Rielly officially staying, Lupul bruised

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courtesy of @YakovMironov
courtesy of @YakovMironov
Some notes and links for your Thursday evening:

–  There was another Lupul injury scare this afternoon, as Joffrey sustained a bruised foot after taking a shot to the skate in practice. No skate guards, Lups? You’re lucky the Leafs haven’t permanently placed you in a protective bubble by now. Put on the damn guards.

It doesn’t sound too serious, and Lupul traveled to Columbus with the team, but his status for tomorrow night’s game isn’t certain.

– In unsurprising news, Morgan Rielly is staying past 9 games. It could just be me thinking of a few anecdotal examples (Hamilton, Grigorenko), but it seems teams are less hesitant to burn the first year of an entry level contract these days. Could it be because bringing the second contact a year closer for top youngsters isn’ t necessarily a bad thing for the team? If you can sign these high-potential guys when they’re really young to a longer term deal and keep the AAV on the cap hit down by pointing to a lack of experience/proven body of work, there might be a benefit there for the team over the long haul. JvR broke the league at 20 and played full time from then on, but his contract is a bargain for the next several years because of the timing of his deal – signed at a younger age.

– For now Rielly’s presence on the Leafs benefits both the team and player to my eyes, but it gets more interesting when Mark Fraser returns from injury.

The Rielly-Franson pairing has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Phaneuf-Gunnarsson; Gardiner-Franson; Fraser-Rielly, with Rielly moving to the right (As Anthony mentioned on the Hangout, he played some in junior). Ranger, Fraser and Rielly can rotate in and out as performance or injury dictates, but will the Leafs be hesitant to sit Rielly if only for the bad optics?

As for Gardiner, he’s put together a quietly solid last four or five games to my eyes. I’d see if Franson and Gardiner can rekindle what they had in the playoffs. For me, the veteran in Franson has been as big of an issue defensively as the rookie has.

– In saying that, it’s amazing how Franson continues to produce offensively. He’s now at 8 assists in 10 games, and he’s done it pretty quietly. He’s tied with Erik Karlsson for 4th in scoring among defencemen and has an amazing 37 points in his last 55 games played. Prorated, that’s a 55-point pace over 82.

– Mark Fraser has started skating, by the way. The other member of the walking wounded, Nikolai Kulemin, skated yesterday and is 7-10 days away from returning.

– The HBO 24/7 start date has been announced: December 15. Check out the broadcast schedule here, as well as a 24/7 clip from 2011-12 where Dion literally ends Michael Sauer’s career and John Tortorella instructs his team not to, “shit [their] pants on Kessel.”

– David Clarkson returns tomorrow, and the Leafs are showing no hesitation in hyping him up as if the second coming of Christ himself. Seriously, it’s exciting to finally get the $5.25 million man in the lineup.

Clarkson has yet to play a meaningful game in a Leaf sweater, but what I’ve liked about him so far is his total embracing of the market pressures and leadership role he’s supposed to play on this team. Even if his contract will make it tough to live up to expectations, he’s done nothing but own those expectations. It will be nice for this team to have another leader in the dressing room to go along with Lupul and Phaneuf.

Phaneuf is a tank and played a huge role in the Leafs’ comeback on Tuesday, but it can be awfully hard to provide that intangible contribution called “changing the momentum for your team” when he’s tasked with shutting down the opposition’s best players from shift to shift. Clarkson is an easier position to lead from. I hope he ramps up the intensity level a notch tomorrow night and  that his teammates feed off of it.

 

***

Rielly after getting the news that he’s staying:

Carlyle after practice:

  • BPsotka

    Good writeup- I’m curious if Reilly was only getting minutes with Franson over Gardiner to get the best idea of Reilly in these 9 games. Will Carlyle try Gardiner and Franson together again now that we’ve committed to Reilly and have a better idea of where he’s at?

  • mORRganRielly

    Congratulations, Morgan Rielly.  I’m looking forward to the next 20 years of your career with the Leafs.  Game on.

  • Burtonboy

    Obviously the Leafs have plans to play Rielly going forward unless he runs into problems of course . So that does beg the question who will be the 7 th d man ? Some interesting decisions to come for sure.

  • BPsotka

    Wow that was a beauty pass by Krug springing Thornton

  • Pent_House

    Did anyone but me think it’s weird that actual HBO isn’t on that broadcast schedule when it’s an HBO show?

  • BPsotka

    Burtonboy Trade in the works? Finally take advantage of our plethora of Dmen?

  • lieffan

    Good notes. Lupul as bubble boy is priceless.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Pent_House I’ll be watching on HBO. Assume SNet will bleep the swearing. Fuck that

  • Beleafer29

    Congrats Reilly, May you be a long time Leaf with production to no end! Another young rising star we can watch with great success…..put your name on that CUP…….young man!

