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

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.

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".
776 comments
Loric76
Loric76

Gotta love the Bower Skate infomercial in the middle of the third...

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

Leafs power play and PK seem to be problem areas now. Even strength is now, their saving grace.

loomx
loomx

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!

mr_hanie
mr_hanie

Special teams made the difference. Leafs PK was not good today, its not the refs fault.

DeclanK
DeclanK moderator

*fart noise*

Bruffins
Bruffins

And Im off for the day, have a good one everybody

ingy56
ingy56

James Mirtle ‏@mirtle  1m

Carlyle said he wasn't happy with some of Reimer's rebounds early. Added he wants to show some confidence in him i.e. not pulling him.

Bruffins
Bruffins

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.

PEIleafnation
PEIleafnation

how much ice time did ashton get...I heard his name 1 time in first? was there more?

ingy56
ingy56

Let's go Sabres (that hurts) and Hawks. 

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

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!

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

Leafs didnt show up in first after Western road trip and return with a DAY game (thans NHL scheduler).. but showed heart in trying to come back.. esp strong 2nd period..  This team will not have those first period type periods in the playoffs.. yet stil have that explosive scoring ability.. Still think we are top 3 in the EAST and going past first 2 rounds

loomx
loomx

Special teams was the difference once again. an unclutch PP going 0 for 3 and an abysmal PK allowing 2 goals. The end.

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

Gotta get back at it and win the next two games against DET and TB. HUGE games right there 

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@mr_hanie
to put it in perspective.. Bernier has an 888 save % on the pk . Rask 874.  NJ has best pk in league.. Brodeur 884 save %.. Mtl top 5-  Price 891...


My point being.. our PK sucks because we ALLOW too many shots.. prevent d collapsing does not work.

ingy56
ingy56

@Belfour20  Last Feb ... 3-2 victory with Scrivens posting the win. 

loomx
loomx

@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.

Reversethecurse13
Reversethecurse13

@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). 

Jordan29
Jordan29

@Black_Hawk  I have come to accept he is done in Toronto. What a shitty trade that was

Leafs rule
Leafs rule

@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

T K O
T K O

@loomx They won that draw and created a scoring chance.....

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Two wins in 10 games over five seasons in Washington.

Bruffins
Bruffins

@loomx @Bruffins  

I get that the refs are going to make mistakes and may cost us the odd game but people complain every single game. The league-wide perception is that Toronto gets all of the calls and favours from the refs

Bruffins
Bruffins

@Belfour20 @Bruffins  

"I don't like to complain about the refs but this game is the worst they have done ever" - Leafs fans every game

T K O
T K O

@loomx actually I dont even know if that's true......I'm just tired of reading your negative posts.

loomx
loomx

@Bruffins @loomx  Yep. The league is always out to get us for some people. Funny enough, I never see anyone complain about the refs when we win, except for @Cameron19  who complains every single game.

Lonsmos2
Lonsmos2

That game was the worst one sided job of refereeing I've ever seen

Black_Hawk
Black_Hawk

a@Jordan29 @Black_Hawk  actually we traded a 4th rounder in this years for him but we got that back in the colborn deal. And any ways i rather bolland than picks b/c picks wont have as big a impact as he will for us. 

loomx
loomx

@T K O @loomx  First of all, there is never a good reason to put McClement on in the last 5 minutes when trailing especially in the offensive zone. And second of all, he has 8 points and has regressed immensely on the PK. So why should I stick up for him?

T K O
T K O

@loomx @T K Oalas........so you have no idea what happened on that faceoff and yet you repost as if it failed....you need to get off your MCClement kick

loomx
loomx

@T K O @loomx  Me too. Wish there wasn't any negativity to post, but alas...