NHL legend Guy Lafleur is going against the odds and picking the Habs to prevail over the Leafs.
No wonder, the flamboyant Flower spent most of his career with the Canadiens.
“In my book, I think we have a very good chance, because we have had a lot of success against the Leafs in the last few years,” the 69-year-old said at a Zoom meeting of Fondation du CHUM.
“I have hope. It will depend on whether the Canadiens’ players are willing to pay the price to win. If you’re not ready to do that, you won’t win, even if you have a lot of talent on the team.”
Lafleur — who has battled cancer in recent years — knows something about that. The 1971 first-round draft pick toiled on five Stanley Cup winning teams.
He predicted the return of Carey Price and Shea Weber will help the Habs.
“The team will be reunited with veterans who make a big difference,” he added. “If these players come back healthy, the Canadiens have as much of a chance as the Leafs, even if they don’t have the same scoring skills as Toronto.”
And if you’re looking for something to get you in the mood for the Leafs-Habs series, why not dig out your prized VHS copy of the Canadian hockey classic, Face-Off?
This November marks the film’s 50th anniversary.
The film — starring Art Hindle, Trudy Young, Leafs icon George Armstrong and Derek Sanderson — told the tale of Billy Duke, a rookie trying to make it with the Buds. The coach, John Vernon, becomes alarmed at Billy hanging out with his hippie girlfriend Young.
Leafs stars Ron Ellis, Paul Henderson, Jim McKenney and Jim Dorey make appearances, along with NHL legends Jean Beliveau, Gordie Howe, and Bobby Hull.
It did not win an Oscar. The forgettable French Connection won that year.
SHOCKING BUT TRUE
Despite your justifiable suspicions to the contrary, Toronto and Montreal are actually tied in the number of strip joints each city hosts: 17.
But in Ontario, peeler bars are an endangered species and have been frowned on by the good burghers of communities large and small for more than a decade. So when a bar is sold or closed, that’s it since almost nowhere in Ontario is still issuing cabaret licences.