  • Alec Brownscombe

    MikeGartner11 Alec Brownscombe Pent_House Not sure. I have it permanently because I watch a ton of shit on there. Bill Maher, Eastbound, Boardwalk, that new show Hello Ladies etc

  • mcloki

    Lupul as Bubble Boy. Priceless.

  • mcloki

    Are you sure that SN will bleep. If they run it Sunday at 10 they may not.

  • Jay_Berg

    Yup no F bombs

  • Optimustic

    Habs up 2 – 0 on the Ducks.  Time for the Ducks to use the lesson they learned the Leafs taught them.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/GlobeFlutohttps://twitter.com/GlobeFluto/status/393531182714847232
    Adam McQuaid in tunnel. Looks like skate issue. Think all his teammates have same problem.

  • JMAC17

    MikeGartner11 Alec Brownscombe Pent_House you can order it and cancel freely anytime, you pay for it monthly.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy Was it McQuaid or Boychuk that scored that great takedown on Scott? Pretty clever rather than risk getting murdered by that oaf

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy McQuaid I believe

  • Jmessih

    Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe It was McQuaid

  • Optimustic

    Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe Yeah, I’m pretty sure it was McQuaid too.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy I wish Chara had gotten to him first

  • Optimustic

    Is there any way to post pictures that are stored on your computer?   I tried using the link button below, but it seems to only work for pictures on the net.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Optimustic See the little picture frame next to the pencil and @ symbol? Use that

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Optimustic Example

  • Cameron19

    Alec Brownscombe Optimustic Maybe I’m blind, but I don’t see that option.  I see pencil, @, and then nothing…

  • BPsotka

    Cameron19 Alec Brownscombe Optimustic I also see no picture frame.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Cameron19
    Only moderators have that function.  AB fooking with us again.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cameron19 Alec Brownscombe Optimustic Hmm, maybe that’s just an admin feature.
    Oh well suckers

  • Optimustic

    I see the pencil, then the @ symbol, then a window that says +Follow.  There’s a wide gap, then a box that says “in”  for a linked in account then a twitter symbol and and “f” for facebook.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cameron19 Alec Brownscombe Optimustic It will display both twitter pics and imgur pics automatically, however.
    http://imgur.com

  • WendelGilmour

    BPsotka Cameron19 Alec Brownscombe Optimustic Me neither.

  • BPsotka

    Cam Ward is injured again.

  • Cameron19

    BPsotka Cameron19 Alec Brownscombe Optimustic Tweet your picture then copy and paste the tweet.

  • Optimustic

    Cameron19 Alec Brownscombe Optimustic Same with me Cam.

  • MaxwellHowe

    So I stand to be corrected but tomorrow’s game will be the 11th time in history the Leafs play the BlueJackets.  If it wasn’t for Calrkson olaying, this would have all the makings of the most emotionfree game ever.

  • .JVR.

    Alec Brownscombe
    No picture frame on my screen

  • Cameron19

    BPsotka Fuck me, really?

  • BPsotka

    Cameron19 BPsotka Yep. He’s having a competition with Lupul I think.

  • Burtonboy

    Cameron19 BPsotka Sounds like a groin . Did the splits and left the game

  • Cameron19

    Burtonboy Cameron19 BPsotka Ugh. I just traded for him in my money pool.

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Hello folks, long time no Leafs.  Got back from my cottage late Saturday evening (after we lost to Chicago), and ended up with serious computer problems.  Had to bring my system in to be fixed (my master boot record had become corrupt….and my system was dirty and covered with cat hair and gunk inside causing my video card to go on the blink).  Finally got my system back and I’m back online.  Gotta say, you don’t realize how much we rely on our computers (and the internet in general) until we have to go without for any length of time.
    What a long strange trip it’s been.
    Go Leafs!!

  • djamon

    Cameron19 Why, was Gus not available?

  • Optimustic

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Welcome back Bon, glad your back online.

  • Cameron19

    djamon Cameron19 Well, the guy offered me a 3rd round pick with him – which will be very valuable next year

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Optimustic Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
    Thx bro.  I was going through some serious MLHS withdrawal.  I like the new avatar…really looking forward to seeing Clarkson in the lineup tomorrow night.

  • BPsotka

    Marleau ties it

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Diggin’ the new look of MLHS.  It’s like Alec, Declan, and the boys kicked things up a notch.

  • BPsotka

    The sharks set up all five men in the O-zone before they even collect the puck.

  • .JVR.

    BPsotka 
    Fuck, there goes my SO

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan We did it just for you, knowing you were away. It’s like doing a home makeover for your buddy when he’s away on vacation.