With a head coaching change in Toronto yesterday, the struggling Maple Leafs are in Montreal tonight for a 7:00pm match vs the Canadiens. The Leafs are in turmoil, winless in their last 4 games, with their own fans chanting “Fire Ron Wilson” over the past few games. Those fans got their wish yesterday, and the new man at the helm is Randy Carlyle, the former head coach of the 2007 Stanley Cup winning Anaheim Ducks.
The Habs are coming off a roller coaster type win at home last Thursday, with a 5-4 shootout victory over Minnesota, a hard fought win, literally speaking, with a few fights and cheap shots a part of the physical play from both teams. The Habs had a 4-1 lead which evaporated late in the third period, allowing the visitors to tie the game with less than 1 minute to play. Pundits again questioned rookie coach Randy Cunneyworth’s failure to use a timeout late in the game, especially when the team was killing a penalty during the final 2 minutes of play.
Montreal has struggled at home this season to date, with the second worst home record in the NHL. The Leafs however have a 1-8-1 record over the past 10 games. The teams have split the first 4 matches of this season to date, with Toronto winning the first two, and Montreal the next two. The Habs have outscored Toronto 12 to 8.
Montreal has lost another couple of players to injury, with forwards Aaron Palushaj and Scott Gomez knocked out of the last game, with possible eye injuries. Callups were made to Hamilton for replacements, and Louis Leblanc and Andreas Engqvist will dress for this evening.
One prediction to share with those who wager on hockey, the winning team will be lead by a head coach named Randy.