously believe that Budaj is a better goalie. Budaj wouldn’t even be a lock to be the #2 on every team in the NHL let alone a starter anywhere. In every season where he has played 20+ games his SV% has been .905 or below. Be objective in your criticism of Price don’t just be a troll

  46. Mark C says:

    Kucherov had a six point night to knock Patty Roy’s team out of the playoffs last night. What makes this interesting is Roy traded Kucherov to Rouyn-Noranda this season. Anyone still think Roy should have been an NHL head coach or GM?

  47. sweetmad says:

    As I only moved to Canada 10 years ago and had never watched hockey before,I don’t see any rivalry with the Leafs,only what is in the media,which builds up the hype,the only rivals that I care about is the team we are playing on any given night.
    Anyway why should we worry about the Leafs,the answer my friend is blowing in the wind,and our speed can create enough wind to blow away these Leaves
    GO HABS GO

  48. Danno says:

    First of all, if I were a Leafer I wouldn’t count my chickens before they hatch.

    Is it true the city of Toronto is planning a parade down Yonge street if they make it to the playoffs this year?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  49. Hobie Hansen says:

    The Leafs do have some big boys in their lineup, no question about it. But take away their 4th line that will barley be used in the playoffs, James Van Riemsdyk is really the only big bodied threat up front for Toronto. JVR is the type of guy you have to worry about using his size to drive to the net.

    The Toronto defense is big and tough and they’ll deliver their share of bone crushing hits but I don’t think that’s going to stop Gallagher from driving them crazy in the crease or Subban blasting pucks home from the blue line.

    The Habs will own the puck IMO.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      If the playoff seeding is decided by the last game in TO, I hope MT plays a “Hamilton” line-up. No need to risk injuries to Markov, Price, etc.

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Dion Phaneuf remains their most punishing hitter, with some near-bombs this season against Gionta, Gallagher, and Subban. Can’t recall a Leaf D nailing any Hab like Ott did against Halpern, or Ott against Gallagher. I think the Leaf D is slow-footed enough that they refrain from hits that would put them out of position against a fast team.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

  50. frontenac1 says:

    As far as Fans up here in the Limestone City, Its Habs/Bruins Rivalry and Leafs/Sens.They hate each other.Habs/Leafs rivalry? Only hear that on CBC .

    • Lafleurguy says:

      Against the Bruins, it’s a fued, and I’m not sure it means exactly the same thing as rivalry. There was much schadenfreude when Marchand got conked, disappointment he wasn’t conked out. No schadenfreude in my sibling rivalry with my sister.

      “May you live in interesting times.”

    • Ozmodiar says:

      Habs/Bruins is the best rivalry, no doubt. However, a Habs/Leafs match-up gives the Leafs the opportunity to say “We’re relevant again.”. Conversely, it gives the Habs the opportunity to say “Oh no, you’re not!”.

  51. Sportfan says:

    Everytime the Leafs and Habs make the playoffs there are many times where it looks like we are going to meet and then it doesn’t happen, wonder if that will change now?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  52. Loonie says:

    For teams to be rivals they both have to be good at the same time. These teams are now both good at the same time for the first time in a long time.

    Look at every sport and its rivalries.

    NFL – Steelers/Ravens, Packers/Bears, Patriots/Jets(not so much today), Giants/Eagles, Saints/Falcons.

    MLB – Red Sox/Yankees(not so much today), Reds/Cardinals, Dodgers/Giants, White Sox/Tigers

    NHL – Habs/Bruins, Blackhawks/Red Wings, Penguins/Flyers, Devils/Rangers, Ducks/Kings

    There’s usually also a close proximity between the two teams but it isn’t always the case obviously.

    Personally. Outside of the Habs but staying in hockey one of my favourite rivalries was the Islanders/Rangers. Again, only when both teams were good.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Yup…actually the NFC East division is the only division in sports where everybody has a rivalry with each other: Cowboys/Redskins/Giants/Eagles…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • RetroMikey says:

      I disagree, even if both teams are crap, the rivalry is always there.
      For example, USC-Notre Dame is and always has been a big rivalry. You alwayshave 80,000+ fans show up if both teams had bad seasons.
      Just as the Leaf play Habs, the fans will always show up and you feel the intensity and energy in the stands whether playoff contenders or not.
      And that shows up in Hamilton when the Bulldogs face the Marlies in an AHL game.
      Leafs-Habs …..forever rivals as they say.

      “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

      • Loonie says:

        Yeah Flames/Oilers has been huge lately.

      • Lafleurguy says:

        You make a very good point; there’s lots of excitement in the air when they play, even in non-playoff years. It probably draws from each side wanting to be the most “important,” and “interesting” city in the country, because ever since the league expanded, how often has one posed an obstacle in the other’s journey towards a championship?

        “May you live in interesting times.”

