Preview and GDT: Kings at Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m., TSN)

Preview and GDT: Kings at Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m., TSN)

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Deep breaths, everyone.  No Dion Phaneuf and the 20-7-4 Los Angeles Kings are coming into town.

The Kings are a heavy forechecking team and are going to seal the boards on the Leafs all night. The key to beating a good forecheck is going to be quick puck movement,  effective use of the D to D pass, and available forward support on the breakout. Without that, this Kings team will hem the Leafs in with sustained zone time, bring fresh legs into the cycle, and grind them down all night. Blowout win over the Canadiens last night aside, the Kings haven’t been an explosive offensive team (18th in goals for, bottom 10 before last night), but give up so little in the way of shots and goals (fewest in the league with 62) because they win the possession battle night after night.

Randy Carlyle would be wise to play to a strength and put to use all of the mobility and puck moving available to him on defence.

The Kings are in the second half of the back to back and will play goaltending Martin Jones again tonight coming off of his shutout at the Bell Centre. The Professor has been snubbed of a crack at his former team. In Darryl Sutter’s defence, Jones is 3-0 with a .62 goals against average in his first three starts in the NHL.

Jonathan Bernier will play against his former team and may have to steal one for the victory.

Joffrey Lupul will make his return on a good looking third line tonight.

Projected Lineup:

JVR – Kadri- Kessel
Raymond – Smith – Clarkson
Lupul – Holland – Kulemin
McLaren/D’Amigo- McClement - Ashton

Gunnarsson – Franson
Gardiner – Liles
Fraser – Ranger
Rielly

Bernier

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]
1321 comments
Tim Horton
Tim Horton

I have the Game in Ten  for ya... 1-10 Screw Corsi.

Zep2
Zep2

Good nite . Great effort , disappointing result.


Im hoping Santa bring us a .500 + record and a bit of health for Xmas. 

Uncle Otis
Uncle Otis

Back reading a lot of Fraser hate here.

Thought he played his best game of the season.

Bad missed calls, ridiculous goaltender and a couple mistakes cost us

Queston is...can we keep this energy up?

LandBruiser
LandBruiser

Doughty on tonight's goal scorers: "We all grew up around here cheering for this team. I guess we all showed up to play".

This will never end.

Kings have 9 players from Ontario btw.

LandBruiser
LandBruiser

Doughty on tonight's Goal scores: "We all grew up around here cheering for this team. I guess we all showed up to play".

This will never end.

ShiftyD
ShiftyD

I think we could have had another 20 shots and we weren't getting the W tonight.

loomx
loomx

Almost perfect TOI distribution tonight.............if D'Amigo was a bit close to 7 minutes. But it's an improvement. Good to see Holland at 15 minutes and McClement with 8.

Cameron19
Cameron19

Think McKenzie is right, we need to embrace the reality that we are a rush team, and try to be better at it.  Rush doesn't have to mean run and gun, no defense. We have to get that idea out of our heads. 

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

On the other hand, our Corsi was spectacular tonight.

LandBruiser
LandBruiser

It's going to be a hard landing back to reality. I hope he's mature enough to handle it.

djamon
djamon

@LandBruiser It's just words...they played like shit and got lucky against a team that couldn't finish.

loomx
loomx

Also if Fraser had 0 had Liles had 16 that'd be great.

FloorHockeyFlopper
FloorHockeyFlopper

@Pent_House The Ranger pinch!!!!!   it's becoming notorious …. why would Reilly be a step down from him?


And Dion ….  Hmmmmmm  this good without him?!?!…  6for7 or 7for6 buddy , take your pick!!!


Zep2
Zep2

@Cameron19 With kulemin, Lupul , Clarkson, McClement etc, they can still play a possession game. But the 1st line , no doubt is better suited to the rush.

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@Cameron19 Even the Kessel line was playing the cycle game tonight . Going back to playing rush hockey is a recipe for failure 

Spitter
Spitter

@Xxxxxnew Corsi means absolutely nothing.  The real problem with the Leafs is their PK.  They were top 3 at the beginning of the season and now have dropped to 26th.

Zep2
Zep2

@wiski Jones, looks great, but giving him Monster status after 4 games is premature. Young goaltenders are as volatile as nitro. He could go hero to zero pretty quick


But you gotta like L.A. depth at the position right now


Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@wiski Tell you what . He will get figured out soon enough . I say you need to go high on Jones 

Uncle Otis
Uncle Otis

@loomx

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Many forget the warts of JML....and the list starts with lack of size.

Uncle Otis
Uncle Otis

@Pent_House

He cheated PH

Bernie was sucking/ blowing simultaneously as the one knee down was to allow him to push off across for the cross creaser to ,uggh,Carcillo.

In the end,stop the shot and dive paddle down if you are wrong.

loomx
loomx

@Pent_House to be fair, Mark Fraser was the one covering the pass....and Mark Fraser can't cover anything so Bernier had to respect the pass. If that's Phaneuf or Gardiner, I bet Bernier goes down in the butterfly.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Burtonboy @Cameron19 I'm not saying don't bother cycling, I'm saying understand that rushing is our strength.  All those cycles started with a great rush. 

djamon
djamon

@Burtonboy I agree. He made some amazing reaction saves tonight, but I left with the impression he was a little loose. He spat rebounds right out into the middle of the slot, he couldn't catch a puck all night.

He will get figured out. If he plays long enough to.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Andrew Raycroft won the Calder trophy his first season.

Uncle Otis
Uncle Otis

@Cameron19 @Burtonboy

Some started with the dump and chase too Cam

Kings never pinched hard at the blueline tonight and left a LOT of neutral ice open with hard retreat.

Unfamiliarity? Tired?

Not sure,but they played us differently than most teams who have the book on us.

It helped,but we were far more urgent in our play too...and won frigging puck battles for once!

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Burtonboy @Cameron19 I don't think that's what he was saying.  I thought he was saying that Carlyle needs to encourage it a little more, and sell the cycle that way.  The team doesn't but into the "possession" angle, and Randy hates the word "rush", but that's how we get our mojo flowing. 

djamon
djamon

@Cameron19 I assumed everyone knew we were a rush team...does this mean Carlyle doesn't? Because that would be worrisome.

Burtonboy
Burtonboy

@wiski @Burtonboy You think that going to continue ? He's hot right now but that will change . You can bet the farm on that