Game Day - Maple Leafs - Mar. 1
Ryan White, who was out with the flu, skated with his teammates but is not expected to play tonight.
Michael Bournival practiced with the team for a second day in a row, indicating that he is making good progress in his return from a concussion. Once again, he wore a blue “non-contact” jersey.
- Drawing in for White in a second consecutive game will be George Parros, who is looking forward to renewing an age-old rivalry with Toronto after a long Olympic break.
“You never know what’s going to happen after a break like that, but we’ve handled it pretty well,” offered Parros, who saw his team get a point in an overtime loss against Detroit before suiting up against the Penguins and helping the team to a shootout win. “They’re fun games to play in. It’s always interesting when there’s something extra on the line, with the playoff implications of [tonight’s game].”
- Lars Eller also weighed in with his thoughts about the Habs-Leafs rivalry.
“It doesn’t matter what the standings positions are, I think the intensity has always been there. You can always feel the electricity in the building when a team like Toronto is in town. Everybody is pumped up,” said Eller. “It’s a big divisional match-up, we’re very close in the standings and who knows, we might even play against Toronto in the playoffs at some point.”
- Newcomer Dale Weise, acquired just before the Olympic break, is very familiar with the extent of the antagonism between the two Original Six franchises. In fact, as a Vancouver Canuck, catching the end of a Habs-Leafs Saturday night tilt was often part of his pre-game routine.
“Playing out West, we caught a lot of those games before going on the ice. We had the TV on while get dressed up. I’m very familiar with those Saturday night games,” acknowledged the rugged right-winger. “Both teams are comfortable playing a physical style. We’re okay playing it too. I think it’s a lot of team’s game plan when they face Montreal, but our team is very physical as well. We always play hard. We have a couple big bodies, so we can play physical too.”
An occasional healthy scratch in Vancouver, Weise is happy to be able to contribute to his new team on a nightly basis, having played in five of five scheduled games since being traded to Montreal.
“I don’t know if anybody’s counting, but we got nine out of 10 points since I got here,” joked the Winnipeg native.