A match up with the league’s best team, but one the Leafs have beat twice in two meetings. Both teams are on the back half of a back to back and enter tonight fresh off a win streak-ending loss.
Of the 29 teams not named the Bruins, the Rangers are the least scored on in the league with only 86 goals against. It’s an amazing feat that shouldn’t be overshadowed by the Bruins’ amazing-er feat. But the Leafs have managed four on the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist in both meetings this season, something only the Leafs (x2) and the Blues have managed in their 41 games this season. The Capitals mustered four on the Rangers, but with Marty Biron in net. Biron will start for the Rangers tonight in their back to back.
Interestingly, Jonas Gustavsson will start both games of the Leafs’ back to back set. A Saturday night home game against the top team in the Conference, I guess the thinking is to go with the hot hand in this case, and perhaps save Reimer’s chance for a lower key match up. Fans certainly can’t complain that Wilson isn’t sticking with the winning goalie as promised. Resting Lundqvist in the Rangers’ case is a situation where Tortorella is giving his clear number one a break as you have to do unless you want to risk playoff burn out. The Leafs’ situation is much different as they have two goalies jostling for that number one title.
The Leafs are 2-4-1 in the second game of a back to back this season. It makes a lot of sense when you consider their game is built around speed. If the legs aren’t there so much, it hurts the Leafs’ gameplan considerably. Let’s hope they can battle through it tonight and get a big win on military night. Let’s also hope the slumping, inconsistent Phil Kessel can get back in the points column after going TWO WHOLE games without a point (yes, sarcasm).