Saturday, December 26, 2009

CHristmas Turkey Hangover: Game Preview 12-26-09

I'm all about post-CHristmas happiness; the sleeping in until past 1, the much smaller lunch portions than the day before, the realization that with the new HD terminal comes TSN2 (and Sweden-Czech Republic is on right now so forgive the rashness of this preview) and oh yes, the Habs have won three in a row and are back on tonight against the Maple Leafs.

The gift that keeps on giving: a classic Hockey Night in Canada rivalry on the ideal couch potato evening.

On the Habs' side, Tomas Plekanec has climbed his way up to the 6th spot on the NHL points' leaderboard, Andrei Markov's return has been a stellar boost to the powerplay and Jaroslav Halak has put on a clinic in goal, posting a .973 save percentage in his last three games. That's 133 saves, folks.

They won 3-0 last time...

  • ...and last time, I also highlighted Niklas Hagman. The Leafs haven't been part of many high-scoring matchups recently, but he has been a big part of all of them.

  • The usual ex-Hab suspects: Mike Komisarek and, recently named to Belarus' Olympic team, Mikhail Grabovski.

  • With 2 assists in Toronto's recent 3-0 win over Montreal, Phil Kessel will look to be an offensive threat once again tonight. He also has 11 points in 14 home games this season.

  • The Czech Republic's NHL offensive runner-up (behind Plekanec, naturally) is Leafs' defenseman Tomas Kaberle. While only three of these points are goals, he's been the setup man on 31 occasions.

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