GDT: Sharks at Maple Leafs (7 p.m., Sportsnet)

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Photo: NHLI via Getty Images

The Sharks enter this game 18-3-5, and are 9-1-2 against fellow Pacific Division opponents, which is easily the strongest division in the NHL. They enter winners of five straight.

This is a dominant team with a deeeeep lineup.

Projected Lineup  
Left WingCenterRight Wing
Tomas HertlJoe ThorntonBrent Burns
Patrick MarleauLogan CoutureTommy Wingels
Martin HavlatJoe PavelskiTyler Kennedy
John McCarthyAndrew DesjardinsMike Brown
Left DefenseRight Defense
Justin BraunMarc-Edouard Vlasic
Brad StuartDan Boyle
Scott Hannan Jason Demers
Goalies
Starter: Niemi

How can the Leafs beat them? Well, it begins and ends between the pipes with James Reimer, one would think. The Leafs are shorthanded and are the inferior team, so the answer to closing the gap is cliched – ‘outwork them.’ Playing without the puck a lot, which is almost ensured, means ramping up the physical play will be necessary to try to create separation.

Hey, even the Sharks once had a 0-1-4 stretch once, right? These guys are human.

Nazem Kadri won’t play tonight in order to be with his family after the passing of his grandfather. Cody Franson is a game time decision.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Shift_Disturber1 i…i thought I was the only one

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Shift_Disturber1 Dangle_My_Berries almost time to sit back and watch…..just watch and observe

  • newkb

    ** Peeks around corner **

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    newkb don’t be shy….its safe to come out…..pull up a chair!

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    BOLLAND!!!!! COULD BE SKATING IN 2-3 WEEKS!!!

  • ProfessorRance

    Dangle_My_Berries No way?!

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    ProfessorRance Dangle_My_Berries yup, McLean just said he’s on track to return quicker then expected!

  • ProfessorRance

    Dangle_My_Berries ProfessorRance That’s great news. I wont hold my breath but Im going to hope for the best. I just hope he comes back healthy and ready to go.

  • LeafsForLife

    Dangle_My_Berries Thats truly fantastic news!

  • wiski

    Shift_Disturber1 I was all alone in the other thread

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    ProfessorRance Dangle_My_Berries ya for sure, at least its a positive, the tendon he hurt probably wasn’t a very serious one, Would be great to get him back by months end

  • Burtonboy

    Dangle_My_Berries Wowza

  • rustynail

    Dangle_My_Berries https://twitter.com/JoshRimerHockeyhttps://twitter.com/JoshRimerHockey/status/408009495298973696
    Nick Kypreos saying Bolland could be skating in 2-3 weeks. Possibly playing after Winter Classic. He is ahead of schedule.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Re Kypreos tweet on Bolland – didn’t Carlyle just say today he was forever away?

  • rustynail

    Alec Brownscombe I think he said no time soon

  • .JVR.

    Alec Brownscombe 
    If he only starts skating in 2-3 weeks, he’ll probably need another week or two to get into game shape, so a month or more is “a ways away”

  • Alec Brownscombe

    .JVR. Alec Brownscombe pre olympic break seems optimistic still to me. We’ll wait and see.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    .JVR. Alec Brownscombe still a better timetable then what he all expected before

  • peterbleafs

    Shift_Disturber1 That was almost, poetic.

  • .JVR.

    Alec Brownscombe
    Well, if he’s skating in 2-3 weeks, how long could it really take him to get back?
    Hell, even if he only starts skating in 4 weeks, he shouldn’t take anymore than 2 weeks to get back in game shape, so that would put him back in 6 weeks, which is around January 14th.

  • goleafz

    Alec Brownscombe 
    From my professional experience, he might be able to skate in 2-3 weeks but if he needs to be in game shape that’s at least another 2 months away. I might well be wrong cos I don’t know which tendon and how severe the injury was but just from limited knowledge it’ll still be awhile to go.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/Proteautypehttps://twitter.com/Proteautype/status/408010960264515586
    You know how in pro wrestling a 7-foot, 400-lb. giant will corner a dwarf wrestler & the crowd will gasp ominously? Yeah. Sharks vs. Leafs.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    goleafz Alec Brownscombe 2 months seems a little long for a guy supposedly skating in 2-3 weeks. Wont take nearly 3 weeks for a guy to get into game shape.

