Rangers at Leafs Game Preview: A return to normalcy

Rangers at Leafs Game Preview: A return to normalcy

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David Clarkson

With the HBO 24/7 sideshow and the 2014 Winter Classic spectacle now behind them, the Toronto Maple Leafs look to continue a three-game winning streak versus the New York Rangers.

Jonathan Bernier will start his fifth game in a row for the first time in his career, and for the first time for either Leaf goaltender this season. He turned aside 39 of 40 shots against the Rangers in a shootout loss prior to the Christmas break. This has been a convincing stretch from Bernier, one that will be tough to recover from as far as Reimer is concerned.

Randy Carlyle for his part is still at least paying lip service to open competition between the goaltenders:

New acquisition Tim Gleason will not play tonight, which makes sense on a couple of levels. Carlyle is right to stick by the group that has pieced together three straight wins, with Paul Ranger playing some of his better games of the season. Gleason also needs some practice time to gain familiarity with the Carlyle swarm defensive system in particular, which can put the defenceman in some uncomfortable situations in the transition once possession is recovered.

In the last meeting between the two teams, a wide open first period yielded nothing due to good goaltending from Cam Talbot and Jonathan Bernier before the Rangers played the entire second period in the Leaf end, with Bernier holding the game goalless until the third period. The Rangers took the lead off the stick of JT Miller after a defensive zone breakdown by the Leafs before Nazem Kadri poked the puck over the line from underneath Talbot’s pad with a few minutes remaining.

The Leafs have won three in a row since the loss to the Rangers, two in shootout (which now represents a third of their total wins with 7 SO victories), while the Rangers have gone 2-2-0 versus the Capitals (L), Lightning (W), Florida (W) and Pittsburgh (L).

736 comments
Optimustic
Optimustic

Kenny Ryan to the box,  Utica PP.

mcloki
mcloki

Gleason get out of # 8. It's cursed.

17Forever
17Forever

We should take these guys tonight ... 

Optimustic
Optimustic

Just going to say the Marlies scored,  I see it's been reported.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Been watching some Gleason highlights from season before last. He's got a nice one-timer from the point. Strong bastard. Hope he can recapture some of it.

TML67
TML67

Del Zotto has been a healthy scratch the last two games and has been on the trade rumour train along with Kadri... 


Optimustic
Optimustic

End of the 1st,  Still 1 - 1.  Time to get something to eat.

Cameron19
Cameron19

Would you guys do this?  Would Florida:

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To FLA: Fraser, 1st in 2014
To TOR: Kulikov, Whitney

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With Florida eating 1 million of Kulikov's cap hit so we can make it fit.

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The thinking is that they help us make the cap balance, so we take Whitney off their hands - who they are paying 900K to play in the AHL.  Are they really expecting more than a 1st for Kulikov?

17Forever
17Forever

@mcloki I know right !!! LOL 

Todd Wariner and Komo ... who else ?

wendelsway1
wendelsway1

@Burtonboy I honestly think that if Gleason was playing tonight, Healy would be questioning Carlyle for switching up the lineup after a win..

mcloki
mcloki

Stole my line, but you wear it well. Just turned on to hear the idiot.

17Forever
17Forever

@Xxxxxnew Lets hope ... would be a nice fit, But with that salary ? it wont be a long leash, sad to say the press will rip him apart.

TML67
TML67

I hope they don't trade kadri .. he has not played a full season yet


peterbleafs
peterbleafs

@Cameron19This years draft sucks, Sam Reinhart and Ekblad are rated one and two, and they were both irrelevant in the world juniors and often looked weak.  Of all the years, I would not mind ditching this years 1st rounder in a deal.

17Forever
17Forever

@Cameron19 Hmmmm its a thinker. I really don't like giving up 1st's Never have, unless its a package for a star.

