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When you’re plying your trade in a hockey market like Florida, it is quite hard to convince people that youâ€™re a game breaking player. Itâ€™s a team that wins some, loses more and generally misses the postseason.
A clutch player? Forget it. After all, being clutch can only be proven in games that matter, and no offense to Panthers fans but they didnâ€™t exactly play many of those since 2005-06.
Update: John Mitchell will step in for Kris Versteeg on the second line, who can’t go tonight due to a sore back. Should be interesting to see if Mitchell can bring some size and forecheck/board play ability to that line. Mike Zigomanis will line up at fourth line centre.
Are the Maple Leafs’ winning ways back in front of them? Has their controversial victory over the Florida Panthers moved the club back into a mean streak? The scoring is certainly present for forward Phil Kessel, but the Leafs still need to stay aggressive in the offensive zone. Tonight, they’ll face their biggest challenge (in goal) as Tim Thomas leads the league in both goals against average (0.75) and save percentage (0.978). Thomas has yet to lose a game this season and the Leafs will hope to put a dent in that stat in particular. Thomas has played a large part of it (he’s undefeated at 4-0 whereas Rask is 0-2 so far) but the Bruins’ stingy defence boasts the lowest goals against per game total (1.83) in the league six games into the season.