  • wiski

    Shift_Disturber1 wiski did you get any spit on ya? 😉

  • Alec Brownscombe

    I dunno, no point in speculating, we’ll see.

  • Komas Taberle

    I think we hit rock bottom tonight but start to pick it up next game and are back to our old delves by mid December.

  • goleafz

    Dangle_My_Berries goleafz Alec Brownscombe 
    To be able to skate doesn’t mean the tendon is fully healed. 2 months away from now means 6 weeks of training/rehab after that. But again, I hope I’m wrong.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Shift_Disturber1 thats what I’m saying….if I’m Carlyle the mantra in the room is “no one expects us to win, lets prove them wrong”

  • Alec Brownscombe

    goleafz Dangle_My_Berries Alec Brownscombe Just seems to me like an injury that could involve a lot of rehab once he can skate to get the full motion back.

  • Komas Taberle

    Dangle_My_Berries 
    He is on a water treadmill also, so that will keep him in shape, I estimate a week after his first skate he will be playing.

  • wiski

    then the Dwarf kicks him in the nuts and pins the giant FTW

  • Komas Taberle

    wiski 
    Quit insulting our competition and calling the Sharks dwarfs Proteau!

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/mapleleafsarmyhttps://twitter.com/mapleleafsarmy/status/408012738020274176
    G O L E A F S G O

  • wiski

    Komas Taberle I thought we hit rock bottom with Columbus.

  • peterbleafs

    Dangle_My_Berries Shift_Disturber1 If Im Carlyle in the room Im going to bring in a few street bums from the Toronto sidewalks and then tell these players…”Look you f****s, but not for your god given talent you could be walking in these shoes…so get your sorry, spoiled, rich, suck hole asses out there and eat shark for dinner….”

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    .JVR. Alec Brownscombe 
    Problem with that injury is that he isn’t skating or doing leg work at all. Going to be a while before he’s effective, IMHO. “Lower body” injuries take a huge toll on hockey players. Would prefer shoulder injury or something.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/ElliotSaccuccihttps://twitter.com/ElliotSaccucci/status/408014534545133569
    Watch out for a new post on the impact of the Rogers deal on HRR and what it will mean for the salary cap on https://twitter.com/LeafsNews https://twitter.com/search?q=%23NHL&src=hash https://twitter.com/search?q=%23mapleleafs&src=hash

  • JWaterdrager

    Burtonboy How much money of that deal goes back to Rogers via MLSE?

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Shift_Disturber1 
    Fuckin’ Eh, Bubba!!

  • Burtonboy

    Shift_Disturber1 Burtonboy Yep our new lawyer blogger

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/Real_ESPNLeBrunhttps://twitter.com/Real_ESPNLeBrun/status/408015093633257472
    Sources say the NHL and Wayne Gretzky have reached a tentative deal to make him whole from the money he was owed in Phoenix…

  • Jay31

    https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590/status/408015390015385600
    Cody Franson doesn’t take the ice, out for tonight.

  • wiski

    DeclanK .JVR. Alec Brownscombe I heard something about a water treadmill today, he shows up for breakfast everyday as well

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Leafs are gonna win tonight!!
    Franks & beans for dinner.

  • Jmessih

    About Bolland being a head of schedule and hopefully skating in 2-3 weeks
    “I want to thank not only God but Jesus too”

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Jmessih 
    Bolland is that close??  I figured February / March.
    Yippykayay, motherfuckers!!

  • Jmessih

    I live in Ottawa so I heard a lot about Karlsson when got this injury (from the whole 3 sens fans in the city) but it was soon there after that he started skating that he was good to God. Starting to skate is a huge step for this injury

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

    Jmessih I’m not buying it. Apparently he was still on crutches yesterday and according to Carlyle “hobbling around”.

  • Jmessih

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Jmessih Well I saw a post about it lower down, but honestly I don’t believe it RC himself said today a month till skating, but I’m hoping :)

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

    Murph2417 Jmessih Kypreos…enough said.