Montreal Canadiens Kick Off Long Awaited Series Tonight vs. Leafs

July 28, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CANADA; Brendan Gallagher Montreal Canadiens. Mandatory Credit: Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via USA TODAY Sports
July 28, 2020; Toronto, Ontario, CANADA; Brendan Gallagher Montreal Canadiens. Mandatory Credit: Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via USA TODAY Sports /

42 years after meeting in the playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will meet once again starting with game one tonight in Toronto.

The much-anticipated wait is over for Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs’ fans as they will kick off their playoff series tonight at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Fans on social media have been going at it for the last week saying how impatient they are for the puck to drop.

The Mayors of each city even organized a friendly wager on Wednesday to spice things up a little, so there is more than bragging rights on the line for the winning city. The Montreal Canadiens have spent the last week hard at practice which is something that only happened five times in the last month.

The team and players admitted they finished the season rough due to the added fatigue of playing 25 games in 43 days. They said they will be a completely different team and not the one that struggled to finish the season.

Also, the return of Philip Danualt, Tomas Tatar, and Brendan Gallagher from injury, not to mention Carey Price, should give the team an added boost and confidence ahead of a series in which no one has them winning.

Price hasn’t played an NHL game in over a month and almost the same scenario happened last year in the Toronto bubble when people said he would be rusty but came out playing some of the best hockey of his career and was one of the main reasons they shocked the Pittsburgh Penguins in the play-in round.

Keys for Game 1 for the Montreal Canadiens

1. Have a good start: The Canadiens need to come out of the gates swinging and set the tone early, or a slow start to the series could prove costly and detrimental to their hopes of advancing.

2. Contain the Leafs’ offence: The Leafs have a lot of weapons at their disposal and shutting down Auston Matthew and Mitch Marner will be key to having success in this series.

3. Pepper Jack Campbell: Campbell will be playing his first-ever NHL playoff game tonight and Montreal needs to take full advantage of it, otherwise, if he gets in his groove, he is a solid goaltender that is tough to beat.

4. The Toronto powerplay will also be a threat even if it had a rough end to the season. The Leafs know it can get going pretty quickly so the Habs need to stay disciplined and not take stupid penalties that could cost them dearly.

Cole Caufield, Alexander Romanov, Jesperi Kotkaniemi are the healthy scratches tonight,  much to everyone’s chagrin. But Dominque Ducharme hasn’t ruled out bringing them into the lineup if needed during the series.

Next. Predictions for Round One of The Playoffs. dark

The game is scheduled for 7:30 pm and can be seen on Sportsnet, NHL Network, and TVA Sport in the French Quebec area. On radio, TSN 690 will carry the English feed while French listeners can listen to 98.5FM.