The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens will clash for the 6th time in these Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday night and after the Canadiens managed to hold off a late comeback from the Leafs in Game 5 there will be adjustments made to both these lineups.
The biggest news today comes from the Canadiens side of the ice with Habs head coach Dominique Ducharme confirming on Saturday that his team has lost the services of defenseman Jon Merrill for a significant stretch of time. Ducharme told reporters that Merrill will be out for one or two weeks moving forward which means that even if the Canadiens manage to pull off the win this evening he will not be available for Game 7 and could miss significant time in the second round as well should the Canadiens advance in this series.
Stepping in for Merrill will be veteran defenseman Brett Kulak, with the Ducharme's somewhat surprising trend of leaving rookie defenseman Alexander Romanov on the sidelines in this series seemingly set to continue.
On the Maple Leafs side of the equation there are also some injury concerns with the availability of veteran forward Nick Foligno still up in the air according to Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe. Although Foligno was on the ice for the Maple Leafs during their practice, he was limited during that practice and was described as a game time decision by the Leafs bench boss.
Perhaps the biggest statement from Sheldon Keefe on Saturday however came in the form of his comments regarding young defenseman Rasmus Sandin. Keefe openly expressed his disappointment in the play of Sandin in Game 5 and made it clear that his decision to make the youngster a healthy scratch was motivated by his performance in that game. Stepping in to replace Sandin will be Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott as per the Leafs bench boss.
"Rasmus is coming off a tough night and going with Derms would be the right move for us," admitted Keefe on Saturday.
The Canadiens are facing elimination with the Leafs currently up 3 - 2 in the series, but should they triumph tonight these two teams will face off for the final time on Monday.