January 18th, 2014.
For most, the date holds little significance, just another run of the mill Saturday in the heart of winter.
Yes, that's right, thanks to Andrew Shaw's dramatic overtime winner Saturday night, the Habs own a 14-game winning streak over their oldest rival, and will take the streak into the fall at least, as the season-series concluded with the agitator's slick finish in extra time.
The numbers, they do not lie:
|March 1st 2014||4-3 MTL|
|March 22nd 2014||4-3 MTL|
|October 8th 2014||4-3 MTL|
|February 14th 2015||2-1 MTL (SO)|
|February 28th 2015||4-0 MTL|
|April 11th 2015||4-3 MTL (SO)|
|October 7th 2015||3-1 MTL|
|October 24th 2015||5-3 MTL|
|January 23th 2016||3-2 MTL (SO)|
|February 27th 2016||4-1 MTL|
|October 29th 2016||2-1 MTL|
|November 19th 2016||2-1 MTL|
|January 7th 2017||5-3 MTL|
|February 25th 2017||3-2 MTL (OT)|
Those are the results since Toronto's most recent triumph over Montreal, over three years ago now, when Phil Kessel assisted James van Riemsdyk's third period game-winning goal en route to a 5-3 victory.
It's no secret, but both clubs have undergone drastic changes throughout Montreal's streak.
Only five players remain on Toronto's active roster since its last win over the Canadiens: Van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak, Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly. Not to mention, a new coach, general manager, and team president.
Despite the continued one-sided results, Saturday's contest offered something new: significance.
For the first time in a long time, Montreal and Toronto dueled with more than just pride on the line. Both teams are in the middle of a wide-open race in the Atlantic Division, and Saturday's electric atmosphere should serve as a barometer of what's in store for years to come.
Both the Maple Leafs and Canadiens find themselves in better positions for success than they did three years ago, and based on this season's narrow results, the historic rivalry is heating up once again.