Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to even themselves up with a few clubs by securing two points in a win against the Philadelphia Flyers in their final home game of the season. Meanwhile, Philly is trying to keep their playoff hopes alive in a crucial night in which the Rangers, who trail the Flyers by two points, are also playing and looking to oust the Flyers from the post-season picture.
The Flyers are coming off a win, but are 3-6-1 in their last ten – hardly impressive for a team looking for a dance in the playoffs. Toronto, on the other hand, has been one of the stronger teams in the league recently, despite coming off a loss. They are 6-2-2 in their last 10, and have a winning record of 18-16-6 at home.
As per the rotation in goal, J.S. Giguere is expected to get the start tonight. In his last 4 starts, Giguere has posted a 2-1-1 record, with a 2.41 goals against average and a 0.918 SV%. It’s likely he’ll get the last start of the year, but if not, tonight could be Giguere’s last game of the season and will be looking to go out with a bang to prove he’s worth keeping around next season.
Meanwhile, Jonas Gustavsson earned the Leafs nomination for the Masterton Trophy. “The award recognizes “perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey” and is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association” – TSN.
“I can’t think of a professional athlete who has had two heart surgeries in the course of the season and managed to come back and play as well as he is,” said Leafs coach Ron Wilson. “In addition to everything else he’s had in his life in the past year with the change (of culture), his mom passing away. It’s been a long year for him and he’s really playing well right now. Is there any greater sign of perseverance than doing what he’s done this year?”
Gustavsson has posted a 2.82 goals against average and a 0.904 SV% in 41 games this season, including 1 shutout.
Who’s Hot? Philadelphia:
Kimmo Timonen (D) 2 pts in last 2 GP
Claude Giroux (C/RW) 4 pts in last 4 GP
Ian Laperriere (RW/C) 2 pts in last 2 GP
Ville Leino (LW/RW) 3 pts in last 4 GP
Arron Asham (RW/LW) 4 pts in last 5 GP
Who’s Hot? Toronto:
Tyler Bozak (C) 13 pts in last 13 GP
Viktor Stalberg (LW) 3 pts in last 3 GP
John Mitchell (C/LW) 2 pts in last 2 GP
Jonas Gustavsson (G) 4-1-1, 1.79, .936 in last 6 GPI
Injuries – Philadelphia:
Mike Rathje (D) Groin (Remainder of season)
Michael Leighton (G) Left ankle injury (Remainder of season)
Ray Emery (G) Groin (Remainder of season)
Jeff Carter (C) Left foot injury (Mid-April)
Johan Backlund (G) Groin (Sidelined indefinitely)
Injuries – Toronto:
Mike Van Ryn (D) Left knee surgery (Remainder of season)
Michael Komisarek (D) Shoulder surgery (Remainder of season)
Micheal A. Aldred