Shark Club Game Day: Game #69, Maple Leafs at Capitals

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This Sunday matinee in Washington will be the final of three meetings with the Capitals this season. The first was a game the Maple Leafs won that they probably shouldn’t have back on November 23 (2-1 shootout win), and the second was a game they lost but probably should’ve won. The January 10th 3-2 defeat to the Capitals in Washington was tabbed as the kind of “good loss” many teams need to experience before breaking out of a extended losing streak. So it was, as the Leafs have won 15 of 22 since, including a six-game winning streak following that game.

James Reimer will start while Jonathan Bernier nurses an undisclosed lower-body injury. “Thank God we have two starting-quality goaltenders, for when our first starter goes down with an injury at the most crucial time of the season,” said everyone who wanted to trade Reimer months ago.

Last time out versus the Capitals, Reimer stopped 49 of 50 shots against and all three shots faced in the shootout in likely his best 60-minute performance of the season. This will represent the first games he’s played in consecutively since late January when he came in for Bernier in the Dallas blowout and started the next game versus Winnipeg. The Leafs will need him to relish this opportunity. Great goaltending is obviously nothing but a major asset to an NHL team; that said, there’s few teams that rely on theirs as heavily as the Maple Leafs.

Dion Phaneuf has been hit by the flu bug but one imagines he soldiers through, knowing Dion’s history.

The Caps lineup has undergone some changes since the Leafs last saw it a month ago. Jaroslav Halak is now in net. Dustin Penner, added at the deadline, is expected to play on line four with Jay Beagle and Tom Wilson. Evgeni Kutznetsov has crossed the pond from the K and put up three assists in his first game on Friday night. He’s expected to play next to centerman Casey Wellman (emergency recall from Hershey) and Troy Brouwer. Mikhail Grabovski has been out injured since the 50-game mark.

The Capitals have lost five of their last seven; the Leafs are winners of four of their last five, with all wins coming over playoff opponents. This is a chance for the Leafs to help bury the Capitals’ playoff hopes and further solidify their own.

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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".
  • Burtonboy

    GO REEFS GO

  • BingoDabber

    Let’s go Leafs 
    Bury these fuckers

  • BingoDabber

    And Let’s go Reims.

  • PEIleafnation

    go leafs go!

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    All ready for Game day !!!

  • Optimustic

    We need a whole team effort again like we put up against the Kings.   If we play like that we should win easily.  4 – 1 Leafs.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/CurtisGRush https://twitter.com/CurtisGRush/status/445265936220946432
    Dion Phaneuf is on the ice for warmups. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Gilbey93  on a 7 year, 5.25 mill contract.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Feeling like 32 poolside currently.  Starting to cloud over…nice breeze.  Lets get this game started !!

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy  Hasn’t been eating at all for a couple of days.. Yikes.

  • PEIleafnation

    Murph2417 drinking on stpaddys tommrow on PEI anywhere

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy  Ate for the 1st time in 2 days yesterday plus the IV . These guys recover very quickly

  • Leafs rule

    Now If only the sabres can beat the habs ,miracles do happen eh  and the leafs win today Ill be happy,go leafs Goooooo

  • PEIleafnation

    Murph2417 PEIleafnation have my son til 5pm..then he goes to his mom..im off march break…so id say out for some sips later!

  • Doorman

    5-0 leafs!!!  Phil with a Fat Juicy Hatty!!!

    GO LEAFS GO!!!

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy Alec Brownscombe  Crazy

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Doorman  I will settle for a Gino and an Apple.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Doorman  Should be able to roast the  Caps D.

  • Doorman

    I wonder who bingo Dabber is???  Lol

  • Leafs rule

    Time for Crosby to tie this up

  • wendelsway1

    Good Game Day, Gents….Big Leafs win in regulation…….GO LEAFS GO!!!

  • Bruce Gamble

    Does anyone have a link for the game?

  • Xxxxxnew

    I went to a Hurricanes fan site the day of the trade and everything they said about Gleason was overly positive, noting that a change of scene might be good for him. They said their team was in desperate need of a puck handling defenceman.

  • Xxxxxnew

    Is Grabbo still out? Been off quite a while with a wonky ankle.

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Reload!!
    Vape on, McDuff.

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan yes sir !!

  • Doorman

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  You still alive!!!  Lol

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Xxxxxnew  Still out.

  • Cameron19

    Wow. Crosby with a post in the last second.

  • Xxxxxnew

    Thx. Thought so. He’s been stuck at 50 games played for a while.

  • wendelsway1

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  You Betcha!!  :)

  • mcloki

    feels like its gonna be a great one

  • Xxxxxnew

    Penner’s going to look odd in a Caps uniform.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    crazy horsecrap officiating in Habs vs Sens game last night…..not surprised though as its Habs officials in montreal…

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Memo to MLHS:
    I heard from Keon yesterday.  He’s decided to take a step back from the internet (not just MLHS) to spend more time with his family.  As I explained to him, he has a LOT of friends here and would be welcomed back anytime.  He wanted me to pass on his regards.  Hopefully he will return at some point.

  • Xxxxxnew

    …. And I just caught it in the writeup above!

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    LETS GO BOYS, LETS GET THE BIG W!

  • TheCanucksnaphook

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  Glad to hear he is doing well….I like his cranky outbursts. Good for him for stepping away.  Cheers to him !!

  • Optimustic

    Marlies also playing the Hamilton Chihuahuas on SN-360. :-)

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    TheCanucksnaphook Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  
    Definitely respect his decision.

  • Xxxxxnew

    Ovi’s a -29 this season.

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Gilbey93  
    Did he bail??  Good for him!! I’m curious how long Bobby Mack and Dreger last.

  • MLHS_Luke

    Is it too much to ask for the Leafs to come out to this during the next home game?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhsZhvcutE8

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

    MLHS_Luke  
    This song should be banned from MLHS.

  • Burtonboy

    So Ashton is in and Orr is scratched eh

  • Leafs rule

    REimer ,Reimer Reimer , be great again to day

  • MLHS_Luke

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan MLHS_Luke  You won’t be saying that when they bike out on to the ice to an ovation.  Now, to find that cat..

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    MLHS_Luke Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  
    Sorry dude, I can’t stand that song.  It is the epitome of bad 80’s music.

  • MLHS_Luke

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan MLHS_Luke  To each their own.  That song is 100x better then most of the crap out today.