MAPLE LEAFS (19-23-9)
9:00 pm (SportsNET)
We’ve got another barn burner on our hands, with the 28th place Toronto Maple Leafs taking on the 25th place Calgary Flames. Will either team dress a goaltender?
Mike Babcock seems to be a huge fan of Auston Matthews, as he had Rich Clune on the power play at practice on Monday. None of Tyler Bozak, Shawn Matthias or Joffrey Lupul are able to make the trip out west. Bozak left Saturday night’s game after taking an elbow to the face, Matthias has whiplash and Lupul is headed to his familiar spot on the injured reserve with a “mid-body injury.” Taking their places are Mark Arcobello, Josh Leivo and Clune. Arcobello and Leivo have been lighting up the AHL for the Marlies. Arcobello has 20 goals and 44 games in 34 games and Leivo has 38 points in 38 games. They could get a legitimate chance to produce with this thin lineup. All three Marlies were on powerplay units in practice Monday.
One thing to really look forward to is getting to watch Johnny Gaudreau do his thing. Gaudreau is my favourite player to watch and he should be yours. Drafted 104th overall in 2011 due to his lack of size, he is now one of the best offensive players in the game. He knows how to avoid getting hit better than anyone I’ve ever seen making his lack of size almost irrelevant. Also, check out his Player’s Tribune article if you haven’t already. Quality stuff.
The trade rumours have been heating up around both teams with the deadline only a few weeks away. While the Leafs have several expiring contracts that are expected to be sold, the Flames have an intriguing piece in Jiri Hudler. After having a career year last season, the 31-year-old has failed to duplicate that production. With Hudler set to become a free agent this summer and the Flames position in the standings, it seems likely that he will be shopped. Could Burkie and the boys grease a desperate GM for a first round pick? Antoine Vermette and Andrej Sekera both fetched first rounders, so I could see it.
In case you live beneath a stone, there was a big trade between the Leafs and Sens, more here.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Michael Grabner – Nazem Kadri – Leo Komarov
Daniel Winnik – Nick Spaling – Josh Leivo
Peter Holland – Mark Arcobello – Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
Rich Clune – Byron Froese – Brad Boyes
Matt Hunwick – Morgan Rielly
Jake Gardiner – Roman Polak
Martin Marincin – Frank Corrado
Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Jiri Hudler
Sam Bennett – Mikael Backlund – Michael Frolik
Micheal Ferland – Josh Jooris – David Jones
Lance Bouma – Matt Stajan – Brandon Bollig
Mark Giordano – TJ Brodie
Kris Russell – Dougie Hamilton
Ladislav Smid – Deryk Engelland
Gdiff (5v5) — -15
Gdiff (All) — -23
CF% (5v5) — 50.3
PP% — 15.1
PK% — 81.2
Gdiff (5v5) — -12
Gdiff (All) — -14
CF% (5v5) — 47.8
PP% — 14.2
PK% — 76.8
General Manager of The Maple Leafs, Lou Lamoriello, speaks with members of the media via conference call regarding today’s trade.