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.
Whatever. Leafs took an unexpected 4 points out of 6 in California. I'll let this one slide. Fix the fckn special teams though and beat Detroit please!
Just throwing this out there. While I hated that call on Gardiner because it was really similar to Getzlaf's play in Anaheim that didn't get called, Washington had 1 more PP than us, not ten. I can't remember the last game where everybody wasn't complaining about the refs. Next game, go to the other team's site and see how many calls their fans complain about. Calls are missed/called both ways and you are only noticing the ones that are on the Leafs.
Here's the slash on Bozak's clear breakaway from three games in ago in Anaheim. There was no penalty call.
The boys have just come off a 3 game western roadtrip, they have players out with and playing with the flu , they are missing Bernier and Bolland, they will get better. Go Leafs Go!
And then there's this: https://twitter.com/Hope_Smoke/status/445312077805420544
Special teams was the difference once again. an unclutch PP going 0 for 3 and an abysmal PK allowing 2 goals. The end.
@Belfour20 when we came back from down 4-1
@Belfour20 Last Feb ... 3-2 victory with Scrivens posting the win.
@Belfour20 Nope and I embarassed ,U !!!!!
@Bruffins It's just a thing that fans in general do when their team plays poorly in one or many aspects of the game. Blaming the refs is far easier than blaming a PK or PP or even strength system. It's always the refs fault and never our own.
@Bruffins 1. We're making an objective analysis of what we watch, so if other team's fans are complaining, it may be a systemic issue. 2. The timing of the calls and the inconsistency of the calls is the problem. We seem to be up against silent whistles when holding a lead, and the opposite when chasing (but this is unsubstantiated).
@Reversethecurse13 Different game, different refs.
@Black_Hawk I have come to accept he is done in Toronto. What a shitty trade that was
@Black_Hawk Nope. Doubt he'll be back this year.
@ingy56 Its afact ,this town is waiting , and detoilet we will win ,Ross st st thom says so ,edited to say its not me saying this ,all Detroit know they cant beat us
@loomx They won that draw and created a scoring chance.....
@Bruffins It's like Carlyle is toying with him. I'm really curious as to what he tells him during their long conversations at practice. "look I know I haven't played you, kid. But I'm giving you 2 minutes next game so ya better show me something." pathetic.
@loomx actually I dont even know if that's true......I'm just tired of reading your negative posts.