      • HabFanSince72 says:

        Leafs fans like Retro like to pretend that there is a historical rivalry. It gives them the impression that maybe the Leafs were contenders in recent memory.

      • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

        US college football always has big crowds, no matter who plays.

        BTW the word “rivarly” implies COMPETITION. You can’t have a competition if one team sucks.

        “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

        • Loonie says:

          Yeah I don’t recall much of a rivalry between those two about ten years ago when USC was utterly dominant and Notre Dame couldn’t beat Holy Cross.

          • RetroMikey says:

            If there was not much of a rivalry as you say, major networks like CBS or ABC would not televise the game nationally and what about 80,000 fans screaming on tv with those cute cheerleaders and their pom poms as well?
            Rivalry is always there.

            “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

          • Loonie says:

            NBC has the television broadcasting rights for every Notre Dame game.

            And because they’re an independent any game with a big program becomes a national event.

            In addition, there’s a funny comparison to be made between Notre Dame and the Leafs. The Leafs dominate the national broadcasting on CBC due to their following and not their success. Same thing for Notre Dame.

            If you wanted an example for College Football you should have gone with OSU and Michigan

    • HardHabits says:

      Red Wings – Avalanche
      Flames – Oilers

  53. habsfan0 says:

    Paul Morris,the public address announcer at Maple Leaf Gardens.

    Listening to his iconic voice brought back so many memories.

    http://youtu.be/TmbGsuLkEJw

  54. Boomer says:

    When our Habs face the Caps on the 20th, it’ll be 7 games in 11 days… Now that we’ve clinched a playoff spot it’s about home ice advantage and building momentum heading into the playoffs. Gonna be tough on les boys.

  55. Timo says:

    Is there anything more to divide Canada than Habs-Leafs in the playoffs?

  56. Danno says:

    The Vezina went to Ken Dryden and Michel Larocque; the Hart, the Art Ross, and the Lester B. Pearson trophies were collected by Guy Lafleur; the Conn Smythe was awarded to Larry Robinson; and Bob Gainey won the Selke. It was 1977-78 and the Habs won their third straight Stanley Cup

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  57. Ian Cobb says:

    We will beat them on the score board if we keep our feet moving at all times. Quick shifts all night. Let them take the penalties, do not retaliate the little stuff so as to stay out of the box.

    Summit game tickets, News, Pictures and comments
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Montreal-Canadiens-We-Are-Fans-Summit/197390760316125

  58. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    If the refereeing is like this in the playoffs, the Habs may have some problems…sorry if someone already posted the Taylor Hall slash. How do two refs not call this? Pathetic…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a12ZMGRLasg&feature=player_embedded#!

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The Bruins claim the Habs have the most PPs in the league because they dive and embellish. I think a bit of embellishing goes on but the main reason the Habs have so many PPS is their speed.

      So when you mention the playoff style officiating, there isn’t going to be as many penalties and PP opportunities for the Habs. So that is a small concern IMO.

      However, the Habs have a knack for scoring timely goals, or have in the past, and their offense this year is the best it’s been in ages. I think they’ll be fine.

    • piper says:

      I agree with DDO. It is the officiating that concerns me the most in the playoffs. If they “let them play” the Habs will be in trouble against the bigger more physical teams.

  59. 24 Cups says:

    Jonathan Winters, the funniest man in the world, has passed away at the age of 87.

  60. RetroMikey says:

    Last year, there were many here saying the real rivalry is Boston and Montreal in hockey while I disagreed.
    Now, everyone is jumping the bandwagon and getting excited like a little Johnny and saying the rivalry is Montreal and Toronto which I always agreed 100% whether both teams were playoff contenders or not when facing each other.
    So what is the real rivalry to all the fans on this site?
    I’m keeping my eye out on some posters here who said the rivalry between Toronto and Montreal was dead and a thing of the past.
    Hmmmmm interesting.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      Reposted from the previous thread:

      I need to say this again: there is no Habs-Leafs rivalry. I have never seen them as a rival. It’s always been Nordiques, Bruins, Flyers, in that order. The other teams are mere opponents. Schedule fillers. They provide a different colour, a contrasting jersey on the telecasts.

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.ca/2012/01/maple-leaf-blues.html

      If anything, maybe anglophone fans have been brain-washed into believing that a rivalry now exists, after many fallow years, subjected as they are to TSN hype and HNIC’s resident lunatic’s homoerotic crimes. Most French-Canadian fans though are insulated from the Toronto media’s attempts to validate their team by comparing it to ours, and wouldn’t think of the Leafs as a rival. They’re a regular annoyance that has to be dealt with, like the Sabres or Senators. C’est tout.

      • HabFab says:

        You’re too young then. :)

      • piper says:

        For us Ontario based fans it’s always been Boston and Toronto in that order. I suppose you could include the Nordiques too for the short time they were around.

