Game Preview: Visiting Bob in the ‘Bus

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Just as the Leafs get their one $5.25 million man back in the lineup, they appear to have lost their other one. The team’s leading scorer (11 points, tied with Phil) Joffrey Lupul is doubtful for tonight with a bone bruise after taking a puck to the foot in practice. Josh Leivo, first thinking he would be down with the Marlies for a stretch, is right back with the team and likely in the lineup tonight.

Randy Carlyle was noticeably peeved in yesterday’s meeting with the media about the refusal on the part of certain members of his team, of which Lupul and Kulemin (still recovering from a broken foot after taking a Phaneuf shot to the foot in practice) are two, to wear the shot guards the team has asked all of its players to protect themselves with in practice. I get that players hate feeling restricted by equipment they deem unnecessary, but I sympathize with Carlyle here and find it annoying to me as a fan of the team. Put on the guards and take the risks during the games.

Anyway, Clarkson will look to give his team a jump in his regular season debut and they may need his help in the offensive department sans Lupul. I’m not going to write any more about Clarkson’s debut because it’s already been hyped to Gretzkian (is this a word in Canada? Now it is) proportions. It is expected Clarkson will play with Raymond and Bolland, based on practice lines, which would put Kadri with McClement and Leivo. With Carlyle’s shuffling and the injuries though, no one can say for sure and things are constantly changing up front outside of the top line.

This is the Leafs’ first of three meetings with their new Conference foe in the Columbus Bobrovskys. Thanks to the man they call Bob, winner of the Vezina on account of a 2.00 GAA and a .932 save percentage and the perception that his team sucked, the Blue Jackets went on a surprising little run for a playoff spot last year before ultimately falling a few points short. They’re now in East and off to an inauspicious 4-5 start, but it is very early. Prized summer signing Nathan Horton is currently on the shelf rehabbing from off-season shoulder surgery.

Columbus’ biggest threat is Marian Gaborik, who has a recent history of lighting up the Leafs when he was a member of the New York Rangers. He has 4 goals and 6 points in his last two meetings with Toronto, and I still remember his four-goal game against the Leafs in January, 2011.

Jonathan Bernier is expected to start for the Leafs.

 LeafsBlue Jackets
Record7-3-04-5-0
GF/G3.30 (5th)2.44 (21st)
GA/G2.40 (8th)2.56 (10th)
SF/G26.8 (26th)31.1 (10th)
SA/G34.5 (27th)32.6 (23rd)
PP28.2% (2nd)21.2% (12th)
PK86.8% (4th)75.9% (25th)
5 on 5 F/A1.06 (12th)1.00 (16th)
Sh%12.3% (2nd)7.8% (21st)
Sv%93% (5th)92.2% (8th)
FO%44.7 (27th)52.2 (8th)

We’ve all watched this a couple dozen times, but it doesn’t get old.

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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]
  • Jmessih

    I miss Jay and Dan!

  • Burtonboy

    Interesting
    http://www.cbc.ca/sports-content/hockeynightincanada/bio/infographics/most-canadian-nhl-team/gfx/mostcanadian.jpg

  • rustynail

    Burtonboy no wonder Buffalo sucks :)

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy Only because Burke and Wilson are gone. That Burke Americanized the whole team.

    lol

  • rustynail

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy what blackberry are you using?

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy it’s  not like they are all from Toronto.

  • Cameron19

    Burtonboy How can this be??  All Burke did was add Americans!

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cameron19 Burtonboy No, Cherry was proven right. Burke is gone and voila, now there’s Ontario kids on the team.

  • Cameron19

    Non-hockey related, but if you have time to kill before the game, and you’re a fan of Russell Brand: http://gawker.com/russell-brand-may-have-started-a-revolution-last-night-1451318185?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_facebook&utm_source=gawker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cameron19 I love his take down of that ignorant bastard. But if anything he says there is news to people that’s a little sad.

  • Cameron19

    Alec Brownscombe Cameron19 Burtonboy lol. Yea, I loved his segment the other week showing as much.  The fact that no one on the panel could correct him or inform him of reality is what is more troubling though.

  • Dink

    Cameron19 he has fans?

