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Sports Liveblog: Kotkaniemi wings it for Habs against Maple Leafs

03:40  08 april  2021
03:40  08 april  2021 Source:   montrealgazette.com

Trade-deadline primer: Toronto Maple Leafs

  Trade-deadline primer: Toronto Maple Leafs After bringing in some experience and character in the offseason, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been the unquestioned leader of the North Division for most of the season. They now sit seven points clear of the second place Winnipeg Jets, meaning if there was ever a year for GM Kyle Dubas to push his chips to the middle, this might be it. Dubas himself has admitted that the team’s cap situation may lend itself to going after a rental instead of a player with term this year, meaning nearly everyone on an expiring contract could be a target for the Maple Leafs.

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Jesperi Kotkaniemi (Montreal Canadiens) with a Goal vs. Toronto Maple Leafs , 02/20/2021. Although Nick Jonas is no stranger to being on Saturday Night Live , he's never pulled double duty before as host and musical guest.

With forward Brendan Gallagher out a minimum of six weeks with a fractured thumb, the Montreal Canadiens will once again need to reorganize their lines slightly when they meet the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight at Scotiabank Arena at 7:30 (SN, NBCSN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) .

a hockey player standing in the snow: Montreal Canadiens centre Nick Suzuki chases loose puck in front of Toronto Maple Leafs' John Tavares during first period in Montreal on Feb.10, 2021. © Provided by The Gazette Montreal Canadiens centre Nick Suzuki chases loose puck in front of Toronto Maple Leafs' John Tavares during first period in Montreal on Feb.10, 2021.

Riding shotgun with the red-hot Phillip Danault-Tomas Tatar line will be young centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi on his off-wing. While a curious choice given his position and handedness, the Canadiens were in a rare situation of strength up the middle and could afford to slide him over temporarily. Now divested of certain defensive duties, the 20-year-old may discover the sniper within.

By the numbers: Kotkaniemi could be best fit to fill in for Gallagher

  By the numbers: Kotkaniemi could be best fit to fill in for Gallagher Coming off of their COVID-19-enforced break, the Canadiens won consecutive games over Edmonton and Ottawa and even managed a comeback victory against the Oilers on Monday that newcomer Eric Staal finished off with the team’s first overtime win of the season in 11 tries. But there probably couldn’t have been a bigger blow to the forward group than losing right-winger Brendan Gallagher for six weeks to a broken thumb. With Gallagher on long-term But there probably couldn’t have been a bigger blow to the forward group than losing right-winger Brendan Gallagher for six weeks to a broken thumb.

I was excited when Pär Lindholm signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs . The 26-year-old centre was able to have a great year with the Skellefteå AIK in the SHL

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Gallagher isn’t the only career Hab on the shelf: netminder Carey Price also got hurt in Monday’s game against the Oilers and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Jake Allen will start tonight.

Canadiens Game Day: Habs face a big challenge against Maple Leafs

Canadiens' depth will be put to test against Leafs .
Since bad luck has been known to come in threes, the Canadiens might be wondering when the next domino will fall. After losing winger Brendan Gallagher — one of the club’s most important players — Monday night with a fractured right thumb, the Canadiens announced on Tuesday they’d be without goaltender Carey Price on a day-to-day basis because of a lower-body injury. Price remained in Montreal to receive treatment while the team travelled to Toronto for Wednesday’s game against the North Division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m., SN, SN1, RDS, TSN Radio 690, 98.5 FM).

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