For those watching this game with an eye on draft positioning:
It's been tough sledding of late watching the Leafs play, to say the least; the meaninglessness of the game as far as playoffs go and the fact that it was a classic Jersey game tempted the clicker finger of even the most devout Leafs fans last night.
And we're still in late January with 30+ games to go. With the 16-25-6 Coyotes on the docket, the combined playoff odds in this matchup are just as low as last night.
At the same time, with Phaneuf out, seeing Rielly and Gardiner in serious-minute territory...
The reality for both these teams is that the trade deadline and draft positioning have become the only real talking points of relevance down the stretch.
The Devils are trotting out a roster that was best suited to contend just after the 04-05 lockout.
The Leafs have one win in the year 2015 and are now without a top pairing defenceman; the current solution with Phaneuf out is moving Korbinian Holzer over to his weak side and playing him on the top pairing with Cody Franson.
The Leafs do have Leo Komarov, expected to start with Kadri and Kessel, and Peter Holland, expected to play with Winnik...
The 21st place Maple Leafs (2-8-0 in their last 10) are in Kanata to take on the Senators (4-4-2) in a meaningless game between two rivals.
A tank battle for the ages; the Toronto Maple Leafs are now in a position where the team, as currently constructed, has had a fork put in it by fans and media. What's left is a poorly constructed roster that is going to need an overhaul. Ottawa, who have the lowest payroll in the league, are just ahead of Toronto.
Reimer is 8-1-0 vs Ottawa.
Maple Leafs Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Phil...
The Maple Leafs return home to host the Hurricanes after a miserable trip down South.
"I think everybody knows that is a dangerous lineup and those are dangerous players and at any point they can break out," McClement said. "You have to be aware of them at all times no matter what has gone on for them in the last little while. That's probably even more motivation for them, so we have to make sure we take care of the puck. They are quick in transition and that is when they get most of their chances, so we have to...
Peter Horachek's Toronto Maple Leafs have Ken Hitchcock's St. Louis Blues preparing for Barry Trotz's Nashville Predators.
That's the way he described it in a great interview today with the Toronto media, where he spoke in complimentary terms about the systems Horachek is implementing and the similarities to what he's gameplanned against in the past when preparing for the Predators over the years.
That’s the way Nashville played for years. You can see the implementation of it. I told our coaches you could show Nashville clips from last year, the year before, five years ago, that is the way they are going to play.
On the breakout:
They got way...
The Maple Leafs are looking to score a goal tonight in San Jose.
In arguably their toughest back-to-back turnaround of their schedule (besides the strength of the teams, the Leafs would've gotten in very late due to noise ordinances, requiring an extra pair of bus rides bookending the flight), the Leafs are looking to break a streak of 121 minutes and 13 seconds without a goal.
The process of figuring out how to generate scoring chances off the cycle is proving to be an adjustment for the Leafs, and frankly might be something they never excel at as constituted, but surely a team that can...
The Ducks sound prepared for a Leafs team identity they've been trying to stray away from under new interim coach Peter Horachek.
"They get us into a horse race, and they're better at that game than we are. Sometimes you get caught playing the other team's game, and it seems to be happening to us. We're more about getting it deep, grinding it out, and attacking the nets and playing good defensively.
That's been the flummoxing paradox with this Leafs team the past few seasons; if they can draw the other team into playing the track-meet, borderline-pond-hockey brand of game they excel...
The Maple Leafs look to keep building on the positive possession performances of the past two games against one of the best teams in the League at possessing the puck.
The Kings have recently been dealt a blow with the losses of 2013-14 emergents Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli to injury, and are losers of four of their last five, three in overtime or shootout. The Kings have played a tonne of tight games, going to overtime or shootout 12 times so far this season, and have lost 10 of those games (1-6 in shootout, 1-4 in overtime).
If the Leafs...
Reasonably happy with the team's possession performance versus the Capitals, Peter Horachek's message will be to stick with it while cracking down on some of the avoidable errors of last game. The Leafs will also need a bounceback performance from Jonathan Bernier, who let in 5 on 25 shots.
The Blue Jackets enter as winners of 4 of their last 5. The Blue Jackets are a heavy team who embarrassed the Leafs a few times last season; the Leafs won their most recent Oct. 31 meeting against a Columbus team facing overwhelming injuries. They're still missing some key contributors (Horton, Jenner, Anisimov),...
So begins the Peter Horachek era in Toronto, right as the Leafs hit the half-way mark of the 2014-15 season.
Fans expecting a miracle cure of the primary faults of the roster will almost certainly be disappointed, but it will be interesting to see, a) if there’s a visible hop in the Leafs’ step after yesterday’s kick in the butt, and b) how some of these new lines look.
The first move appears to be to split Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel up, with Kadri (if he's fit to play, gametime decision) playing alongside Kessel and Winnik on a line that...
