Hockey Night In Canada, March 17th

By: Julien Quincou

Friday, March 16, 2018

 

Hockey Night In Canada, March 17th

 

Montreal @ Toronto

 

Toronto Maple Leafs

           

            In a game that means nothing on the standings, the Maple Leafs will look to continue their winning ways against, once arch rivals, the Montreal Canadiens. Unfortunately, the past couple of years have been a disaster in the French metropolis. The Buds have ruled the past matchups easily when these two teams met. Toronto’s youngsters will have to be careful on Saturday. They had difficulties in recent games against team eliminated from the Spring dance or fighting for a playoff spot.  Losses against the Sabres and the Panthers have seen Mike Babcock put emphasis on effort and consistency from his players. His squad gave up too many goals lately to his admission and Montreal will look to continue on that tread. As a team with a bunch of young players playing for a spot on the roster for next season, the Canadiens have been playing well lately, at least, they have been competing. Obviously the Leafs will get 2 points, but you shouldn’t expect a blowout.

 

Montreal Canadiens

 

            What a gongshow this year has been for the Montreal Canadiens. When most of the dust settled after the trade deadline, players started to drop like flies. Pacioretty, Danault, Shaw, Price, Weber, and the list goes on and on. One good thing that everyone in Montreal will get out of this matchup is that it will long time Habitant Tomas Plekanec’s first game against his old club. Surely it will be a strange feeling for the man with the turtleneck. Head coach Claude Julien has praised his players’ level of competiveness lately, especially goaltender Anttii Niemi, who is currently looking for a new contract for the next season. Unfortunately for the Habs, their time is not now, and it might not come for another 5 years. Montreal has close to no chance to win on Saturday, but they will try their best to do so.

 

San Jose @ Vancouver

 

San Jose Sharks

           

            The Sharks are in the thick of the race in the Pacific Division for a playoff spot. They can’t wait for Saturday to come; it will be a perfect opportunity for them to bank 2 points after a hard fought game in Calgary on Friday. The Sharks added scoring winger Evander Kane at the trade deadline and it has paid divided for them. Kane’s arrival has provided the Sharks with some scoring depth and, playing alongside Joe Pavelski, his making players around him better. Saturday’s matchup will see one of the best offense in the league of the best month against one of the worst defense in the NHL. Sharks win by 2.

 

Vancouver Canucks

 

            The Canucks are definitely fallin’ for Dahlin. With Brock Boeser out for the remainder of the season, the Canucks have not much to show for. Facing the Sharks will prove to be a daunting task, one they can’t accomplish. Unless… Unless the Flames really beat up the Shark tonight. Calgary and San Jose are fighting for a playoff spot and neither of these two teams can drop the game on Friday. The Canucks will have to be very disciplined as they penalty kill is atrocious, not as bad as Edmonton, but close. The Sharks will have fun on Saturday.