Not too long ago they were toiling dangerously close to the playoff cut off line, unable to score more than a goal a game, but we all knew Los Angeles was too good of a team with too much winning experience not to turn it on down the stretch when the urgency level rises. That’s exactly what the Kings have done, scoring 25 goals over 8 games and posting an 8-0 record since February 8.
Looking to halt the Kings’ heater is the Maple Leafs led by ex Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, who has won three in a row and is tied for 5th in save percentage this season. His first time back in LA as a member of the Maple Leafs, this is a big night for Bernier personally and hopefully the team responds accordingly. He’s certainly stopped enough shots this season to deserve it.
Back in November, the Kings came into Toronto at a time when the Leafs had been slumping. Everyone pictured a game spent largely in the Leaf end of the rink, and yet the Leafs allowed less than 25 shots and spent the majority of the game outskating LA and cycling in their end. It remains one of the more fundamentally sound performances of the Leafs’ season, but it was also a loss as the Leafs could not get one by Martin Jones.
Can we expect more of the same tonight? Probably not. The Kings have allowed the fewest goals of any team and nearly the fewest shots. They’re the best possession team according to shot attempts for and against. 26th in goals for despite the 2nd most shot attempts, this is an offense that can be shut down, though, and a hot goalie is something the Leafs have in Bernier. For those wondering, Marian Gaborik has played three games with the Kings and is yet to record a point playing to Kopitar’s left.
Cody Franson is expected to return to the lineup, meaning 7D is likely. Peter Holland is questionable with the flu. If Holland can’t go, one images Kulemin fills the third line center void (probably in between Raymond and Bodie, with Clarkson up to line 2).
The game starts at 10:30 p.m. EST on TSN.
Go Leafs Go. Go Bernier Go.
Some of the extended pressure the Leafs put on tonight was amazing. That one shift with Gardiner-Rielly and I think it was Lupul-Kulemin-Bodie(?) especially. Even the first line was cycling a bit to help shut the door in the closing minutes.
Wish they'd make the process a little less nerve-wracking, and receive the game a bit less, but probably going to need some reinforcements on D for that to happen.
Josh Gold-Smith @GoldAndOrSmith
That's the head. pic.twitter.com/iw4HnTRUpf
Just finished the game. 4 out 6 points is very good. They just did themselves a huge favour, best to keep it going and keep banking those points. They have a chance to bury the Wings next week and put an almost insurmountable amount of points between them.
A lot of stuff let go on LA's side and this western road swing, so no surprise these three teams are good. I love Doughty trying to get a high stick call when Bozie skated by in the 3rd, worse than a dive in some respects.
If Bernier is actually hurt, I hope Randy keeps playing Reimer. This will be the last chance to give him a set of games before the playoffs.
Next up the Caps and they are ripe for the picking. Sorry Grabs.
Not surprised with the way the Leafs deal with injuries. Pure incompetence.
great confidence boosting game for reimer. necessary if bernier is out for any length of time. reim's been looking shaky lately and who could blame him, with the lack of playing time. great to see him play SO strong tonight.
i was at the game and he was definitely looking at his best. confident. aggressive. controlling rebounds. good game.
i still hope bernier is not out for long at all. but a good 1-2 punch in net will get you to the playoffs almost every time.
I'll take the Habs in the first round. Don't want the BJ's or Rags cause we seem to suck against them..
@Bruffins lol Really. Can't we have both? There's isn't a rule that says a team can't have two good goalies. I think we should just enjoy it, it's been how long since we've had one good goalie, let alone two.
@Jay31 Looks like the arm to me :P Did anyone else think he stuck out his leg a little too much? Maybe I'm splitting hairs here. He almost ran his skate over his arm. Double scary moment.
Edit: Who cares now. Reimer said it was his head.
@Jay31 Nope. It's the shoulder. Carlyle knows.
@Xxxxxnew Good for them? Actually good for Fraser.
@DeclanK Without Price they are nothing. If they aren't careful they could easily miss the playoffs.
@loomx Wait, are you saying you wanted Reimer to leave the game?
@Bring the Cup Home yeah Reims needed that, it was great to see
@Jmessih Orr played for Manitoba in Canada Games as a soccer goalie didn't he? Thought I read that somewhere.
@wiski Enjoy it buddy!
@Pent_House Getting in is the easy part...
@Burtonboy I wonder if it's something teams consider beforehand? Like if they test their players in net or anything? Would be valuable to know who stood the best chance if a skater is needed in net.
@TuckerForPunishment We will either play a team from our division or Pittsburgh. No chance we play CBJ or NYR in first round
@TuckerForPunishment I would take on NY any day. BJ's scare me for some reason EDIT:. LOL I just realized what I said.
@TuckerForPunishment A Leafs Habs series would be intense and awesome
Reimer said it was his head after the game. Who knows what he told the trainer right after it happened.
@Xxxxxnew What's the saying? Who ever gives you the best chance to win right? *Insert Lack instead of Luo* lol
I've said before, I like both goalies, but I could not give a shit which one plays more. I'm not related to or in love with either of them.
He played minor pro in net. And it wasn't until the mid-60s teams even carried an extra goalie on the bench.
@Xxxxxnew Lefty Wilson. I've heard about that. lol "I'm actually old enough" like it's something from the dark ages. So uncivilized having a trainer go in.
It could have happened tonight.
@Xxxxxnew Actually the trainer told him "If you come out, Orr's going in". That was the smelling salt he needed.
In all seriousness, I'm sure Reimer wanted to stay in no matter what, so who knows.
@Xxxxxnew It is. I was just having a bit of fun. I'm glad Fraser scored. Guy does anything for his team. Can't hate that.
SAGINAW, Mich. - Media reports say a Canadian junior hockey player whose body was found in Michigan this week died from asphyxiation, which police believe to have been self-inflicted.
The reports say autopsy results for Terry Trafford, 20, were released Thursday — two days after the missing athlete was found in an SUV in the parking lot of a Walmart store in Saginaw Township.