Just two more of these to go.
Tonight's game at least has the nice storyline of Drew MacIntyre's first ever NHL start. MacIntyre has always seemed like a great example for the young Marlies and has been patiently awaiting this opportunity for a long, long time. Good for him. Let's hope he plays well.
Come to think of it, the Leafs will probably need a backup next season....
Playing out the string.
Lines vs. TB: van Riemsdyk-Bozak-Kessel. Ashton-Kadri-Clarkson. Raymond-Kulemin-Bodie. D'Amigo-McClement-Orr.— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) April 8, 2014
Ashton finally gets a chance up the lineup.
Projected Defence: Gardiner-Gunnarsson. Gleason-Phaneuf. Rielly-Franson. Goaltender: Reimer.— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) April 8, 2014
A window of opportunity is open just a crack after last night's last-second loss by Columbus.
Now the Leafs have to do their part. A win by the Leafs here and the Blue Jackets will start feeling the pressure.
With Bernier out for the rest of the regular season, James Reimer has his chance to quickly erase memories of the five-game losing streak that came to define a tumultuous season of tough treatment and underperformance. Hopefully, the Leafs give him a fighting chance unlike a couple of those games during his five-game losing streak. This would be a great story if...
Can the Maple Leafs stay alive?
Update: Joffrey Lupul appears to be out with an injury, with Jerry D'Amigo stepping into the lineup in his stead. Chad Johnson will start for the Bruins in net. Carl Soderberg is out while Jarome Iginla returns to the lineup after missing last night's game in Detroit.
Projected #Leafs lines: JVR-Bozak-Kessel; Clarkson-Bolland-Raymond; D'Amigo-Kadri-Bodie; Kulemin-McClement-Orr #TMLtalk— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 3, 2014
Lineups courtesy Daily Faceoff.
The crazy timing of Brian Burke's arrival in Toronto for this game is that it comes amid a collapse similar to the Toronto Maple Leafs' in 2011-12 (but worse) and he may hear chants for another coach he hired's head if this game goes poorly for the home team.
For the Leafs, this is about a salvaging a little bit of pride on home ice and keeping the wolves at bay. An early deficit for the Leafs in this one and it could get ugly inside the ACC.
The Flames have not been an easy out for their opponents, typically. For...
0 points out of 14 in the three-point era NHL is unconscionable, let alone at this time of the season. Even when the Sabres started the season with seven straight losses, they scraped a point out of OT. What is there to say at this point? Even despite all the talk about regression and questions surrounding the sustainability of their earlier success, this is beyond anything that can be easily explained. It’s a total collapse at a time when all the Leafs had to do was scrape out a handful of points to still be in decent shape. It’s...
There's not a tonne to be said. It's put up or shut up. Do or die. Whatever is your preferred hype-up sports cliche.
The Leafs should be able to find an edge with their speed up front versus the slower Philadelphia defence corps. The Flyers boast a potent offense, on the other hand, and have scored 3.3 goals per game since the end of their 15-game start from hell. The Flyers attack with four lines and, as Craig Berube put it, they “compete along the walls, compete in the offensive zone, use everybody to try to wear teams down.” They'll know...
Jonathan Bernier will return tonight, hopefully with a healed-enough groin to be able to deliver the level of goaltending he was providing previous to the injury. It would be massive if Bernier jumped right back in and started delivering some wins right now. Remember, though, that he tried to play through the injury against LA and did not look himself.
It's no secret the Blues are a better team than the Leafs -- possession giants with one of the league's best defence cores, best team shooting percentage in the League, deep at all positions - but the Leafs should, technically,...
The Toronto Maple Leafs coaching staff will have a tough decision regarding who to start tonight vs the New Jersey Devils. James Reimer has had a rough go the last 3 games and isn't playing as well as the Maple Leafs staff, his teammates and fans have come to expect from him. Last night's game vs Montreal is probably one he'd like to have another try at; 2, and debatably 3 goals, were savable pucks, combined with some savable goals vs Detroit and Tampa Bay, and we have a hornets nest of differing opinions as to who is at...
With a win tonight, the Leafs could leapfrog Tampa into third in the Atlantic (for the time being... Tampa has two games in hand).
How is James Reimer going to respond? Will the Leafs calm the rumbling masses (TSN Radio actually mentioned the "18 wheeler" today after two losses in a row)?
Each game becomes bigger than the one previous at this time of season.
The Leafs will hit the 70-game pole with this four-point game in Detroit. It's do or die territory for the Red Wings while the Leafs look to keep pace in the divisional playoff race.
Puck drop with the sun still up... There's no better time of year.
What a string of hugely important games for the Maple Leafs this week, starting tonight in Detroit. The Leafs will play the Lightning and Canadiens in their next two games, who are tied for 2nd in the Atlantic Division at one point ahead of Toronto. A good week here puts the Leafs in position to take sole possession of second in the Atlantic; a bad week puts the Leafs' current wildcard spot in jeopardy. *Dun dun dun*
The Red Wings lineup has a strong Grand Rapids flavour to it as it has all season with the injuries Detroit has experienced....
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...
Not too long ago they were toiling dangerously close to the playoff cut off line, unable to score more than a goal a game, but we all knew Los Angeles was too good of a team with too much winning experience not to turn it on down the stretch when the urgency level rises. That's exactly what the Kings have done, scoring 25 goals over 8 games and posting an 8-0 record since February 8.
Looking to halt the Kings' heater is the Maple Leafs led by ex Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, who has won three in a row and...
The San Jose Sharks are easily the most impressive organization since the early early millennium to have never won the Cup. While the Red Wings are popularly described as the paragon of consistency as a winning team that feeds the machine with acute draft day bargain hunting, San Jose has been a winning team that’s been better at the draft without the Cup to show for it. In fact, since 2003 no team has produced more games played out of its draftees than the Sharks, and they’ve been a good to great team the entire time.
Their current incarnation, 41-17-7...
David Clarkson looks to be playing as he's taken the warmups.
Jonathan Bernier starts for the Leafs. Frederik Andersen (15-3-0, .929SV%) goes for the Ducks, the Leafs' first ever look at him.
We'll know if it's 7D/11F or 12F/6D come game time.
The Ducks are good, but the game is played on the ice not in the standings, right? Or something like that? GO LEAFS GO.
In the next four nights, the Maple Leafs are going to play three teams who they, fortunately, won't have to meet in the playoffs unless they wind up in the Finals. It's going to be a stiff pre-playoff test, assuming the Leafs can net 16 of a possible 34 points in their remaining 17 games. These are good measuring stick games coming up this week.
Here were today's practice lines:
Lines at Leafs skate: JVR-Bozak-Kessel; Lupul-Kadri-Kulemin; Raymond-Holland-Bodie; McLaren-McClement-Orr; Ashton-Bolland-Clarkson— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) March 10, 2014
While both are back practicing with the team, it seems unlikely the Leafs will actually play both...