Shark Club Game Day: Game #64, Maple Leafs at Rangers

Shark Club Game Day: Game #64, Maple Leafs at Rangers

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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.

Projected Lines:

JvR – Bozak – Kessel
Lupul – Kadri – Kulemin
Raymond – Holland – Clarkson
Ashton – McClement – Bodie

Gunnarsson – Phaneuf
Gardiner – Franson
Gleason – Rielly
Ranger

Bernier

Founded in 2008, Maple Leafs Hotstove (MLHS) has grown to be the most visited unofficial team-focused hockey website online (Quantcast). Independently owned and operated, MLHS provides thorough and wide ranging content, varying from news, opinion and analysis, to pre-game and long-form game reviews, a weekly feature piece, the "Leafs Notebook", along with a Web TV show the "Maple Leaf Hangout".
1405 comments
DJGLENN22
DJGLENN22

Habs tie it up with 36 seconds left in 2nd


wendelsway1
wendelsway1

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!!

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

Woooo  Ducks scored. 2-1 MTL now

ShiFty_D
ShiFty_D

Let's Go Ducks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Denied
Denied

12-3-3 in their last 18...just saying

Luke_R
Luke_R

Great pass by Hudler though, wow.. all hudler

Luke_R
Luke_R

colborne scores... how many does he need for us to get a better pick? and what pick is it?

Luke_R
Luke_R

Sorta wish we coulda snagged Cammeliri for Raymond and pick or something today.  Woulda been nice little upgrade me thinks

Wilbur
Wilbur

@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.

Bon Scott was a Leaf fan
Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

@Shift_Disturber1 @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

Actually, I'm not a big fan of No Frills.  It's not as nice as Loblaws or Metro...or even Freshco.  I think it's the Lada of grocery stores.  But, they have some great sales from time to time and I like to take advantage when I can.  It pays off to become a smart grocery shopper.

djamon
djamon

@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.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

@lukethenuke @Xxxxxnew  limited no move. I would pay to find out how many players have and haven't got the Leafs on their trade lists. It would be interesting to know who is actually availiable out there to us on trade day. 

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

@lukethenuke @Xxxxxnew  Limited. Means he give the team he's with a list of x number of teams where he's be willing to be traded.

Savo43
Savo43

@lukethenuke @Savo43  Still wouldn't have had the cap room, and you can only retain so much of a salary. I'd rather just trade him and bring up a kid like Leivo, D'amigo or Ashton and give them a secondary scoring role. I think Leivo has the best chance of the 3 to produce in the NHL though. 

Luke_R
Luke_R

@Savo43 @lukethenuke  this late in the year, salaries dont affect the cap as much as in the beginning, and evem so, im sure for Raymond and pick, they would/ could have retained some salary to make it work