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):

 LeafsDucks
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:

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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. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • mORRganRielly

    Oi.  I don’t know who to start tonight.  Bernier or Hillier.  Do I play Fowler and Getzlaf?  Or do I play the Leafs players I have on my roster?  I have a very weak hold on first place in my 16 team keeper league — I’m constrained by the salary cap at the moment, so my options are limited.
    What do you think, guys?  Be honest.

  • GreekGod

    Great job on the new looking site guys!!

  • Sampson

    mORRganRielly play the ducks guys.. that way you will win at something no matter what :)

  • Burtonboy

    Stevie Y and Chia pet are scouting for Team Canada tonight . I expect the hopefuls ( Getzlaf and Perry ) to play lights out

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy what about that Joffrey Lupul hopeful 😀

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy My guess is he’s not on the radar at all. Fairly or unfairly that’s the impression I get

  • Marlies Man

    Keep moving them feet and draw some penalties, boys!

  • Pent_House

    I just hope the boys dump the puck tonight, instead of carrying into the zone, and get motherfucking physical for once this season. GO LEAFS GO!

  • dlb eh

    Burtonboy 
    time to get noticed

  • dlb eh

    Pent_House 
    proper dumps

  • rustynail

    Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe all that matters is if HE thinks he is though as far as performance goes

  • Dan39

    “Would be nice to see the Leafs finish a few more checks” 
    Amen. Would also be nice to see them use their theoretical toughness advantage over a pretty soft Western Conference team instead of adopting their opponent’s style.
    We need to be smashing these guys through the boards and creating havoc in front of their net and in the corners. It’s gotta be a dirty, grind it out, effort to beat a skill team at the top of their game. 
    Come on boys, man up!

  • Burtonboy

    dlb eh Burtonboy I just get the feeling for Lupes or Dion to be considered they would have to be neads and shoulders above the competition . If Lupul was up there with Crosby and Dion in the Norris race then they “MIGHT” get considered .

  • Dan39

    Marlies Man Heh draw penalties, what kind of a cheer is that? We need to crash and bang and smash these guys in not getting our diving suits on.

  • Jordan29

    Hey guys. Cant believe it but I turn 27 today. Time goes by so fast its insane. No joke but I had to stop today and remember all the times on MLHS with you guys (as nerdy as it may be) and how close friends we all are without even meeting. All the memorable leafs moments we all had together from the Kessel trade, the Phaneuf trades, the multiple July 1sts and trade deadlines to the playoffs last year. 
    I was 21 years old when I started posting on this site, and you guys taught me so much about everything its crazy. Thanks for it all fellas and GO LEAFS GO

  • Dan39

    Gilbey93 Burtonboy And Bernier.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Jordan29 Happy birthday Jordan. Hope the Leafs get you a win tonight.

  • ProfessorRance

    Jordan29 Happy Birthday you old fart 😉

  • rustynail

    Jordan29 HAPPY BIRTHDAY JORDAN you deserve a win for it

  • PEIleafnation

    Burtonboy and they pick the leafs game to scout…dirty LOL.. go leafs go!

  • ProfessorRance

    Dan39 I’d just like to see some emotion. Been going through the motions too much lately.

  • Dan39

    ProfessorRance Dan39 Completely agree. Kessel’s been out of it, too. For us to win, he’s gotta get going. Only guy I’ve been really impressed with aside from Bernier has been Orr.

  • vji67

    Alec Brownscombe Hey Alec, I’m just getting around to watching the Hangout now. I love these things, but I’m wondering if you have an audio or podcast-ish version of them? I’d like to listen to them when driving or doing other things…

  • Great Dane

    Jordan29 Happy birthday Big J – only down hill from here LOL – but I am sure that the Leafs will give you a nice present tonight. Go LEAFS

  • Bobsyouruncle

    Jordan29     
    Who cares??  Talk hockey.    lol  jk

  • theacs1966

    Jordan29 TWENTY SEVEN!  You’re just a pup.

  • wendelsway1

    Jordan29 …HAPPY BIRTHDAY JORDAN!!…Hope you have a terrific day that’s topped off with a big Leafs win.  :)

  • Alec Brownscombe

    vji67 Alec Brownscombe Not as of yet, but we’re working on it. Thanks for the feedback. Anthony did a great job yesterday.

  • theacs1966

    Dan39 ProfessorRance What?  Orr?  What the fuck has he done this season?

  • docyqx

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy I think Lupul would garner more attention if he was playing more consistently with Raymond and Kadri  in 5 on 5 situations… their offensive chemistry just seems to work

  • ProfessorRance

    Alec Brownscombe vji67 A podcast would be an amazing addition. Would be great to listen to while stuck in traffic.

  • Zep2

    By late tonite we will be experiencing euphoria or depression

  • vji67

    ProfessorRance Alec Brownscombe vji67 Sounds great, thanks!

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Jordan29 welcome to the group of 27!

  • GiuseppeM

    Any word on the line ups whose is or out?

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    GiuseppeM Stay tuned, we’ll have it here when they become available.

  • Bobsyouruncle

    theacs1966 Hasn’t lost a face-off all year. : )

  • supercilious

    @Sampson mORRganRielly thats always my method

  • dlb eh

    Jordan29 
    i remember you thought it was bad ass when you realized some of us were twice your age.  and typing on the in-ter-net
    lol

  • Pent_House

    Alec Brownscombe vji67 I took a first listen to it last night. Pretty solid all-around. AP did well, some funny faces at times too. My one criticism would be that Langlois talks way too much.

  • rustynail

    dlb eh Jordan29 3 times?

  • Dan39

    theacs1966 Dan39 ProfessorRance Last couple games Orr has been outstanding with his forechecking, quality dumps, and mistake (and penalty?) free. I wish he would have dropped the gloves too but it takes two to tango.

  • Jordan29

    dlb eh Jordan29 haha yup

  • Dan39

    Zep2 If we don’t win the Corsi whatever else happens the press will be negative nowadays.

  • wiski

    DeclanK GiuseppeM Hey Dec not sure if you have been informed already but posting from phone isn’t working.

  • skippysleafs

    Alec Brownscombe Jordan29 Aaaa the old days of Jordan and Cam freaking on each other waiting for Alec to say something so they can jump all over it, well has it really changed, haha happy b-day Jordan

  • Komas Taberle

    skippysleafs Alec Brownscombe Jordan29 Happy Birthday Jordan!!

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    wiski DeclanK GiuseppeM Thx – going to post on it above.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Hey Everyone,
    Getting some mixed results on whether or not people can post from their phone. I can post from my Android, but not from a Droid tablet I have been testing with today (native android browser and Chrome).
    If you could reply here with a yes or no and what phone AND browser. 
    Thanks!

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Reply here, Connor.