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Tonight, the Buds and Habs are set to battle it out and put their win streaks on the line. The Leafs are 5-1-0 in their last 6 outings, while the Canadiens are riding an impressive 6 game string of victories. With Toronto now over 0.500 at home (15-14-5), they are looking to play the role of heartbreakers this season, and what better way to continue doing so then by throwing a big fat L at Montreal tonight?
The Toronto Maple Leafs look to put a streak together tonight, while the Devils are seeking control of the Atlantic division. Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel each have 6 points in their last 4 games, while Nikolai Kulemin is showing signs of becoming a promising top two line player with 7 points in his last 5 affairs. He has arguably been the Leafs’ best player for the second half of the season.
Once again, a hit to the head results in a dangerous play. Now that the NHL is looking to add a new “head-shot” rule, it seems the hits are becoming more glaring and frequent than ever before. There are many opinions behind the events. Some feel now that the head-shots are public, players are doing it more often because it is in the back of their minds, while others feel it is a total lack of respect in the game that leads to inexcusable and vicious contact.
Brian Burke has announced that they are on the verge of signing defenceman Simon Gysbers of the Lake Superior State University NCAA team. Once announced, he will play for the Toronto Marlies for the remainder of the season. A 6’4″ 185lbs defender, he has 6 goals and 15 points with 46 PIMS in 38 games this season. He has tallied 19 goals and 49 assists for 68 points in 115 games in the NCAA.
Micheal A. Aldred
The NHL has finally done something right this decade. Hits to the Head will now officially be punished in the league, which offers up the option of suspending players more frequently should the violent collision continue.
Luca Caputi makes his Maple Leaf debut tonight as Toronto visits Boston to battle it out with the Bruins. Seidenberg will suit up for the Bruins who are still aiming to remain in the playoffs despite injury woes and a lack of ability to land an elite scoring winger for Marc Savard. The quest to get out of the bottom five continues for the Leafs tonight.
The deal is believed to be all but sealed, but the Penguins may have to first clear cap space. New reports suggest Toronto will take on the salary of Martin Skoula if they can’t work something else out elsewhere, but that it could cost the Penguins an additional pick.
Now from Dreger and McKenzie:
ponikarovsky to Pitt for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula…pending trade call.
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.
Canada shuffles their lines, turns to Roberto Luongo and looks to rub out Germany from medal contention. Should they win tonight, they will then play Russia, so no matter what hockey fans, you still get the see the battle of Canada and Russia.
From Damien Cox: “This isn’t how the Maple Leafs hoped Mikhail Grabovski would be spending his Olympic break. The 26-year-old centre was arrested at 2:30 a.m. Saturday by Vancouver police and kept in jail overnight after allegedly being involved in a street altercation. Grabovski was apparently released to his parents at about 9 a.m. Saturday.”
Canada’s Men’s Hockey team has met its first challenge in the 2010 Olympics. Team Switzerland came in to upset Canada the same way they did 4 years ago with a 2-0 victory in Turin. Martin Brodeur’s 21 saves in the 3-2 win were not as impressive as his clutch saves in the shootout.
Keith Aulie has been injured indefinitely. Ryan Getzlaf will be a part of Team Canada. Brian Burke talks the favorite in the tournament, and the NHL has released its attendance records of this season. The numbers are shocking, read on to learn more of each of these brief news stories.
Two Leafs players have food poisoning, so Nazem Kadri is an emergency call up for tonight’s game. No word as of what line he will be playing on just yet, but one thing is for sure: this will be an interesting sneak peak at what Kadri and Kessel could bring to the club next season.
While the attention isn’t on the Leafs tonight, they will be looking to break the Senators longest winning streak in club history. Giguere is expected to get the nod tonight, and hopefully the Leafs can start off strong with great offensive pressure as they have in their previous two outings, but this time close it off with solid defensive coverage in the third period.
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.
Has Garnet Exelby been dealt to the Los Angeles Kings? It's believed Toronto has acquired a 4th round pick for the defenceman. He was sat from the game for the entire third period, and there are reports that suggest Los Angeles has acquired him for depth going on their way to the post-season.
Update: TSN is reporting no deal has been reached at this time.
Micheal A. Aldred
The Leafs took to the ice today in preparation for Martin Brodeur tomorrow night. It featured some interesting one on one drills for a few key players, and one defenceman who claims the future of his career and the Maple Leafs would be better suited if he were traded.
Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs play host to the Los Angeles Kings. Fortunately for the Leafs, they are back at home where they have a better record (9-10-5) than when playing as the visitors (8-16-5) this season. Unfortunately for the Leafs, the Kings have a better away record (15-10-1) than they do when playing as the host team (14-9-2)… also Kopitar. Yeah.
Those were the words of Chief disciplinarian Raymond Bolduc after handing out the ruling on Patrice Cormier's hit. The forward, who elbowed Mikael Tam of the Quebec Remparts in the head, received a suspension for the remainder of the QMJHL regular season, as well as the playoffs. The elbow sent Tam into convulsions, followed by a visit to the hospital in which he was treated for brain trauma and broken teeth.
Tonight at 7:00, the Toronto Maple Leafs will visit the Florida Panthers in a battle against former Maple Leaf, Bryan McCabe, and his Panthers. Also, Brian Burke addressed the media regarding his outlook towards the remainder of the season, as well as what has been highly regarded as a “double deadline” year with the Olympic break and the trade deadline.
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