MAPLE LEAFS (17-12-8) at DEVILS (16-16-7)
7:30 pm (SNO)
First of all, hope Darren feels better ASAP.
Now onto the game, this is one is for all the marbles. This epic battle in the Swamp is for a Playoffs spot!!
OK, settle down Coco, its just a temporary position with more than half of the season to go, but admit it. Wouldnt it feel good to be called a Playoffs team again? Damn right it would.
Leafs head into the not so friendly confines in New Jersey. Last time we played there wasn’t there a blizzard and only 15 fans showed up? Dunno but that is how I remember it.
Coming off of a tough 6-5 loss to the Capitals (in overtime), our beloved Blue and White have the chance to make this a statement game. On one hand, we do not DO losing streaks. Secondly, we can and will learn to play some defense in this league no matter if it kills us or not (extreme but this is how pumped up I am for the game).
Coach Babcock must feel the same way. Yesterday it was discussed that Antoine Bibeau would get the start in New Jersey against the Devils. After a night of contemplation, or just a desire to piss the media off and make them all look dull, it was Frederik Andersen taking reps in the starting net for the Leafs this morning at the game day skate.
By starting Andersen (no offense to Beebs), it would appear that Babcock wants his best chance at getting the win this evening, in an attempt to sweep this weekend.
The troops are rested enough, and coming off of a fun few days with their Dads on the annual Father/Sons Leafs Road trip. One more game with this group and then it is back to the normal grind of empty hotel rooms and a lack of old people snoring. Lets be honest, as much fun as this is…..a shaker without dad in the room is just a little bit better for a 19-22 year old kid.
So there ya have it. Leafs needing and wanting two points this evening, and my prediction is that Mitchell Marner will have a multiple point game, while Freddy Andersen stands on his own cranium in the crease.
It’s all about wins now. No longer are we looking back….we are half way there.
GO LEAFS GO
Projected Line Combinations
Toronto Maple Leafs
van Riemsdyk — Bozak — Marner
Hyman — Matthews — Brown
Komarov — Kadri — Nylander
Martin — Gauthier — Soshnikov
Rielly — Zaitsev
Gardiner — Carrick
Hunwick — Polak
New Jersey Devils
Cammalleri — Henrique — Palmieri
Hall — Zacha — Parenteau
Kalinin — Zajac — Lappin
Wood — Smith-Pelly– Bennett
Greene — Lovejoy
Severson — Quincey
Merrill — Santini