Despite a late third period rally with quick goals by Phil Kessel and linemate Tyler Bozak, the Leafs weren’t able to mount a comeback over the Devils in their final road game of the season. The Leafs looked a team understandably disheartened by the realization they were no longer playing meaningful hockey. Hopefully the final game against an arch rival on Saturday provides a better send off in front of the home crowd.
James Reimer had a strong start to the night, with several impressive stops through the opening frame, but appeared to show signs of fatigue after surrendering three straight goals, including aÂ snipe byÂ Ilya Kovalchuk on the powerplay. Reimer was replaced by Giguere to open the third period, who fared much better in his first appearance in several weeks.
As the Leafs prepare for their final game of the regular season on Saturday against Montreal, Ron Wilson and the rest of the coaching staff will evaluate the roster and likely recall a forward from the Toronto Marlies. All signs point to Joe Colborne, who wasÂ expected toÂ replace Armstrong in the lineup after he went down toÂ injury, but was sidelined with a head injury of his own. It will be an excellent stage to audition for a full time spot on the Leafs next season.
The Marlies will get a new arrival of their own in near-50-goal-man Greg McKegg after the elimination of his Erie Otters from the OHL playoffs was followed quickly by a three year entry level contract with the Maple Leafs. McKegg is eligible to play out the season in the AHL given his junior season is finished but as an 18-year-old he cannot play there until the same juncture next season.
â€œThough this whole run the fans have been unbelievable. Itâ€™s been great for our young guys to experience a playoff-type buzz and atmosphere, not only in our building but around the city with people wishing you the best and pulling for you. People might not think thereâ€™s a lot to play for but at the end of the day, thereâ€™s still a lot there.â€
Check out Mislav’s recap of last night’s 4-2 loss to the Devils.
Paul Hunter at the Toronto Star review’s the team’s performance last night and reports that Mike Komisarek has accepted an invitation to play for Team USA at the upcoming World Championships.
Last night’s game story from The Globe and Mail.
There are several candidates for the Leafs’ MVP, but Steve Lansky makes his case for James Reimer.
Jonas Siegel’s preview of last night’s game and looks at the most productive Leaf’s since the All-Star Break.
Mike Ulmer at MapleLeafs.com looks at the optimism for the Leafs as they head into the off season.
In case you missed it, Jeffler offers his thoughts on the Tuesday’s shootout loss to the Capitals.
The Leafs ink their 2010 third round pick McKegg to a three-year entry level deal. He had 49 goals and 43 assists through 66 regular season games, while adding five points in seven playoff games. McKegg’s Erie Otters were eliminated from the post-season on Tuesday after dropping game seven of theirÂ series with the Windsor Spitfires. He will report to the Toronto Marlies on Friday.
Other hockey links:
Puck Daddy looks at the race for the Jack Adams Trophy.
Malhotra speaks for the first time since his injury suffered on March 16th and remains “very optimistic” about his chances to return to the NHL.
Funny story about a fan who made a wager with Blackhawks goalie Marty Turco by writing ‘Habs rule’ on a $5Â bill and sliding in between two panes of glass into the Hawks’ bench.
Last Night in Leafs Prospects:
There were no games scheduled in the CHL last night. The second round gets underwayÂ tonight, with Jamie Devane’s Plymouth Whalers taking on Jesse Blacker and the Owen Sound Attack.
Do you think the LeafsÂ should callup Joe Colborne for the season finale? Who is your team MVP this season and award winners from each of the major categories (top forward, defenseman, rookie and unsung hero)?