  • Cameron19

    Alec Brownscombe Cameron19 It is though. Read the comments, and it’s staggering how many people are idiots, lol. Of course, that’s about the least savvy way to say it, but really, so many people completely miss the point.

  • Cameron19

    @Dink Cameron19 I think so.  I quite enjoy him.

  • Dink

    Cameron19  oh

  • JR from Halifax

    Boys, my new Leaf’s bank card just arrived in the mail…..its an omen. 10 game win streak starts tonight.

  • Dink

    JR from Halifax  if you never use it

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cameron19 Look up the episode of Brand X where he invites on the gay hating dudes. He is absolutely hilarious with them. He takes the perfect approach to it.

  • Cameron19

    Alec Brownscombe Cameron19 K, looking.  Is it the one where they are from the Baptist Church?

  • Black_Hawk

    man i hope lupul is not out long. Sucks that we get one winger back and lose the other.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Cameron19 Alec Brownscombe Yes

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/TheHockeyNewshttps://twitter.com/TheHockeyNews/status/393838037316014080
    The new edition of THN magazine – our annual Goalie Issue – is available for purchase! Buy it: http://t.co/4pRrsk25Yk http://t.co/MKk50rQZkK

  • JR from Halifax

    @Dink JR from Halifax My Corsi is pretty good with this thing

  • Black_Hawk

    wiski awesome

  • Dink

    JR from Halifax lol

  • Alec Brownscombe

    MikeGartner11 Cameron19 Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy Sarcasm right?

  • Dink

    Damn, The Rangers and Flyers sure suck….

  • Pent_House

    Killa Season

  • Dink

    Black_Hawk I wonder if Carlyle would bench someone a game for being so stupid

  • Marlies Man

    MikeGartner11 wiski Are you joking or is that what it’s like? That’s what it’s like, right? Guaranteed.

  • Cameron19

    Alec Brownscombe Cameron19 He’s very nice to them, and obviously, that goes with his message about tolerance, but I don’t know how he deals with that level of ignorance without losing it.

  • Pent_House

    Oh man the bobrovsky video fuckin kills me, I was tearing from laughing FML

  • wiski

    Cameron19 Nice rant my daughter will like this.

  • Mind Bomb

    Burtonboy Just Co-incidence we are competing for the Conference lead this weekend :)

  • wiski

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy Phil Jvr and Gards can stay 😉

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/JSportsnethttps://twitter.com/JSportsnet/status/393849094273134592
    John Scott’s hearing is 10am, next Thursday…same day that Sabres are at MSG vs Rangers.

  • wiski

    rustynail Can he play before that?

  • rustynail

    wiski rustynail nope and there are 3 games for Sabers before then

  • Pent_House

    GLG boys, finished my work-out I’m jacked.

  • Tim Horton

    Pent_House haaha… …oh your serious.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    JR from Halifax Wickie is going to take a 15 cent user fee on each purchase.

  • wiski

    Pent_House time for some 12 oz curls now kurwa 😉

  • Pent_House

    wiski Pent_House I got my vodka in the fridge chilling for my post-work-out.

  • Marlies Man

    Alec Brownscombe Cameron19 Wow, there might be nothing new there, but he sure delivered the message with just the right mix or eloquence, passion and anger. The bit at the end about Paxton’s own grandmother. Brand knew more about Paxton than Paxton knew about Brand. Interview fail.

  • wiski

    Pent_House wiski  Time for an after dinner rustnail 😉

  • Pent_House

    wiski Pent_House I was thinking today in the line @ lcbo that I really should get Air Miles. I probably could have flown around the world 3 times already.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/NHLhttps://twitter.com/NHL/status/393852369253195776
    .https://twitter.com/BlueJacketsNHL fans, attending tonight’s https://twitter.com/search?q=%23HockeyFightsCancer&src=hash Awareness game? Here’s what is planned: http://t.co/z53thDuZpc https://twitter.com/search?q=%23JoinTheBattle&src=hash

  • Pent_House

    I bet it’ll be real chippy tonight. BJ’s like to play rough lmao

  • LeafsForLife

    rustynail why would they wait over a week to make a decision?

  • Mind Bomb

    Things could come to a head quickly