Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Atlanta Thrashers at the Air Canada Center. Atlanta is hoping to catch the Boston Bruins for the 8th seed in the East and snag a post-season berth, while the Maple Leafs are looking to continue a playoff of their own - the quest to get out of the bottom five.
NOTE: Newly signed Brayden Irwin will not make his debut tonight. He will likely see action Thursday or Saturday.
Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs hope to rebound from their loss to the Panthers with a win tonight against another team they must steal points from - the Atlanta Thrashers. The Leafs continue their quest to remove themselves from the bottom five in the third of four meetings with Atlanta this season.
This involves the Leafs, as well as around the league.
TFP: The Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins and Nashville Predators are among the teams to have serious interest in Alexei Ponikarovsky. Various reports suggest the Leafs are looking for a first-round pick in exchange for Ponikarovsky, though it's believed Burke is willing to accept a second-round pick and a top prospect."
5:00 PM Update - Mueller, Roloson, Hamhuis, Voros/Lisin.
The Carolina Hurricanes are closing in on a deal with the San Jose Sharks for Niclas Wallin, while Leafs fans were begging it was Rickard. Kovalchuk turns down $101M, while the Rangers pull out of the sweepstakes due to the asking price. Find out what the Thrashers wanted in return. Also, Dion Phaneuf has his own plan for the remainder of the Leafs regular season.
I would first like state that I am addressing this rumor because it is, in fact, circulating around the league that Toronto is interested in the Atlanta Thrashers' sniper Ilya Kovalchuk. Yes, this rumor did come to light due to an Eklund blog, but no, it is not fake. In fact, every team in the league would love to get their hands on Kovalchuk. So there you have it, the rumor is true, but it was an easy one to pinpoint by Eklund because every single team in the league understands that Kovalchuk is available, and every single team in the league would love to have him on their powerplay. It's as simple as that. Now to the non-obvious part.
Coming off an uninspiring performance during a 4-3 road loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday, the Maple Leafs look to rebound tonight with a more energetic effort in Tampa Bay against a struggling Lightning squad.
The Lightning currently sit 13th in the Eastern Conference with 48 points, 5 ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs and 4 out of the 8th and final playoff spot. For the Leafs to get back into the race, a victory tonight, and another Saturday against the Panthers, will be essential.
Back-to-back road games are among the most dreaded portions of the schedule, and the second of 2 games, in 2 nights, in 2 cities, is exactly what the Leafs will have to endure when they visit Atlanta this evening.
Fresh off the heels of a narrower-than-it-should-have-been escape out of Nashville, the Leafs have Ilya Kovalchuk and his dangerous supporting cast to look forward to this evening. Should they go ahead early in this one, the Leafs players will have to exert a much better effort protecting the lead than they did against the Predators.
The Maple Leafs make a rare visit to Nashville tonight to face the Predators. The consistently inconsistent Leafs will look to bounce back from Friday's 6-1 drubbing from the Capitals. [more…]
The NHL hit triple digit shootouts (100), setting a dubious milestone on the same day the midway point in the NHL schedule was reached in the schedule altered Olympics campaign.
Both NHL milestones - 100 shootouts and the midway point - took the lowest amount of games and days to reach in post lockout history.
Just wanted to share a fantastic bit of work done by Nights, one of our many enthusiastic and intelligent readers, who evaluated how the NHL landscape would look without the first 8 games of the season during which the Maple Leafs struggled mightily. Great work! [more…]
The Toronto Maple Leafs are ranked third in the Eastern Conference during the last 10 games with a 6-2-2 record, and while that is no major accomplishment, it's an indicator that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Tonight, the Atlanta Thrashers will visit the Toronto Maple Leafs at the ACC, and it will be the return of both Nik Antropov and Pavel Kubina. Exelby is in for Finger, so he'll get a chance to face his former team. For those with their fingers crossed, I also hope Exelby will fight Eric Boulton.