The banged-up Maple Leafs will look to salvage something out of a back to back after a tough loss to the Minnesota Wild last night.
"They're pretty strong in back-to-backs, the skate well and they can score goals. They don't have to win games or compete in games; they don't have to grind that thing right out, they have enough speed and skill." Winnipeg Jets Head Coach, Paul Maurice speaking about the Maple Leafs The Leafs played a pretty good game considering the circumstances (down two of their top 3 centers), but couldn't muster any even-strength offense. Randy Carlyle's icetime allocation...
The Leafs play their first game of 2015 at the same time as Canada takes on Denmark. After a big win against the Boston Bruins, things took a turn for the worse with Joffrey Lupul being put on IR, Peter Holland going back to Toronto because of injury, and Nazem Kadri now being listed out too. Tyler Bozak had a death in the family and missed practices, but he is in for tonight.
The good news is that Minnesota has not had a strong start to the season and is actually sitting 11th in the 14 team Western Conference after...
Happy New Year's, everybody.
Randy Carlyle's favourite top line is back in business for reasons unknown.
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
(16-18-34) - (13-17-30) - (17-22-39) (46G, 103PTS TOT)
Daniel Winnik - Nazem Kadri - Joffrey Lupul
(1-13-14) - (11-13-24) - (9-8-17) (21G, 55PTS TOT)
Leo Komarov - Peter Holland - Mike Santorelli
(4-12-16) - (8-7-15) - (8-16-24) (20G, 55PTS TOT)
David Booth - Trevor Smith - David Clarkson
(1-1-2) - (0-2-2) - (9-4-13) (10G, 17PTS TOT)
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Franson
(2-17-19) - (5-17-22) (7G, 41PTS TOT)
Jake Gardiner - Roman Polak
(2-7-9) - (4-2-6) (6G, 15PTS TOT)
Morgan Rielly - Stephane Robidas
The Maple Leafs look to stop the bleeding defensively tonight in a meeting of the League's two highest scoring teams.
Jonathan Bernier is expected to be a game time decision with his flu illness. James Reimer will start his second game in as many nights if Bernier still isn't up to it.
Potentially without their starting goalie and haemorrhaging shots against at the moment, more of the same from the Leafs defensively is a very frightening prospect against a team of Tampa's offensive ability. Will the fear of Stamkos knock some sense into the Leafs and force them to tighten up defensively? It...
This will be the third week in a row with a Sunday game for the Maple Leafs, something we should probably get used to as Rogers pushes their new Hometown Hockey Sunday night program (with poor ratings results for non-Leaf games, so far).
In terms of lineup news, Christopher Gibson has been recalled to play backup to James Reimer as Jonathan Bernier is suffering from the flu and can't go.
The Leafs also placed Leo Komarov on the 7-day injured reserve to make space for the Gibson recall, which means Komarov is still a minimum of a week away from...
Two teams that can score but can't defend to save their lives will meet tonight in Texas prior to the NHL Christmas break.
The Leafs are losers of three in a row while the Stars are surging with four straight victories, including a sweep through Western Canada. Dallas tightened up their defensive game versus Vancouver and Calgary, allowing just one goal between the two games, before giving up five to the Oilers and staging a huge comeback to win it in a shootout. They're last in the league in goals-against at 3.38/game.
The Leafs haven't left Dallas with a win in their...
The Maple Leafs take on the Blackhawks in a quick turnaround following an embarrassing defensive effort last night against Philadelphia.
It's the second weekend in a row where the Leafs play Saturday-Sunday, with the second game of the back to back coming against two tough Western opponents/recent Cup champs. The Leafs have dealt with back to backs very well so far this season, going 5-1-1 in the second game, including a 3-2 win over these Blackhawks at the beginning of November.
Indeed, it has been the games where we go in thinking "this is going to be tough" that the Leafs seem to...
The Philadelphia Flyers face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in what will be the last game of a long home stand for Toronto. They have a back-to-back, on the road, against a borderline dynasty—Chicago—tomorrow, starting a heavy road schedule against some very good teams.
The Leafs could use the points in the bank before the gruelling road trip starts, but the easy points have been anything but for this team this season, with a combined 5-7-2 record against below .500 teams.
The state of the Flyers D and goaltending situation (Steve Mason is out hurt) should have the high-scoring Leafs' eyes...
The league's hottest team pays a visit to its coldest tonight in Carolina.
The two teams are riding opposite streaks, the Leafs winners of six straight and the Hurricanes losers of six consecutive.
With Alex Semin, Jiri Tlusty and Jordan Staal out hurt, the Hurricanes lineup looks positively destitute. Their leading scorer is defenceman Justin Faulk with 17 points.
The Leafs, currently scoring for fun; the top line has scored more than the Hurricanes' entire forward lineup combined. A combination of a lack of talent and a series of injuries to the talent the Hurricanes do have has them firmly in the McDavid sweepstakes...