Sunday, March 29, 2015
Game Day

Game Day

Maple Leafs Hot Stove provides the most comprehensive game day coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Starting lineups, stats and comments get you ready for that night's game.


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...


Toronto Maple Leafs Line up Ranger could be swapped in as the 7th D. Montreal Canadiens Line up Go Leafs, Go.


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.

Phil Kessel #81


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...

Randy Carlylevideo


Randy Carlyle speaks with media about making his return to Anaheim after Monday's morning skate.


Frazer McLaren has been called up for tonight's game basically because of this from a few days ago: Here's where it kind of makes sense: The Leafs aren't going to have a functional fourth line whether Frazer McLaren is up or not, so they may as well have him around to go out and maybe fight if something happens during the game and there's the sense that a score needs to be settled. With the importance of the two points for two teams trying to fend off those behind them and clinch a playoff berth in the East, it seems...


The points are now at a premium with under 20 games to go and the group that has the Leafs sitting fifth in the East has been trusted with closing out the job. A vote of confidence? Maybe not quite, but there's certainly a big test ahead for this group down the stretch. Speaking of which, Peter Holland and Carter Ashton have been recalled while Nikolai Kulemin has been returned to a line with Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri. The Leafs poked the tires on a center but opted to play Peter Holland as their 3C for now while Bolland continues...


The Columbus Blue Jackets have outscored the Leafs 11-2 over two games this season. Bad starts have been a killer, with the Leafs outshot 23-9 between the two first periods of those losses. Avoiding their season-long trend as one of the worst first period teams in the League (-15 goal differential) seems pivotal against a team that has had no problem scoring against the Leafs or in general this season (7th in goals per game). There is some momentum going for the Leafs at home, winners of seven straight at the ACC, where they're up to an impressive 21-10-1 this season....


Hockey. Night. In Canada, folks. With. Bob. Cole. On the CEEE BEEEE CEEEE. Lines vs. MTL: van Riemsdyk-Bozak-Kessel. Lupul-Kadri-Clarkson. Raymond-Holland-Kulemin. McLaren-McClement-Bodie. — Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) March 1, 2014   Defence: Gunnarsson-Phaneuf. Gardiner-Franson. Gleason-Rielly. Goaltender: Bernier. — Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) March 1, 2014  


addCustomPlayer('jlgjwvrmbjve1rae7ys3uy1e2', '891cec8dca9044e3bc366526539c43bc', '1evr0huwu3x4b1kzfi8slj1e7t', 700, 474, 'perfjlgjwvrmbjve1rae7ys3uy1e2-1evr0huwu3x4b1kzfi8slj1e7t', 'eplayer17', {autoHide:true, age:1393280220000}); There's 21 games left in Canadiens' and Maple Leafs' respective seasons and the original six rivals are neck and neck in the Atlantic Division standings. With Ottawa beginning to fall off (trail the Leafs by eight points), this is a tightly-contested division between 2nd and 5th in the Atlantic. The Habs (73) hold second place over the Lightning and Leafs by two points, with the Red Wings five points back and surging of late (6-2-2 in L10). The Leafs could pull even for 2nd in the Atlantic with a...



Randy Carlyle speaks with the media following the morning skate.