Leafs – Flyers Preview


    Fresh off last night’s hard-hitting victory over the Ottawa Senators, the Maple Leafs face another physical game tonight as they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Tonight’s game will be the fourth in six nights for a Toronto squad which has undergone some significant changes in the past week. The Leafs will enter the game physically tired, but mentally inspired following Saturday’s victory over Ottawa and a terrific effort in a shootout loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

    Game Notes

    • The Leafs enter this game a tired bunch. Not only is it their fourth game in six nights, it is also their third game of a road trip that has taken them to Boston, Ottawa, and now Philadelphia.
    • The Leafs come into this game with a 1-1-1 record in three games played following the Olympic break. They are trending upward, having followed a brutal home effort against Carolina with a hard-fought shootout loss in Boston, and a well-earned shootout victory in Ottawa.  The Flyers, meanwhile, are trending downward. They have posted a 1-2-0 record since the break, and enter tonight’s matchup having lost their past two games.
    • The Leafs and Flyers have squared of twice already this season, with the home team winning each affair.  On January 6, the Flyers crushed the Leafs 6-2, only to be shut out 4-0 (by Vesa Toskala) in their January 14 visit to Toronto.

    Player Notes

    • John Mitchell will not miss any time, as it turns out, which means Tim Brent’s debut in a Maple Leafs’ uniform will have to wait.
    • Jay Rosehill will play in place of the injured Frederik Sjostrom. Rosehill’s recall is not at all surprising considering the Flyers’ physical style of play.
    • Despite Jonas Gustavsson’s excellent performance last night, the Leafs’ coaching staff has been hesitant to start him in back-to-back games. Accordingly, J.S. Giguere is expected to get the start.
    • After being shut out on the scoreboard in Boston (yet again), Phil Kessel responded with an excellent game against Ottawa in which he scored once in regulation, nearly added another which was disallowed, and added a goal in the shootout.
    • The Flyers, who were widely expected to pick up a starting goaltender at the trade deadline, decided to stick with the tandem of Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher, two players regarded as career backup types at their positions. To his credit, Leighton has had an excellent season thus far, although two straight losses (Leighton was pulled after 4 goals against versus Florida, and allowed 2 goals late to lose to Buffalo) have some wondering if he can find the consistency to succeed in the playoffs.

    Stats Pack

    Overall Record33-26-4
    (6th East)
    (15th East)
    Home Record18-11-211-14-5
    Road Record15-15-29-18-7
    Goals For189 (7th)165 (24th)
    Goals Against170 (t-10th)214 (29th)
    Powerplay %22.6 (3rd)15.9 (26th)
    Penalty Kill %81.2 (18th)72.2 (30th)
    Scoring First28-7-413-5-4
    Leading After One19-3-19-5-1
    Trailing After One4-10-06-18-3
    Leading After Two26-1-215-2-2
    Trailing After Two1-17-00-27-7

    Broadcast Information

    Game Time: 7 pm

    Television: Sportsnet
    Radio: am640 Toronto, am900 CHML Hamilton
    Online: atdhe.net