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

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

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Pregame coles notes:

- 3 regulation wins in the last 25 games for the Leafs. That has to change tonight.
- Jonathan Bernier starts for the Leafs after stopping 39 of 40 shots vs. the Rangers.
- No real changes to the lineup from Monday’s loss to the Rangers: Paul Ranger stays in beside Morgan Rielly, Liles and Fraser sit.
- Randy Carlyle says he likes the strength and “power” to Ranger’s game, meaning “Power Ranger” can now be a thing.
- No Cody Hodgson for the Sabres, who is out for another couple of weeks after hurting himself blocking a shot.
- Ryan Miller starts in net. He sports a 31-15-1 record and .922 save percentage in his career vs. Toronto.
- Sabres rookie Zemgus Girgensons has three goals and three assists in his past nine games.
- Buffalo remains the worst team in the league but have gone 4-4-2 in their last ten. Mostly because their goals against are down lately. Ryan Miller is heating up ((2-0-0, 1.45, .959 in last 2 GP).
- The Sabres are averaging a hideous 1.68 goals per game. The last team to finish below 2 per game on average was the Lightning in 1997-98 with a 1.84 GF/G.
- Ted Nolan has stated his intention to put John Scott in front of Jonathan Bernier on the powerplay tonight. Bernier will have to peer around him and tune out all the guttural grunting.

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]
1267 comments
Zep2
Zep2

Liked Fransons game again  tonite.  


Good nite folks.


Really looking fwd to the Outdoor game 



mr_hanie
mr_hanie

It makes it easier on a coach if you have great face-off men, like Boston has

Zep2
Zep2

Holland is solidifying a spot on this team. Nonis deserves a lot of credit for this deal

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

If Holland can also kill penalties,someday, that would be a huge bonus

Rick_Vaives_slapshot
Rick_Vaives_slapshot

I wonder if HBO was booted in between the 1st and 2nd. I would LOVE to see and hear that

Cloud09
Cloud09

So did Gardiner get paired up with Phaneuf tonight?? Gardiner with 24 minutes tonight and Dion almost cracked 26.

Zep2
Zep2

On the soso news, good news front Bruins 5, Sens 0 

Wilbur
Wilbur

I don't see any issues/tough decision with the return of Bozak. Bozak goes back to his rightful place between Kess and JVR, Holland stays where he is and Kadri slides into McClement's current spot and McC drops to fourth line. The issue or tough decision will come when Bolland returns. Presuming we don't have further injuries to centres.

Zep2
Zep2

Watching the 1st period was brutal, case closed. But Bernier did a Grant Fuhr and wouldn't let in the back breaker and his team mates rallied to get him a win


This was a near death experience for the team tonite. Nice to see some push back for a change

Denied
Denied

In the last 4 games Buffalo beat Phoenix, Boston and Winnipeg.... Why is everyone freaking out after a win? Every game is different and with Bozak due back on Sunday I am sure the leafs will be stepping it up with a more balanced attack.

Wilbur
Wilbur

@wiski If Sportsnet is scooping up any TSN talent it won't be Dreger and MacKenzie…It'll be Kate and Natasha. They get my vote.

Wilbur
Wilbur

@Cloud09 I think he played mostly with Franson again...

Zep2
Zep2

@-Keon- He is going to be special.  he's bailed his partners out a couple of times defensively as well in the last couple of games

Denied
Denied

@-Keon- Agreed, he realizes when his team needs him to step up and does his best when he gets the oppurtunity. This kid is going to be a heck of a player in 2-3 years and probably a great leader

Wilbur
Wilbur

@-Keon- I knew he was going to shoot it where he did but I was hoping he was going to pull a Kadri (like the one on Fleury earlier this year) and cut back to the middle of the net.

Wilbur
Wilbur

@Zep2 Bernier let out two rebounds that resulted in goals that I'm sure we'd prefer he didn't let out but both were softy, fluttering shots which are hard to deal with. We'd do well to remember this when Reimer lets out the odd rebound as well. Quite happy we have two very young and very good goaltenders that each have the ability to be a starter.

Rick_Vaives_slapshot
Rick_Vaives_slapshot

@Zep2 they had ONE good period. Once again, this team cant play 60. Sabres probably went home and had Christmas turkey too, This was a shit effort once again.


Dangle_My_Berries
Dangle_My_Berries

your right, Bozak helps right some issues with us, a big one being face-off wins 

RememberSalming
RememberSalming

@Denied agreed.  Never thought I'd see Bozak as a saviour, but it restores a lot of balance to have him back.

Rick_Vaives_slapshot
Rick_Vaives_slapshot

@-Keon-@Zep2 My 86 year old father-in-law will be here new years eve AND day. I might be spending TWO full days in my garage. Pretending to fix something or other.

djamon
djamon

@Rick_Vaives_slapshot Fucking stop! We get it...you don't think they deserved to win. Come up with something else to talk about or just sit and read.

Zep2
Zep2

@-Keon- @Denied Bumping Smithson to the waiver wire is worth at least 4.5M per

djamon
djamon

@Rick_Vaives_slapshot 49 here...I'm lucky because I only saw the OT and Shootout. But as a wise man once said...there's no room for a story on the scorecard.