Tonight, Randy Carlyle will stick with James Reimer seemingly in an effort to give Reimer a chance at staking a number one's claim to the crease. Carlyle has stated his preference to have one emerge over the other rather than a 1A/1B rodeo situation, and allowing Reimer to try to play his way through a few shaky goals on Thursday seems to be the approach. Although it could be a simple case of Reimer giving the Bruins a stiffer test than Scrivens in the teams' two meetings so far this season (at least according to the scoresheet; 1-0 loss to Boston in early February with Reimer in net). [more…]
After returning from injury and playing an instrumental role in the Leafs earning three of four points, the Leafs will be without Joffrey Lupul again for two games as a result of today's suspension for his high hit on Victor Hedman.
Lupul did leave his feet slightly prior to contact. The principle point of contact was the head. My instant reaction last night was that it was suspendable and that one game would suffice.
If player history and the damage inflicted on the victim are factors (Hedman returned to the game), why does Lupul get the extra game? [more…]
The Tampa Bay Lighting (13-15-1) are in town to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (15-12-2).
The other day, Randy Carlyle called the Leafs’ inability [more…]
Joffrey Lupul makes his return at a game where the Leafs need to stop the bleeding or else risk playing their way out of a playoff spot in the span of five games (should the Rangers win their back to back games Monday-Tuesday; Leafs don't play against until Wednesday). [more…]
You get the sense the Leafs are starting to reach a seminal point of their season. They’re inching further into the second half of the short schedule, games are growing in importance, pressure is mounting, and they’re facing their first significant bout of adversity in the form of a three-game losing streak. It doesn't get much easier with the Penguins returning to town tonight. [more…]
If three games comprise the beginning of a losing skid in the NHL, the Leafs look to avoid their first of the season with a win tonight in Winnipeg. The Buds fought for a hard-earned point against Pittsburgh on Saturday, but this is a particularly important game for the Leafs to continue their recommended habit of stopping losing skids before they start. The 9th-placed Jets are five points behind the Leafs with a game in hand. A win and the Leafs put themselves seven clear and maintain a healthy gap on the chasers of the playoff race. A loss in regulation and the Leafs' hold on a spot in the top 8 starts looking a bit more tenuous. [more…]
In this shortened season it's never too early to talk about playoff implications. The Leafs currently sit 5th in the Eastern Conference while the Pens come into this game as the 2nd team in the East. In recent years, getting into the playoffs was virtually a lock for Pittsburgh. As we all know, the Leafs have struggled mightily. Given how things have played out so far, this season provides hope. This season can be different. [more…]
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We’re at the half way point and the Leafs are in great shape at 15-9-0, sitting in fifth in the East with 30 points. .500 hockey from here on in, while not the best way to enter the playoffs, gets the Leafs back to the post-season.
The Leafs recent form, on paper, has also been dandy, with three wins on the trot. On one hand you’re happy with those final results, with the team finding different ways to win whether coming from behind or holding on for dear life, on the other you’re concerned with the significant portions of game in which the Leafs have been outplayed, outpossessed and outchanced. [more…]
The parallels between these two provincial rivals goes deeper than their matching point totals through 23 games. Both teams are getting good goaltending, sitting top 5 in team save percentage (Senators are 1st at 0.945), despite rotating goalies due to injury, inexperience on the backend and a lot of shots allowed (Leafs - 25th, Senators - 29th). Like the Leafs with Kostka, Holzer and Fraser, the Senators have been giving the inexperienced likes of Eric Gryba, Andre Benoit and Peter Wiercioch significant minutes and so far are hanging in the playoff picture with a goals against total in the top 10 league wide. [more…]
The weekend off gave the Conference a chance to begin catching up to the Leafs, who played 22 games in the first 40 days of the season. Sitting in sixth with 26 points, the Leafs are four points ahead of the 9th-placed Rangers, who still have two games in hand. Tonight's opponent, the 7th-placed Devils, are one point behind the Leafs with a game in hand, so the Leafs have a chance to hold back one of the teams breathing down their neck. [more…]
The Leafs are on Long Island tonight looking to bounce back after a dismal showing at home against the Habs less than 24 hours ago. Tonight is like most game nights in that I'd highly recommend the Leafs win, but it's especially the case given they're playing the Islanders and have New Jersey and Pittsburgh on tap after the upcoming three-day break.
The big story as far as lineup changes go is the return of James Reimer, who banged up his knee 17 days ago. Tonight hopefully marks the beginning of a two- (healthy) Leafs goalie platoon where both 'tendies push each other for the opportunity to provide quality starts. Reimer's last start was the Leafs' 5-2 win over Philadelphia and he enters tonight looking to belatedly continue a three-game win streak. He's 6-3-0 with a .931 save percentage on the season. [more…]
Here we go.
Randy Carlyle will dress all of Colton Orr, Mike Brown and Frazer McLaren for tonight's highly-anticipated rematch with the Canadiens.
Typically, there isn't the carry over you expect in these type of bad-blood rematch games. Both teams focus on winning the game first. There's a possibility the Habs will be bitter enough about Colton Orr running Pleckanec and then one punching Rene Borque to the ice, and Grabovski's alleged bite on Pacioretty, that they'll show no hesitancy in taking a run at some of the Leafs skilled players. The Leafs are well prepared if the game goes that way. The Habs would be smart to forget that stuff and try to stick to their usual road gameplan - they're 4-1-2 on the road despite outscoring their opponents just 17-15. [more…]