The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens are set to square off on Saturday night and after the last contest between these two teams fans are expecting an absolute barn burner. The last time these two teams faced off we saw a total of 11 goals scored on both sides of the ice in what was an incredible exciting and fast paced matchup.
Given that there are now such high expectations on the rematch you can fully expect that both Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock and Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien will be coming into this game with a great deal of preparation behind them. Keeping that in mind it should then come as little surprise that both coaches have opted to make changes to their respective lineups for tonight's contest, although it sounds like in the case of the Toronto Maple Leafs they will not get to make as many changes as they would have liked. Head coach Mike Babcock admitted as much during his media availability on Saturday.
According to a report from TSN's Mark Masters head coach Mike Babcock would have prefered not to play veteran forward Jason Spezza for a second consecutive night, however it sounds like the injury to Star forward John Tavares has forced his and.
"I told Spezz at the start of the year he's never playing back-to-back, I texted him last night & said, 'You want to play tomorrow?' & he said, 'Yes,' obviously. That's not our plan for Spezz to play back-to-back, it's just with our situation right now down the middle.."
The Leafs will also be substituting goaltender Frederik Andersen with veteran backup goaltender Michael Hutchinson, although coming off a back to back games that will not come to anyone as a surprise. The Leafs however will not be the only ones making changes.
According to a report from Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports the Habs have also made a substitution of their own for tonight's game against the Leafs. Lavoie reports that Mike Rielly will be stepping in these evening and taking the place of Rett Kulak who will me made a healthy scratch this evening.
I for one am very excited to see it play out on the ice, and the good news is we are just a few hours away.