      • DadidolizedDougHarvey says:

        Even though I live in northern Quebec, and there are fans of all teams up here, the most annoying, unrealistic, full-of-themselves fans are leafs fans and I wish nothing but misery and hopelessness on them. I really dislike the Bruins, and their fans are brash, sometimes vulgar, arrogant but never smug. Leaf fans are smug for no reason, watch how they gobble up and throw back that “most valuable franchise” moniker. I’ll take arrogance over smugness any day.

    • Small_Town_Boy says:

      So Mickey, now that your prediction of the Habs not making the playoff went down the crapper, what is your expert prediction on the Habs in the playoffs?

      • RetroMikey says:

        Our skilled and fast team will have to put up with the no nonsense, cheap shots, physical bashing, illegal cross checks, etc from other bigger teams we face and yes, the referees will allow this to happen in today’s NHL…the question you should ask is will the smaller Habs like Gionta, Gallagher, Plekanec, to name a few be prepared to face these goons in the playoffs and if they survive, can their banged up bodies take them forward to the next round?

        “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          I was listening to TSN radio the other day and the leafs fourth line saw four minutes of ice time in a recent game. I imagine it will be the same in the playoffs. Take that useless 4th line away and they’re nothing to worry about physically.

          That also means the Habs will tire them out because they can roll four lines. The Leafs will be the ones worn down if you ask me.

          • RetroMikey says:

            RULE NO.1
            Don’t ever believe what the media says, you should know better.

            “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Naw it’s cool, I know how to read between the lines and know my hockey.

          • piper says:

            Hobie, maybe they’re resting them for the expected matchup in the playoffs.

    • Clay says:

      I’m staying on my bandwagon – I still think Boston is a much bigger rival. I do enjoy seeing the Leafs lose though. But they’ve sucked for so long it’s almost pathetic…to the point where i almost felt sorry for them. Almost.

      __________________________
      ☞ Montreal is the better of these two teams. No excuses for Bruins. Montreal is better.☜ ~ Jack Edwards

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      How can you have a “real rivarly” if you do not meet in the playoffs? How many time have the Habs met the Bruins in the playoffs compared with the Leafs? C’mon…

      “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      The Leafs/Habs rivalry has been dead the past 7 or 8 years because the Leafs have sucked more than any team in professional sports. It could be reborn but Boston Vs Montreal is a much more heated rivalry at the moment. In most peoples’ opinion.

    • twilighthours says:

      Come on, Boone. Stop trolling us.

  61. Small_Town_Boy says:

    It does not matter who the Habs face in the 1st round, nor the 2nd & 3rd!

  62. 24 Cups says:

    When it comes to major building blocks, I still think you have to go with the players that Montreal has in place. Toronto doesn’t have any comparisons when it comes to studs such as Price, Subban and Galchenyuk.

    However, Toronto has done a great job of bringing in secondary players who cost very little (in terms of salary and acquisition) yet help fill some significant holes in the line-up. Some examples are Reimer, Scrivens, Gunnarsson, MacArthur, Bozak, Fraser, McClement, Franson and Komarov. Rielly and Gardiner should help transform the slow defense next season.

  63. commandant says:

    My Pick at number 5 on the draft board.

    http://lastwordonsports.com/2013/04/13/elias-lindholm-2013-nhl-draft-player-profile-5/

    Go Habs Go!
    Your 2013 NHL Draft Headquarters, Now Open.
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

    • Un Canadien errant says:

      commandant, I’m really happy that you’re ramping up the draft coverage already, it’s helping me feed my inner geek, thanks for that. The reason I found/joined HIO was because I was searching for info on the Canadiens’ draft prospects in advance of the Nathan Beaulieu draft. I love it, and the development angle as well, how the Bulldogs are shaping up, what next season will look like, etc.

      This year’s draft will not be as high stakes as last year’s was for us, but we’re still going to have a lot riding on it, with all the second round picks. Looking forward to it.

      ———————————————————————–

      http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  64. HardHabits says:

    What a weak article about the Habs future by Pat Hickey. Thankfully there’s the HIO comments section or else many Habs fans would be in the lurch about the team if left only up to these lazy Gazoo articles.

  65. 24 Cups says:

    The reader comments are as controversial as the ruling decision.

    EDIT: Dave Stubbs just pointed out the irony if Woods happens to win the green jacket.

    http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golftalkcentral/woods-assessed-two-shot-penalty-drop-at-15/

  66. bjmmn says:

    The other day, Dave Stubbs tweeted the outcome of a Habs-Leafs playoff round: Don Cherry spontaneous combustion…lol

  67. otter649 says:

    Too early for playoff seedings – Ottawa/Toronto one point difference as well as Boston/Montreal one point difference……

  68. Mike D says:

    Premiere.

    - Honestly yours
    Twitter: @de_benny

  69. on2ndthought says:

    why? this is a good match-up.

    “a cannonading drive”

  70. Boomer says:

    I hope they don’t fight if that’s what you mean


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