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Game Journal: Game 60 - Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs



5:00 PM: Tonight's officials will be Frederick L'Ecuyer and Steve Kozari. Trent Knorr and Steve Miller will be the linesmen. Those looking to tune in can watch on Hockey Night in Canada, listen on TSN 1050 and follow the Leafs on Twitter.

Paul Hendrick tees up tonight's game below.






3:45 PM:
Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Maple Leafs and Canadiens.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forwards

40 Grabner - 43 Kadri - 47 Komarov

32 Leivo - 33 Arcobello - 15 Parenteau

38 Greening - 24 Holland - 26 Winnik

49 Leipsic - 56 Froese - 28 Boyes

Defence

2 Hunwick - 44 Rielly

51 Gardiner - 52 Marincin

50 Percy - 20 Corrado

Goaltenders

45 Bernier

31 Sparks

Montreal Canadiens

Forwards

67 Pacioretty - 14 Plekanec - 11 Gallagher

27 Galchenyuk - 81 Eller - 42 Andrighetto

41 Byron - 25 De La Rose - 34 McCarron

17 Mitchell - 24 Danault - 21 Smith-Pelly

Defence

79 Markov - 76 Subban

74 Emelin - 6 Pateryn

20 Bartley - 45 Barberio

Goaltenders

39 Condon

40 Scrivens




3:30 PM:
Leo Komarov is set to return to the lineup tonight. Here's what he had to say after the morning skate...

Leafs TV

On sitting out:

It's not easy, you always want to play and it feels bad to sit there and watch when you can help the team. It is what it is and I'm happy to be back.

What did you think of the club last game?

The competed good and played good and scored some goals. It's a great win for us and we just need to keep going.

Are you surprised with how well Nazem has played the last few games?

He's always a good player but he can always be better. He just needs to work hard. He's a great guy and it's nice to see him play... He can play better, he's a great player. I hope [I can help make him better], he makes me better.




3:15 PM: Here's what Mike Babcock had to say following Saturday's morning skate...

Leafs TV

How does the dynamic of the lineup change with the return of Komarov and Hunwick?

Well obviously they're real good players, they're good men and they're good leaders for us. It makes us a better team.

On anticipation ahead of Leafs vs. Canadiens despite the struggles of both teams:

Well I don't know much about them, I just know it was nice to finally win a game. We've played a lot of tight games; our games against Montreal have been good games. They've found a way to win each one of them. We've got to find a way to come out on the positive end of things. We're excited to play.

Have you seen anything different with Bernier lately?

I just think any time you're a goalie and you win the game it makes you feel better. To go back-to-back is a positive thing. The team scored enough goals and he was able to make enough saves down the stretch for us to win the hockey game. We outchanced them in the first period and after that they outchanced us. He must have done a good job for that to happen.

Do you have any sense of the feeling of the room ahead of Monday?

Most of our guys are just kids that got called up. We've got some veteran guys, they might have to move, they understand that and they understand the business. Does it make it easier for them? No. But, it's also part of the business every year.

How do you handle your veterans in this situation?

I talk to the guys every day all the time. The one thing about hockey is the truth today isn't the truth tomorrow. What I mean by that is everyone says this is going to happen -- you don't know what's going to happen as a coach, as a general manager, even when you're making the deals until it does happen. All the speculation is something you cannot control; it's a waste of your energy. If you play good today you get to keep playing in the League. To me that's what it's about. You want to play in the League.

What does it say about Parenteau that he's maintained his level of play despite the rumours?

I think you guys have him on that seat, I don't think the rest of us do. He's playing really well for us. He has played well and gotten better all year. Once he got skating, got some confidence, he plays well without the puck for us, he plays well with the puck and he has been a good pro for us and he helps with our kids. He has been excellent and we expect him to be good tonight.

Do you expect the younger guys to have some butterflies for Montreal vs. Toronto?

I think you should. The other thing about it is the national anthem and the pageantry before the game here is as good as it is any place in the League. It's exciting to be here like you say and I don't care where you're from, that's exciting. You should be ready to go and enjoying the game. I think that's a positive thing.

3:00 PM: The Maple Leafs return to action on Saturday night in a Hockey Night in Canada tilt against the Montreal Canadiens.

The Leafs are coming into Saturday's game off a win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night. Brad Boyes, Josh Leivo and P-A Parenteau scored for the Maple Leafs while Jonathan Bernier made 30 stops to earn the win. Bernier gets the start on Saturday night and will be backed up by Garret Sparks following the departure of James Reimer.

The Canadiens are coming off a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. Alex Galchenyuk scored two while Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Fleischmann added single goals. Mike Condon made 33 saves to earn the win. He'll start against the Maple Leafs.

Stay tuned for updates from Coach Babcock, projected lineups and more.

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