Jordan29
Jordan29

@Cameron19 I don't think I would trade that 1st yet, but if so its a guy like Kulikov yes. Great big fuck no to MDZ like people here were suggesting. Hes garbage coming straight from NYR fans

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

I see way more ripping here than in the press about salaries. Besides, cap's up to at least $71 mil next year. The free agents this summer are going to make $4 mil look like $2 mil. Even non spending teams are going to have to get to the new cap floor.

Jordan29
Jordan29

@TML67 they wont, that's just media bullshit. Nonis would never give up on a guy that quick. Hes suppose to be the most patient guy ever

wendelsfist
wendelsfist

@TML67 Does this trade make sense to anyone?  I can't understand it and so view it as a bad rumour

Cameron19
Cameron19

@peterbleafs @Cameron19 My thinking exactly. We've heard absolutely no hype about this draft, even from the hype machine at TSN. Everyone is already looking forward to McDavid as if this is a worthless year.  I bet we see a lot of picks dealt at the deadline this year with teams being nonchalant about it. 

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Jordan29 @Cameron19 Agree on that.  Kulikov has elite potential though, and I was thinking, if Nonis is interested in him, perhaps he sees a bit of Edler in him. 

17Forever
17Forever

@mcloki I thought Bill Berg  ... man I forgot about Aki Berg ... man

mcloki
mcloki

Did you hurt yourself, Coli would have. Lol.

17Forever
17Forever

@Xxxxxnew 

I hope he does ... He has been a great Dman before. Very excited to see his game up close. We needed a Bobby Rouse  !

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

He doesn't have any trade restrictions on his contract after this year. Don't think were stuck with him if he doesn't fit.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@loomx @Cameron19 Well, Gardiner is better than Kulikov right now, so that makes no sense. Playoff teams don't have players like Gardiner to deal, and even if they did, they wouldn't be subtracting from their team to add a different prospect.  

loomx
loomx

@Cameron19 @loomx Good young players like Gardiner would be their preference I'd assume. And there's bound to be a playoff team that would pony up. A 15-30 pick in a weak draft isn't what I would be interested in.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@TheCanucksnaphook @Cameron19 @Jordan29 You had me thinking even when it first came up.  What really put me off him in the first place was the idea that we'd swap Gardiner for him - which to me makes no sense. Swapping an unknown pick makes a lot more sense to me. They can watch the next Gauthier develop for 5 years and try to be optimistic about his defensive upside on the 4th line - for all I'm concerned.  And if they happen to snag a Hertl or a Mantha - good for them, but the uncertainty is killing me.  This team is ready to start stepping forward now. 

17Forever
17Forever

@Cameron19 @17Forever @NotInsane @TheCanucksnaphook 

Its a head scratcher. but why not just wait for this years free agency then ? some great 3 and 4 Damn on the market !! right side shots as well. Still trade one of ours for a pick and keep our 1st ? I know you love asset management .. does that not do both for us ? 

with a list like Matt Greene. Dan Girardi just to name a couple available Why not make our move this summer !! 

Thats why I hesitate ..

NotInsane
NotInsane

@Cameron19 @TheCanucksnaphook 

Its a good deal for the Leafs but... I'll pass.  I just don't like the idea of our first pick in the draft coming in the third round.  Plus paying Kulikov, Gardiner, Reilly, Phaneuf in a few years... too risky.  I think if you do this you might have to turn around and trade a Gardiner or Franson for cap reasons. 

Cameron19
Cameron19

@17Forever @Cameron19 @TheCanucksnaphook No, that is not what put us in a shit state.  Trading 1st rounders for 35 year olds who suck put us in a tough position. Trading them for 22 year olds who themselves were drafted high in the 1st round is an entirely different story. 

17Forever
17Forever

@Cameron19 @TheCanucksnaphook 

Why ?? Thats what put us in the last 8 year shit state ... we are going for Long runs here are we not ? .. DET style ... need our picks to do that

17Forever
17Forever

@Cameron19 @17Forever @NotInsane @TheCanucksnaphook 

Smith is out with a broken hand ... who plays ? Smithson ? fuck it  Holland is in ... you have to show your youth that if  you play hard you have a shot !! its about development and motivation ... part of the game