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.
Toronto is currently one of the coldest (that's a nice way of saying most terrible) teams in the league in their last ten games with a record of 2-7-1. Only the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames and the 2010 Winless Oilers are upstaging them. That means the Leafs aren't even excellent at being horrible, but in darkness comes light.
Luke Schenn has been arguably the Leafs' best defenceman as of late, and it's difficult to argue that when paired with Ian White, fans are being treated to a glimpse at the future potential top pairing for years to come. White has 2 points in his last 3 appearances, while Schenn has been a plus 5 in his last 6 appearances.
Phil Kessel's 7 game point streak, the longest of any Maple Leaf in 2 years, was broken in the shutout loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday. He'll look to get back onto the score sheet tonight.
The Kings have not won in Toronto since November 12th 2002 when they secured a 4-3 overtime victory. The Kings have moved Anze Kopitar onto a line with grinders Brad Richardson and Wayne Simmonds. That line sparked Kopitar into a goal and 2 assist performance against the Red Wings on Saturday.
Komisarek is not expected to suit up tonight, but could be back as early as Friday against the New Jersey Devils. He has been out of the lineup for 3 weeks with a shoulder injury.
Jonas Gustavsson is expected to get the start tonight for the Leafs, while Johnathan Quick is believed to be the man in goal for the Kings.
Micheal A. Aldred