The points are now at a premium with under 20 games to go and the group that has the Leafs sitting fifth in the East has been trusted with closing out the job.
A vote of confidence? Maybe not quite, but there’s certainly a big test ahead for this group down the stretch.
Speaking of which, Peter Holland and Carter Ashton have been recalled while Nikolai Kulemin has been returned to a line with Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri. The Leafs poked the tires on a center but opted to play Peter Holland as their 3C for now while Bolland continues to recover. This is an opportunity for Holland to run with it.
Ashton will skate alongside Troy Bodie and Jay McClement on line four, while Holland will center David Clarkson and Mason Raymond on line three. Those changes give the Leafs’ bottom 3 forward lines a much different look than what we saw on Monday versus Columbus. Hopefully it also results in a secondary scoring presence beyond the Leafs’ top line.
New Rangers acquisition Marty St. Louis is expected to skate on old linemate Brad Richards’ wing in his first game in the Big Apple.
The unknown with a trade such as today’s by NYR and Tampa Bay is what swapping Captains (for the first time since ’95) does to the respective teams. The Rangers look the better team on paper after the trade, beyond a doubt, but St. Louis is a much different player than what’s leaving and there may be a feeling out process trying to find the right fit. Hopefully the adjustment isn’t seamless and takes a few games, for the Leafs’ sake.
The Rangers, like Columbus, have had the Leafs’ number this season. The Leafs scraped a point out of a Christmastime meeting but were soundly outplayed for much of the game. In early January, New York blew the Leafs out of their own building by a score of 7-1.
It’s all about dealing with the forecheck for the Leafs, which they did a good job of in the first period against Columbus before getting snowed under in the 2nd. The prescout on the Leafs is pretty obvious, and it is that a hard forecheck and cycle will get the Leafs D pinned in and scrambling, and from there they sometimes struggle to recover and break out as a team.
JvR – Bozak – Kessel
Lupul – Kadri – Kulemin
Raymond – Holland – Clarkson
Ashton – McClement – Bodie
Gunnarsson – Phaneuf
Gardiner – Franson
Gleason – Rielly
Hiya Guys....pretty good game tonight....minus the 2 min PP when the shit hit the fan. 2 points is 2 points and we're sitting in third...pretty happy tonight!....Vape on! GO LEAFS GO!!
Geez those couple of extra points coming out of the break would have felt nice. Oh, well at least we got it tonight.
Sorta wish we coulda snagged Cammeliri for Raymond and pick or something today. Woulda been nice little upgrade me thinks
Ppl need to lay off Raymond. He can be a beast at times. Its very few and far between, but when he's on he creates some great chances. He just needs to stop forcing shots and passes right now and make the easy play to get himself open. Simplicity is his friend he just needs to be reminded with a goal or two.
I think when Dion plays > 22 mins he starts to suck (gets tired makes poor decisions). When will the Leafs finally get him some help?! Has Carlyle learned nothing from last season?!
@CanuckUKinToronto But they made themselves better by trading for Hemsky today!!
@CanuckUKinToronto f-u-c-k Ottawa!!!!!!!!!!!!
@Denied Who, us??
@Pent_House Well said. They do seem caught between styles at times.
@Pent_House Well said PH. I couldn't agree more. I can't figure out what this team is supposed to be and some of it has to do with players added post RC hiring (i.e. Raymond). RC preaches one thing but then we add a guy like Raymond to the bunch you just mentioned. Columbus looks big and powerful compared to us. I guess we'll see what happens this summer.
@lukethenuke 5 points in his last 6 games.
@lukethenuke 10 and 3rd instead of 4th
@Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Wish we had a No Frills LOL
@lukethenuke I don't think toronto has ever been on Cammeliri's list of teams.
@lukethenuke Cammalleri makes 5 million more than Raymond so....
@darthNihilus i thought he played well the past few games
@darthNihilus obviously theres gonna be mistakes from the amount of minutes he playes but i think its acceptable as id rather have him out then gardiner or franson or reilly in the third period
@Shift_Disturber1 Hemsky might be my new favourite player. Scores 2 goals to beat the Sens last night and is scoreless and a -1 one tonight playing for them.
@Marlies Man That's a great site...I use it all the time.
The Maple Leafs will receive a fourth-round pick from the Flames; however, that pick will become a third-rounder if Colborne scores 10 goals or 35 points in the 2013-14 regular season and Calgary qualifies for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
@djamon @lukethenuke I like Gunnar as well but he is in over his head on the top pairing. Gunnar is steady but if you're going to play a guy on the top pairing, getting significant minutes and playing with a guy like Dion then that player needs to have greater ability. Possibly Rielly down the road in a year or two.
@lukethenuke I love Gunnar...always have. But if we're going to ask Dion to be more of a stay at home guy then having a partner who can move the puck on his own would be a great help to him. Gunnar may not be fast enough to play with Dion 25 minutes a night.
@darthNihilus He's our #1 d-man...and paid like it. He should be playing 22 minutes at least. Maybe if he had someone better suited to play with it would make it easier on him. But the answer isn't playing the guy less than 22 minutes, IMO.