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

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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]
  • Alec Brownscombe

    CanuckUKinToronto Have the Leafs beat a good team since coming back from 2-0 down to Anaheim on October 22nd?
    We’re due!

  • 4evrblue

    18-0 Leafs!! GO LEAFS GO!!!!!

  • 4evrblue

    Bernier has weaknesses?

  • JWaterdrager

    CanuckUKinToronto Let’s hope Fraser and McLaren

  • lukethenuke

    So ive decided not only to predict the score but shots too! cause why not ehh
    Im going with a 6 3 loss,
    shots 52 for LA, 19 Toronto

  • 4evrblue

    I said 18-0 Leafs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • lukethenuke

    and no signs of playing better… same effort like all games this season

  • 4evrblue

    D’Amigo :)

  • JWaterdrager

    TheCanucksnaphook JWaterdrager CanuckUKinToronto Yea probably, but I’m not betting money, just expressing what I hope

  • lukethenuke

    I was just thinking… if we havent played a “good game” in the eyes of coaches and fans, is it the fact that we are playing the best we can and we just suck?

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    TheCanucksnaphook lukethenuke if someone taking it to Burly, drop by Oakville first so I can take a hit

  • lukethenuke

    not trying to be pessimistic, just tryng to grasp a handle of tis bizarreo world

  • JasonWhiston1

    MapleLeafsHS Will there be a Hangout episode as well? Really enjoyed them so far. #keepthemcoming

  • JWaterdrager

    Bruffins CanuckUKinToronto LOL déja vu?

  • 4evrblue

    cape and all lol

  • Doorman

    HO HO HO:  GO LEAFS GO!!!  Come On Santa  I want a Big Fucking W Tonight!!!  5-0!!!

  • Doorman

    CanuckUKinToronto Brothers!  ones a smoker and the other is a smoke Eater!!!  Lol

  • Doorman

    4evrblue See;  This is why you dont do well at the FL Game!!!

  • Cameron19

    lukethenuke You think we’ll be able to hit 19 shots?

  • Doorman

    TheCanucksnaphook Murph2417 That Sit will Kill ya!!!  lol

  • whalz

    Colborne-8pts
    Frattin-6pts
    Funny how some people on this site were crying that these players were traded, especially someone who thought we gave up on a 20-25 goal scorer in Fratts..LOL you know who you aare!!!

  • Marpole_Leafs

    If we can ramp up our Corsi effort tonight we should be good right ?

  • JWaterdrager

    Murph2417 So ordering food it is? haha

  • Marpole_Leafs

    Shift_Disturber1 Dammit……so we need to tone down our Corsi ?

  • Leafbites

    CanuckUKinToronto I like the score prediction, I’m gonna go tighter and say, 3-1 Kings. But do you honestly see these guys mustering 28 shots. I’ll be shocked.

  • Staples

    In a way, the Kings’ logjam at RW has made it tough on Frattin.  Initially, he was shifted to LW with Richards and Carter but that didn’t seem to work.  So they returned him to his natural position of RW, but then he’s automatically behind Williams and Carter.

  • JWaterdrager

    @whalz Clarkson only 6 points. What about that?

  • MapleLeafsHS

    JasonWhiston1 Glad to hear it. Not tonight, but we do a 45-min show on Mondays.

  • Marpole_Leafs

    Shift_Disturber1 I hope so hahahahaa.  We need a win so whatever it takes I’m game

  • Gozo

    Will see what Maple Leaf will do without Fin- off.

  • whalz

    JWaterdrager 10 less gms than Fratts,,,,,,what about that?

  • Marpole_Leafs

    Gozo He’s overrated and a 5th D man at best I’ve heard so by that logic we are in line for a 6-2 win without the burden of Dion

  • whalz

    @Staples many reports out of LA say they are shopping him.,,,,,,id re-acquire him for a draft pick

  • JWaterdrager

    @whalz JWaterdrager Clarkson played 21 games, Frattin 25. Do the math.

  • whalz

    JWaterdrager ok just checked, 4 less gms for Clarkson.,,,,,but Clarkson will get it going

  • whalz

    JWaterdrager lol,,,yeah just checked

  • Staples

    I’m not sure we could get much for Frattin at this point.  He actually does okay, and seems to be improving.  But lately, we brought up Toffoli and Frattin has become a part-time fourth liner.

  • whalz

    JWaterdrager stop trying to be a tough guy smart ass

  • Gozo

    Marpole_Leafs Gozo Dreams, dreams i hope they come true.

  • JWaterdrager

    @whalz JWaterdrager Why do you grant Clarkson time, but not Fratts? Or Colborne? Because they are veterans?

  • Staples

    And since it looks more and more like Scrivens won’t be retained beyond this season, we’ll have nothing left from the Bernier deal.

  • Marpole_Leafs

    Gozo Dream big, right? I also hope that Ray Ferraro doesn’t start waxing poetic about some shift he took in 1987 that has no relation to a replay he is showing.  But I wont push my luck

  • whalz

    JWaterdrager Clarkson has proven himself so yes, fratts is in the doghouse and receives limited icetime by Sutter, Colborne has been playing a lot of mins and still cant produce,,,,
    I guess you could say we Colborne was replaced by Ashton or even Smith….
    + colborne-fratts are former leafs so I expect Clarkson to get going..he better or he is the new whipping boy for the next 6 yrs

  • Marpole_Leafs

    Shift_Disturber1 Same here , he is terrible.

  • Staples

    Really doubt we score that many goals again for a long while.  We’ve been unlucky with goal-scoring for quite some time now, so it was nice to see that change.  But this is a team that generally throws all kinds of shots at the goalie and most of them don’t have a chance of beating an NHL-caliber goalie.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Bruffins Shift_Disturber1 ya, the bar is set real low tonight lol

  • Staples

    But keep in mind, “normal” for the Kings means holding the opponent to two goals or less.  Apparently, we tied an NHL record last night for holding opponents to two goals or less for sixteen straight games.  That’s how this team is built: to grind out low-scoring affairs.

    But here’s to an entertaining game for all!

  • JWaterdrager

    @whalz JWaterdrager Clarkson has proven what? To be a consistent scorer? Fratts gets limited ice time on one of the top teams in the league, what does that prove? We replaced Colborne with Ashton, what is so good about that? 
    I root for Clarkson to get going, and if he doesn’t I’m still happy to have him on the team. If Fratts or Colborne never emerge into regular NHL players It’s ok to me, but jumping into conclussion after 25 games is pre-mature

  • Gozo

    Who is going to take all the minutes for Phaneuf tonight?

  • Staples

    We’ll see.  Bernier’s style is to absorb pucks and he has excellent rebound control.  I’m expecting some degree of frustration.  Besides, he’ll be motivated to play against us.