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Toronto Vs Montreal; Difference between Opening Night and Saturday

Lets take a look at differences between the first game of the season, and Saturday’s game between the Leafs and Habs.

The first difference is that in game one, both teams started with 0 points as it was the first game. Now both teams are in a race for the top spot. The Toronto Maple leafs have recently been on a losing streak after being one of the top teams at the start the season. This includes a 6-0 loss Monday night to the Columbus Blue Jackets, a 6-5 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night after having a 4-1 lead and a loss in overtime on Friday night against the lowly Buffalo Sabres.

On the other hand, Montreal has been on a points streak. Following the win over the Leafs they have taken 11 out of a possible 12 points in their last six games, only losing one game, a shootout loss to the Capitals on Friday.

There were slight changes to both rosters. Jarred Tinordi who was in the line-up on opening night was sent back to Hamilton a couple of weeks ago was replaced by Alexei Emelin who has been in the line-up for a few games after returning from a serious knee injury.

Another change was Douglas Murray was in the line-up after (being injured for opening night and not able to play). Murray took the place of veteran Francis Bouillon who has been a healthy scratch a few times lately. Bouillon has better speed but Murray has the physical presence and as goalie Carey Price said, “Murray is like a good goalie blocks the shots and takes them away when needed.”   He also brings a physical presence at the back end.

Other scratches who were scratched on both nights for the Habs were Ryan White and Michaël Bournival. They have had good starts to the season but it was understandable for them to sit out as the team needed more physical presence on the fourth line then anything.

This lead to George Parros being thrown into the lineup against both the Leafs. Parros played opening night, where he fought twice against Colton Orr (an ongoing battle between the two players) and on the second fight he tripped over Orr crashing hard into the ice.  He was rushed to the hospital because of a concussion. During Saturday nights game Parros and Orr fought again and both walked away without injury.

During the opening night game, Max Pacioretty injured his wrist after Orr checked him hard into the boards (part of the reason Parros fought Orr twice). On Saturday night, Pacioretty did not take opening night mishap lightly and he scored two of the four goals for the Habs. Other goal scorers for the Habs were Tomas Plekanec and PK Subban. On opening night Brendan Gallagher scored twice and Lars Eller scored the third.

For the Toronto Maple Leafs on opening night James Van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Dion Phaneuf and Mason Raymond scored. On Saturday night’s loss the only two goals scored were credited to two of the same players; James Van Riemsdyk and Mason Raymond.

Opening night for Toronto, James Reimer got the start in net for the Maple Leafs having a .919 save percentage, while Habs goalie Carey Price had a .895 save percentage. Saturday night Jonathan Bernier got the call-up for the Maple Leafs having a .897 save percentage while Carey Prica had a .944 save percentage.

Another big shake up for Saturday night was for Alex Galchenyuk, the nineteen year old was benched throughout the third period. One can assume it was for the ‘selfish’ boarding penalty he took late in the second period Needless to say he is young and will grow on his mistakes but it was a wake-up call for him.


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