The Leafs are officially in the midst of their first losing “streak” of the season. Tuesday’s contest sees the 7-1 Anaheim Ducks visit town, which will be another difficult test for a Leafs team who have yet to really hit their stride despite being 6-3 on the season. The Ducks shellacked the Stars 6-3 last night, and Getzlaf, Perry, Jakub Silfverberg, Selanne and Mathieu Perreault, who is getting a chance to center their second line, are all off to hot starts.
While the hope will be that the return of Kulemin and Clarkson from injury and suspension will help the Leafs dictate the flow of games a little better, between an improved forechecking presence and more depth in offensive options, they’re going to have to try to find a way to compete better with who they’ve got on Tuesday. Clarkson will be eligible to return to action Friday, Frazer McLaren will likely draw back in on the weekend, and hopefully Nik Kulemin isn’t too far from his return, although he’s yet to skate.
The Leafs assigned Carter Ashton, David Broll and Trevor Smith to the Marlies for their 2-1 win on Sunday (Ashton scored the game winner in a 2-1 win over Hamilton), but have recalled Trevor Smith this morning as per Sportsnet.
Some Leafs links on this Monday morning:
Friedman’s 30 Thoughts
Important takeaway: The reevaluation point on Rielly is 40 games because a) that’s when his season counts as credit toward arbitration and free agency determinants (40 games on active roster); b) that’s the last game before Christmas, when he could possibly join the World Juniors.
Marlies highlights from yesterday’s 2-1 win:
Brennan keeps on ripping it up. Ashton with the game winner.