Home Game Day Game Preview: Leafs vs. Ducks

Game Preview: Leafs vs. Ducks

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The Anaheim Ducks come into Toronto tonight looking to notch their eighth straight victory. Randy Carlyle would like nothing more than to spoil the streak on his former team.

Carlyle, toeing the line between demanding better and jumping all over his team despite being 6-3 with injuries, chose to let the team off relatively easy at practice yesterday, hoping to flush the negatives of the Chicago game and reset the mindset for tonight’s game.

Let’s hope this isn’t just another boring, methodical road game for the team visiting the ACC, as it has been when Colorado, Minnesota and Carolina came to town. It would be nice to see the Leafs finish a few more checks and inject some some passion into their game.

The Leafs also must activate their speed better and shore up their breakout if they’re going to have any chance tonight against a Ducks team that is lighting it up in the early season. They’re scoring at a 3rd-best 3.62 goals-per-game rate and their shooting percentage is below 10%; this is a team that has been tilting the ice in their favour, putting over 37 shots a game on their opponents’ goalie.

Speaking of which, Jonathan Bernier is expected to start for the Leafs, as the preference seems to be to have Bernier in net for the previously rarely-seen Western opponents. The Leafs should have taken a lesson from Chicago that Bernier is human and no goalie can be expected to steal a game routinely when facing over 40 shots.

The Ducks have been getting solid contributions from lines 1-3 this season. Dustin Penner being out will throw their lines a little out of whack, but Getzlaf and Perry each have nine points, second line center Mathieu Perrault has a point a game, Selanne and Silfverberg have six apiece, while Cogliano and Winnick have also been chipping in offensively with four points each.

The Ducks’ defence looks like it could be weak, but has been getting the job done with support from their forwards and goaltenders; Hampus Lindholm, besides having a hilarious first name, was the defenceman drafted one behind Morgan Rielly in the 2012 draft and has been playing 19 minutes a game for the Ducks. Coming from overseas and not the CHL gave him the advantage of being able to spend some time in the AHL last season. Rookie Sami Vatanen has been averaging 18 and a half minutes. The underrated veteran Francois Beauchemin has been clocking 21 minutes a game while Cam Fowler has been leading the Anaheim defence core in playing 23 all-situations minutes.

Jonas Hiller will start for the Ducks in net. He’s a perfect 4-0 on the season with a 2.01 GAA and a .937 save percentage.

The Leafs do carry the special teams advantage based on the numbers so far this season. The Ducks’ PP is converting at a sub-10% success rate, which also speaks to their 5 on 5 dominance in the first eight games.

Pregame Hangout Show (from yesterday):

 
Leafs
Ducks
Record6-3-07-1-0
GF/G3.22 (7th)3.62 (3rd)
GA/G2.44 (11th)2.38 (10th)
SF/G27.2 (26th)37.6 (2nd)
SA/G35.6 (28th)30.9 (16th)
PP27.8% (2nd)9.4% (28th)
PK85.3% (7th)78.6% (22nd)
5 on 5 F/A1.0 (15th)2.09 (2nd)
Sh%11.8% (3rd)9.7% (11th)
Sv%93.1% (4th)92.3% (8th)
FO%45.4% (26th)50.7% (14th)

Last Meeting:

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. Contact him at [email protected]
168 comments
LFJeremy
LFJeremy moderator

Test from iPhone

LeafsForLife
LeafsForLife

Great look to the site but one problem is that the "comments-interview at the top remain over the writing of everything else. Is there a way to remove that please???

Jordan29
Jordan29

Whats the Kulikov talk about too? I know we would want him and hes available, but whats the rumored asking price (I will then take that and divide it by 2 because of the media idiocy factor)

deedrag
deedrag

I don't know why but Bernier's attitude reminds me of Ron Hextall. Where as Reimer's reminds me of Pelle Lindbergh.Its great when you can have a combo like that. Philly could've had cups if Pelle hadn't of died so early.

mike_84
mike_84

Does anyone think Riems should be in net tonight?

MikeGartner11
MikeGartner11

You would think the Leafs are 0-9 on here....

Jay31
Jay31

Anyone know how I can change my avatar?

whalz
whalz

anyone read the Sportsnet rumour pae? accoding to Damien Cox leafs are looking at Kulikov? hmmm interesting...

deedrag
deedrag

Does anyone else think that every time the leafs start to slack off, that RC should constantly remind them how shamefully they played in the 3rd period of game 7. How you don't ever and I mean never, want to have to feel that again? It feels like they've forgotten instead of using it as motivation.

mike_84
mike_84

Seems people are carrying on the Richards show here and suggesting music for the leafs. Richards shot down mine. Heart - Crazy on you. said that it was to classic rock. I just thought a Clarkson montage with his crazy  intense stare would work with it. 

JR from Halifax
JR from Halifax

Hello my name is JR and I love the leafs......just testing from my iPad. Seems to work well.

TheCanucksnaphook
TheCanucksnaphook

AB...I love how crisp the site looks.  Great work as per usual.

ProfessorRance
ProfessorRance

@whalz Kid's got big potential. But we don't have cap space and we have too many d. Interesting though. 

Dangle_My_Berries
Dangle_My_Berries

@whalz interesting....dont know much about Kulikov myself though....whats he project to?

Conis
Conis

Oh the good ol days when the leafs caught and showed emotion

mike_84
mike_84

@deedrag I'm hoping Randy shouldn't have to. Thats when you should see Dion and Joffery giving it to the boys. Maybe Clarkson as well.

ShiftyD
ShiftyD

That shit music of theirs may explain a lot when it comes to the style of play we've witnessed. Soft, lacking emotion, uninspired. Someone needs to take control of their tunes. ;)

ShiftyD
ShiftyD

@wendelsway1 Rock out with your..............er.........as you were.\m/     \m/  LOL

JMAC17
JMAC17

@wendelsway1 yeah really...pretty lame victory song...

this is awesome though 

MikeGartner11
MikeGartner11

@TheCanucksnaphook @MikeGartner11 MLHS...some of the comments make us sound just awful this year. I don't want to lose 3 in a row either, but you'd think we had a full roster and were 0-9 based on some of the panic 

whalz
whalz

thanks CANUCK UK

whalz
whalz

well all the rumours floating about Gards,,thats the only thing i could see.....Maybe??? i have  no idea, just mentioning what i read at sportnet website.....

whalz
whalz

makes 3mil now, rfa at seasons end..........was a former 1st rd pick......good dman but id rather a Grudbranson,,,,

whalz
whalz

for some reason i cant cut and paste.....go to sportsnet nhl rumours.

deedrag
deedrag

@MikeGartner11 @TheCanucksnaphook Actually it feels like they peaked in preseason against Buffalo but had to adjust for fear that they would become targeted by the league for rough play of any sort? They might be waiting for the season to be in full swing when the refs start easing off a bit.

whalz
whalz

hes another player similiar to Reilly.....pmd 6'1 205lbs but once again another left hand dman,,,,,

i read over on HF boards that Mactavish and Lowe were scouting the Marlie game against Hamilton.....They  just opened up a roster spot and salary by trading Brown to SJ....hopefully something is up

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@whalz  no probs.. maybe it is Liles (and retained salary plus a roster player (for Kulikov) and maybe that is to replace another D man that we are sending somewhere to get a forward?

whalz
whalz

wonder if a LILES/GARDS deal would net Kuli +??

mike_84
mike_84

@whalz sportsnet website isn't working for me