A 9 p.m. EST start for the Leafs vs. Oilers tonight as Toronto gets its three-game road swing through Western Canada kicked off in Edmonton.
In their last meeting on Thanksgiving weekend, the Leafs capitalized on Edmonton’s tenuous hold on leads late in hockey games and stole a win out from under Dallas Eakins’ team. The Leafs were down 5-4 with under a minute to go before Lupul put another soft one through Devin Dubnyk (also thanks to an amazing diving Bernier glove save on Mark Arcobello that would’ve sealed the game). Bolland, sensing the opportunity to score an important goal, finished the game in OT.
The game was river hockey, littered with odd man opportunities and traded chances, and featured basically zero physical play. With David Clarkson back and the Leafs finding success against the Penguins on Saturday in part thanks to a ratcheting up of the physical factor – first to pucks and winning more one-on-one battles – that hopefully will not be the case tonight.
The Oilers have lost Taylor Hall to injury since the two teams met in early October, but have since got center Sam Gagner back in the lineup. Twice-scratched Nail Yakupov has been playing on the top line in Hall’s place with Gagner and Eberle.
Oil lines Eberle Gagner Yakupov Perron RNH Arcobello Smyth Gordon Hemsky Eager Acton gazdik
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) October 29, 2013
On the road, the Leafs would be best to finish their checks, slow the Oilers down, play a tighter game, and capitalize on the inevitable mistakes committed by this Oilers team. The Leafs aren’t beyond getting into a goal-for-goal shootout either, so it will be interesting to see what direction this game takes.
With a hilarious .880 team save percentage, the Oilers turned to third-string goaltender Richard Bachman on Sunday vs. the Los Angeles Kings, and he was positively lights out in stopping 47 shots in a shootout loss – including 28 saves in the third period alone to grab the Oilers an undeserved loser point. Hopefully the Leafs’ high-percentage shooting brings Bachman down to Earth, but it’s possible the Leafs could be running into the 5’10″ former Stars backup at the wrong time. He had a .885 SV% in 13 games with the Stars last season.
James Reimer will be in net for the Leafs, of course, because he was the team’s first star in stopping 37 of 38 shots on Saturday night. With a good showing tonight, Carlyle would likely go to Bernier tomorrow in Calgary, as it is a back to back, and then return to Reimer on Saturday vs. the Canucks.
Reimer is 2-0-0 against the Oilers in his career, with two wins in the span of ten days against the Oilers in February of 2012. He stopped 56 of 62 shots (.903 sv%).
Joffrey Lupul is considered a game time decision with his bruised foot bone. He scored twice in the Leafs’ 6-5 overtime win against the Oilers on Thanksgiving weekend, including the dramatic late tying goal.
If Lupul can’t go, I would expect the exact same lineup Carlyle iced on Saturday. If he plays, one would imagine he will join Bolland and Clarkson on line two with Raymond bumped to line three, although Carlyle has liked Raymond next to Bolland and Lupul was skating with Ashton and McClement on line three in practice.
John Michael Liles, called up as an extra defenceman for the Western road trip, is not expected to play tonight.
|GF/G||3.25 (5th)||2.69 (17th)|
|GA/G||2.50 (9th)||3.77 (30th)|
|SF/G||26.9 (29th)||27.7 (26th)|
|SA/G||34.9 (28th)||31.4 (19th)|
|PP||26.7% (3rd)||13.3% (24th)|
|PK||85.1% (6th)||75.5% (29th)|
|5 on 5 F/A||1.10 (11th)||0.81 (23rd)|
|Sh%||12.1% (3rd)||9.7% (10th)|
|Sv%||92.8% (5th)||88.0% (30th)|
|FO%||44.5 (28th)||51.8 (12th)|
Isn't it nice not to have Bill Waters as part of the crew? I still wish Joe Bowen did ALL games. Seriously. No one comes close...
With Alfredsson gone now, I dont even want to see another sens leafs playoff series really. Not as much hate anymore. I feel....weird
Ah an early finish to an evening meeting, now I can relax and watch the game. Also to whom it may concern, your 649 needs are covered to end of november :)
Leafs can't possibly lose this game against a goalie named Richard Bachman, we all know it really is Stephen King in net tonight.
Kind of interesting to watch Dallas at Montreal tonight...Dallas could be a trading partner later in season. Robidas is pending UFA $3.3M hit right handed and very solid Dman.
I just want to reiterate - Drill 'em! http://i.imgur.com/NpOyJNB.jpg
I wonder which forward the Sabres asked for when they shopped Vanek to the Leafs? God knows I'd way rather have JVR and Lupul at LW than Vanek. Way less $ and contractual control to boot with both of them. Especially as the last thing Nonis needs is to have another UFA at seasons end.
Hey, happy birthday brother, Leafs beat Anaheim on mine last week, so lets hope the Leafs continue to deliver for the denizens of MLHS
@Alec Brownscombe didn't yo mamma teach in you any manners?
@TheCanucksnaphook I'm not... but wish I was!! Does that still count?
@ingy56 let's hope. Didn't he already say earlier he'll take part in the warm-up to see how he feels first ? So this shouldn't be an indication of him playing or not
Just replace Alfredsson's face with Smith's face. It does it for me :)
@TheCanucksnaphook BURN HIM!
@wendelsway1 I said that score too, 5-2 Leafs
Philly-Anaheim or Rag-Isles to see Vanek
@Yaknowwhat Lucky fucking goal too, the bastards!
@CanuckUKinToronto You must feel like youve died and gone to heaven this season.
@CanuckUKinToronto Speaking for someone that lives on the coast, I'm just happy to get a few evening games instead of the usual late afternoon games.
@Komas Taberle I hope they bring the Oilers some Misery.
@lludson sign this man up
@leafmealone i think it was kadri or JVR b/c kessel and Clarkson just signed and lupul is older with term left for a rebuild. Doubt it was bozak b/c he signed too.
@Yaknowwhat Yakety Yak.....don't talk back....lol :)