As a gesture of penance for under estimating the Leafs this year I will once again acknowledge the Leafs are better than I gave them credit for at the beginning of the season.
I will give myself cover by observing Matthews stepped into elite territory this season, Holl’s play has made the D better than last year, and some very clever cap maneuvering brought in Folino to stabilize the second line. And while at the beginning of the season many Leaf fans here wanted to ship Marner out, he’s had a great season as well.
The Leafs have also learned to play well defensively for the first time and it seems to have stuck.
As Lyle and many others have noted, the Habs have too many players returning from injury who may or may not be fully recovered. They have suffered from multiple personality disorder as a team, with the most consistent persona being bad. There are many more things that have to go right for the Habs to win than is so for the Leafs.
But in a recent TSN poll of 50 NHLers not in the playoffs the team that received the most votes for pulling off an upset is the Habs. And the playoffs are promised to no one ….
Are these the same people that said the Habs would win the North division. The same people who said that the center position was a strength for the Habs? The same ones who say that Price is the best goalie on the league? My personal favorite the Habs are built for the playoffs( whatever that’s supposed to mean) and the Habs have a balanced lineup. Even though Spezza would be 4th in points on the Habs. I guess that’s what they meant by balance. Are you also trying to tell me that a player who got over 40 goals as a rookie playing with Johanson and Kapanen and with almost no power play time wasn’t elite to you. This isn’t even Marner’s best year and you just figures out now that he can play. Yikes you should definitely listen to those TSN guys because wow and I mean wow. Don’t worry though Kotkiemi is the second coming of Bergeron so I’m sure the Habs will be better next year.
Well, you gotta admit, Price looked pretty good in game 1!
Will come down to goaltending Price has to be lights out and
Leafs goalies have to continue to be average for Habs to win.