The deadline past yesterday, but somehow the distractions seem just as bad if not worse today, with Phil Kessel and Kyle Dubas speaking out against media treatment of Dion Phaneuf, followed by the statement launched by Lupul and Phaneuf against the broadcast station that is a property of the corporation that part-owns the team. Never a dull moment in Leafland.
The Leafs will have a few new bodies in the lineup, with waiver claim Tim Erixon and deadline pickups Eric Brewer and Joakim Lindstrom available to make their Leaf debuts.
It will be interesting to see if the deadline passing and a few leaders on the team putting their foot down with the media serves as a rallying point for the team of sorts. It’s obviously too little too late as far as the playoffs are concerned, so most will be hoping not.
The Leafs are currently mired in a 16-game road losing streak, which is impossibly bad and a franchise record. Does it end tonight?
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Joffrey Lupul – Nazem Kadri – Richard Panik
Leo Komarov – Peter Holland – David Booth
Zach Sill – Joakim Lindstrom – Brandon Kozun
Jake Gardiner – Dion Phaneuf
Morgan Rielly – Roman Polak
Tim Erixon – Stephane Robidas
Scratched: Eric Brewer
Injured:Trevor Smith (lower body)
Florida Panthers Projected Lines
Jonathan Huberdeau – Aleksander Barkov – Jaromir Jagr
Jussi Jokinen – Nick Bjugstad – Brad Boyes
Brandon Pirri – Vincent Trocheck – Jimmy Hayes
Tomas Kopecky – Derek MacKenzie – Scottie Upshall
Brian Campbell – Aaron Ekblad
Dmitry Kulikov – Erik Gudbranson
Steven Kampfer – Alex Petrovic
Scratched: Shawn Thornton
Injured: Willie Mitchell (upper body), Dave Bolland (upper body)
Status report: Mitchell will miss his 15th consecutive game, but he said after the morning skate he expects to be in the lineup Thursday when the Panthers play the Dallas Stars. … Bolland, who has missed the past five games, was expected to be at the morning skate but was held out because of the flu. … Brewer didn’t arrive in South Florida in time for the morning skate, but he was expected by the middle of the afternoon. (NHL.com)
Who’s hot: Boyes had a goal and three assists in the past two games. … Campbell had three assists in the past two games. … Kadri and van Riemsdyk each had a goal and two assists in the first two games against Florida. (NHL.com)