The Upper Canadien
by The Upper Canadien on 03/03/12 at 05:55 PM ET
His last game as coach of the Ducks was against the Habs, so fittingly, the Toronto Maple Leafs will make their debut under Randy Carlyle against, you guessed it, the Montreal Canadiens.
What’s different this time around? The Leafs are 1-9-1, worse even than the Ducks were in their spell back in the fall, and the Habs are far, far below in the standings, staring upwards at the playoffs.
Both teams aim to change their fortunes with about a quarter of the season to go, and both teams are slowly slipping further into the muck that is an early summer. The Canadiens are quite banged up, with Travis Moen, Scott Gomez, Aaron Palushaj, and the ever-injured Andrei Markov on the sidelines, amongst others. If Carey Price goes, he’s hurt as well, but playing through it. Captain Brian Gionta continues to rehab from muscle surgery.
For Toronto, the season has turned on its head. Mikhail Grabovski, once the hottest player in the NHL, is now as cold as ice. So is Nikolai Kulemin, who at this rate may end the season with single digit goal totals. And then there’s the net, where the Maple Leafs have had problems galore, as both James Reimer and the Monster continue to wilt under the pressure that is Toronto.
Should be a great game, eh? Something like that. This rivalry always seems to produce decent hockey, but the Carlyle storyline should make tonight even more interesting. Look for a tough, motivated Toronto team to take the ice as the Habs look to gain some respect back in what has been the most disappointing season in a decade.
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About The Upper Canadien
The Upper Canadien is your one stop shop for all things Montreal Canadiens. Since the summer of 2010, I've been providing Habs related news, notes, and most importantly, opinions. As a blogger, I don't believe it's my job to report the news, it's my privilege to comment on it. You may disagree with what I suggest. In fact, you most likely will. But that's the great part about blogging: it spurs opinion, comment and engages all involved. I've really enjoyed all the debate and commentary from readers thus far and I encourage everyone to respond with ideas on lineups, trades, logos, sweaters, mascots, whatever. The Upper Canadien is a conversation for all hockey fanatics.
I've come to Kukla's Korner with four years of campus radio and three years of sportswriting from my time at Mount Allison University on Canada's East coast. Not only do I not have any professional journalistic training, after five years in the corporate world, I've spent much of the past two years completing an MBA. Business by day, hockey by night, I'm a Canadiens fan through and through. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do writing.
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