It’s a night of milestones at the ACC tonight: 1,000th career game for coach Mike Babcock, 800th for Dion Phaneuf, 700th for Joffrey Lupul, and 300th for Nazem Kadri. And there will be some money on the board from Lou Lamoriello, no doubt.
The Devils are expected to start backup Keith Kinkaid (0-3-5, .903 SV%). That’s good news for the Leafs, who for the first time in five games scored more than two goals in their come-from-behind overtime win over Boston on Tuesday. Cory Schneider has allowed two or fewer goals in 27 of his past 35 starts.
New Jersey Devils Projected Lines
Joseph Blandisi – Adam Henrique – Lee Stempniak
Sergey Kalinin – Travis Zajac – Kyle Palmieri
Reid Boucher – Jacob Josefson – Tyler Kennedy
Bobby Farnham – Stephen Gionta – Jordin Tootoo
Andy Greene – Adam Larsson
Eric Gelinas – David Schlemko
Seth Helgeson – John Moore
Injured: Jon Merrill (right arm), Patrik Elias (right knee), Jiri Tlusty (right wrist).
Scratches: Stefan Matteau, Tuomo Ruutu, Damon Severson
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
Peter Holland – Nazem Kadri – Leo Komarov
Michael Grabner – Tyler Bozak – PA Parenteau
Shawn Matthias – Nick Spaling – Daniel Winnik
Joffrey Lupul – Byron Froese – Rich Clune
Matt Hunwick – Morgan Rielly
Dion Phaneuf – Frank Corrado
Jake Gardiner – Roman Polak
Injured: James van Riemsdyk (foot), Stephane Robidas (lower body)
Scratched: Brad Boyes, Martin Marincin
Mike Babcock Game Day
On 1,000 games experience:
Experience is a wonderful thing. When you’re young and don’t have any experience, you should be thinking like, “experience is overrated.” If you don’t have any, why would you worry about it? I think as you get on, you understand how important it is. Helps you make better decisions.
Favourite part of coaching:
It’s growth and development of your people. It’s the interaction, it’s being around the young people, the best in the world at what they do, trying to get better. The other thing I know about players — I’ve probably had two in my 25 years of coaching that I didn’t think tried to get better. The rest try to get better everyday. I think when you’re sharing something with them that can help them get better, I think most people are all in. Now, sometimes there gets to be a point where they’re not the right fit for your team and it’s tough on them mentally and they have to go someplace else. But the reality is most coaches that I know love their players and are doing everything they can to make them better. My goal as I’ve gotten older is that I want to make them better people first, better players second. A little more perspective.
On what attracted him to coaching:
I wasn’t good enough to play. Really I thought I was going to be a professor at McGill University for the rest of my life. Loved being at campus, loved teaching, thought that was what I was going to do. I went to play overseas one year, ended up being a player-coach. That gave me the experience to apply for the job. I just wanted to go to the Calgary Stampede. Applying for the job at Red Deer College gave me a free way to the Stampede. I had no interest in stopping playing at that time when I got that job. I lost my way and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Game Day Reading
Story: Will the Leafs re-sign James Reimer? Trade him at the deadline? A deeper look at Toronto's plans in goal https://t.co/xYdCZIwUyv
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) February 4, 2016
Story: Milestones and accomplishments are fleeting for Mike Babcock, soon to be the 25th man to coach 1,000 games. https://t.co/n4mm9YIvGa
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) February 3, 2016
Brendan Shanahan: “Teams are no longer laughing and snickering at the Leafs, especially the Leafs’ work ethic” https://t.co/s3D4EPKqXt
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) February 4, 2016
Interesting quote from Shanahan: "If the process happens quicker under Mike.. we’ll find players later in the draft" https://t.co/HmFDjm2E3E
— Alec Brownscombe (@MapleLeafsHS) February 4, 2016
Story: From PTO to the Devils leading scorer and a career year at age 33. https://t.co/dqLnAe2Rfc
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) February 4, 2016
Dave Reece turned his role in Darryl Sittler's 10-point game into a life lesson for young students: https://t.co/JwoAByhtQ3
— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) February 4, 2016
From Fire & Ice last night: Facing Leafs at Air Canada Centre will be "dream come true" for Devils' Joe Blansisi: https://t.co/ZiD4aohSmy
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) February 4, 2016