Mitch Marner was a Leafs fan before he was a Leafs player, so a lot of the time, he has very similar opinions to those of fans.
He knows all about the Leafs’ long-standing rivalries with teams around the NHL, and in last year’s first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he experienced one of them first-hand, when the Leafs fell to the Bruins.
Today, though, he was asked about a different potential matchup.
Everyone in Montreal and Toronto knows how absolutely heated the rivalry between the Leafs and the Habs can be, so it’s no surprise that the star forward made it clear that the buzz around that historic matchup in the first round of the playoffs would be absolutely surreal.
It’s been four whole decades since these teams last met in a playoff circumstance. The last time was in 1979, when the Habs swept the Leafs in the quarterfinals, when two of those games went to overtime, and the Canadiens outscored the Maple Leafs 19-10.
Though it is very early to predict playoff matchups, if the postseason started today, it would see these two storied franchises facing off against one another, in a series where both fan bases would be hungry to see their respective Stanley Cup droughts end.
Tonight, the Leafs visit the Les Canadiens on the road at the Bell Centre, and while tonight’s game will be at the forefront, we wouldn’t be surprised if the atmosphere at the game was similar to that of a playoff match, with the Habs hot on the tails of the Buds in the standings.