Gameday Preview: Toronto at Montreal, RIP Pat Burns

Again, I’m on the run (in the middle of a 3-state move), but how much really needs to be said about a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens? It doesn’t matter who’s in net (Jonas Gustavsson and Carey Price), it doesn’t matter if a star defenseman is injured (Andrei Markov, Dion Phaneuf), the game is going to be good. Good news for the Leafs, the Monster is actually 2-0-1 with a 2.06 GAA, according to ESPN, against the Habs in his career. Game starts at 7:00, and for those of us in the States, we’ll be able to see it on NHL Network.

On a more serious note, Pat Burns passed away at the age of 58 this week. I’m not going to get into a long session about the accomplishments that Pat Burns achieved over the course of his coaching career, since it’s already been extolled in numerous other places. What I will remark is that Pat Burns was the first coach that I remember behind the bench of the Leafs, as Clark and Gilmour forever emblazoned a love of the Buds in my heart. I remember Burns trying to fight Barry Melrose, during the Kings-Leafs Conference Final in ’92, while my Leaf-loving parents screamed at the TV. I think it’s a damn shame that the Hockey Hall of Fame committee couldn’t get their heads out of their asses long enough to bestow a much-deserved honor on a man in the last days of his life, but the members of the voting panel will have that to live with for the rest of their hockey careers. Pat Burns, you will be missed.

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