GDT: Leafs vs. Islanders (7 p.m., Sportsnet-O)
The boys are hosting the Islanders tonight in what is a back to back game right after yesterday’s debacle. The Leafs have really put themselves into a can’t-win situation now. They fail to even compete with the Bruins, get laughed off the ice after getting tuned up for eight goals, and now face a team competing with them in the tank battle. Beat the Isles and get reprimanded for only beating the easy out and ruining the draft pick; lose again and many will want the whole team blown up.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Effort – nothing more, nothing less. Right now, the boys donâ€™t have the goaltending, they donâ€™t have the offensive firepower (with Lupul and Kulemin out) but they have to show they still have some pride.
This season, the Leafs have won all three games against the Islanders having outscored the New York outfit by a 12-6 margin.
WHO TO WATCH:
Isles defenseman Travis Hamonic has a goal and five assists in his last four games, John Tavares had five goals and two assists in his previous four games, giving him career highs of 31 and 39, respectively.
On the Leafs side we should be looking out for anyone who is prepared to give a full 60 minute effort. Guys have to be fighting for their jobs now. You can bet your bottom dollar that, with a new coach and after the post-January collapse, many players wonâ€™t be here next season.
The Islanders will be without Rick DiPietro (duh), whoâ€™s suffering from sports hernia. Our high scoring winger Joffrey Lupul is out with a shoulder injury, Nikolai Kulemin is out for the rest of the year, but Mike Brown could return to the lineup this evening.