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:
Carlyle on Bernier as no. 1: "There are times when you look at it and say 'Is this the time?'… (1/2)
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) January 4, 2014
Carlyle: "I'm not ready quite yet to say he's this or he's that." (2/2)
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) January 4, 2014
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).
GAME DAY THREAD FRIENDS http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2014/01/04/gdt-rangers-at-maple-leafs-7-p-m-cbc/
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.
Del Zotto has been a healthy scratch the last two games and has been on the trade rumour train along with Kadri...
Would you guys do this? Would Florida:
To FLA: Fraser, 1st in 2014
To TOR: Kulikov, Whitney
With Florida eating 1 million of Kulikov's cap hit so we can make it fit.
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?
@mcloki I know right !!! LOL
Todd Wariner and Komo ... who else ?
@-Keon-Impossible we traded kulie because he is ready !
@Burtonboy I honestly think that if Gleason was playing tonight, Healy would be questioning Carlyle for switching up the lineup after a win..
Sweet !! is this game on the radio anywhere ?
@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.
@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.
@Cameron19Yes in a heartbeat.
@Cameron19 I doubt they're interested in a pick for Kulikov.
@Cameron19 Hmmmm its a thinker. I really don't like giving up 1st's Never have, unless its a package for a star.
@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
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.
@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
@TML67 Does this trade make sense to anyone? I can't understand it and so view it as a bad rumour
@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.
@mcloki I thought Bill Berg ... man I forgot about Aki Berg ... man
I hope he does ... He has been a great Dman before. Very excited to see his game up close. We needed a Bobby Rouse !
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.
@Xxxxxnew Ya, but if he doesn't work out ?? the Press here are killers
@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.
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 ..
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.