21 days off felt as long as it sounds, but the Maple Leafs’ 2013-14 regular season will begin rounding its final corner tonight in New York.
From the sounds of it, the Maple Leafs, after all the time off, may end up with the same lineup they left off with, more or less, tonight against the Isles. That could include Nikolai Kulemin at center along with Mason Raymond and Troy Bodie on line three, the usual top line and Lupul – Kadri – Clarkson on L2. Dave Bolland doesn’t sound ready to go just yet, but Trevor Smith is available and may factor into the lineup. Carter Ashton’s status isn’t clear.
It’s going to be a frantic race to the finish with 22 games in 45 days. The Leafs will need at least 21 points out of those 22 to ensure a playoff berth in April. Two points against the Tavares-less Islanders seems like a good place to start.
GAME DAY READING:
- Jerry D’Amigo has nine goals in his last 10 games, including a goal (and a nice assist) versus Binghamton yesterday. Think this guy could skate a regular shift in the NHL, maybe?
- That’s four straight wins for the Marlies, who are a remarkable 32-17-2 and running away with the North Division. The Marlies are third in the Western Conference with plenty of games in hand.
- James Mirtle on possible deadline sales by the Leafs. Nonis, as he did with Bozak, seems content to play wait and see with the UFAs.
- Damien Cox says the Leafs are likely to be quiet at the March 5 deadline. So might the whole league unless things (i.e. Kesler, St. Louis) pick up steam soon.
- Dave Bolland suffers a set back. The weekend seems to be the new target, but no guarantees.
- Saturday’s opponent, the Canadiens, may not have Carey Price in net. Picked up a lower-body injury at the team’s morning skate yesterday (day to day).
- Last night’s relevant game in the playoff race was, unfortunately, a three-pointer. Detroit beat Montreal in OT. Last night’s highlights:
I was so happy today and in a great mood and didnt know why. Now I remember because ITS LEAF GAME DAY BITCHES AND I GET TO WATCH THEM AND COMMENT WITH MY FAVOURTIE GROUP OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, YA OLD WASTED FUCKS!
Really good stuff on NHL's salary structure by @mc79hockey today http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/leafs-should-be-wary-of-bolland-contract/ …
@mike_84 jesus man post a link. You know we are lazy :D
@Burtonboy hey James, its your media brethren starting this shit, not us..
@Burtonboy Bollands signing with Young Money? I guess if they can turn Drake into a star, they can do anything...
@Jordan29 one of us....one of us!
@Shift_Disturber1 ever since I listened to Mirtle and I forget who else in their daytime radio thing I think hes a fucking moron. He was talking about shit we wouldnt even say here 5 years ago
@Loric76 i feel something coming back to me...
@Shift_Disturber1 Again listen to what Nonis said . According to reports the Nucks want a young center to replace Kesler thus the Kadri speculation. Thats exactly the type of deal Nonis said he wouldn't do
@Shift_Disturber1 Just trying to drum up interest with little to no big names available I think.
@Loric76 i could have told you that....rule of thumb is....take what the media says and subtract 2 million
@Loric76 every player asks for a steep initial asking price. this is old news in terms of UFAs. It will drop as talks start between the Leafs and his camp.
@Loric76 should have sucked in her thighs too
@Loric76 Photoshop is awesome, you should see what it's done for my penis's self confidence.
@Shift_Disturber1 This is what i've been saying. Chicago does it right, they have their core in place and cycle the rest of the roster spots with ELC's and cheap deals. Desperate teams later overpay for some of those pieces
@Mcost61 The Oil it is then
@Mcost61 Hello Winnipeg
@Pent_House He might do it tonight!
@Pent_House For sure he hits 40 or more this year
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan I concur
@Shift_Disturber1 has Shannon said hes all but a Leaf yet?
@Shift_Disturber1 Paging John Shannon
@TheCanucksnaphook @Belfour20 yeah or continue to develop Holland at C and if there's injury alt east you know you have a guy on the wing who can slide in to the C role comfortably. There's a reason that there is so much interest amongst teams for Kulemin. He's an extremely versatile player that can be slotted in all over the lineup
Point is, I like Bolland as a player but I think the money can be better spent elsewhere
@ProfessorRance @Loric76 @4evrblue Aside from the Clarkson signing, I've been a pretty big fan of NoNo's, but if he signs Bolland to a long term deal north of 4 mil per year I'll be deeply disappointed. Especially with Holland proving MORE than capable of handling the 3rd line C role at a $870,000 cap hit
@Loric76 I agree with Nonis . If a player wants to stay and the team wants to keep him ultimately things get worked out