MAPLE LEAFS (28-20-13) at SHARKS (36-18-7)
10:30 pm (SN)
Who would have thought we would be in a playoff race last year this time. I usually refer to this west coast trip as the Death March but this year it came a day early. Shit.
Before we get to the Sharks, I just want to bring up some key points about Death March:
- We play 14 nights of the 31 nights available
- The Leafs have 2 back to back’s, March 2nd&3rd March 22nd&23rd
- Both Back to Backs include an overnight travel
- Montreal has yet to realize their swagger is line dancing in Nashville
- Between March 14th and March 23rd(10 nights) the leafs play 6 times
- Gary Bettman can screw his own mouth for his scheduling department
- 8 of 14 games are away
- They play New Jersey on my birthday, I might be drunk, dont @ me
Don’t get queezy, I ain’t worried, therefore you shouldn’t be……
So, Brian Boyle eh!
According The Athletic Toronto:
I estimate that adding Boyle gives the Leafs a 5 percent increase in making the playoffs. That’s worth a second in a bad draft I think. https://t.co/EQ7c95QYC3
— dom (@domluszczyszyn) February 27, 2017
— dom (@domluszczyszyn) February 27, 2017
Brian Boyle is an unrestricted free agent next season and may be just the rental that the Leafs require to make a playoff push. Coming in at 6’6″ and 240+ lbs he comes with a $2,000,000 cap hit, but this should be of no concern since we currently have around $17,000,000 in LTIR cap relief.
SIDENOTE: Let’s just forget the fact that Dom mentions Washington being our probable opponent in the first round. We all want Ottawa in the first round RIGHT!!!!
Oh …. I forgot. Burrows is a SEN!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
Enough of the BS
The San Jose Sharks currently sit 1st in the Pacific and 3rd in the Western Conference. The Sharks have not been a slouch in a couple years. I mean they have this problem of choking in the playoffs, but they are not a team to take lightly. Probable Norris winner, Brent Burns, is having himself a career year. Thus far Burns has tallied 65 points in 61 games. Tied with Patrick Kane, behind Sidney Crosby by 2 points and only 6 points behind league leader, Connor McDavid. WOW.
I am not worried though. We have a Matthews, Nylander, and a Marner. The west may be big, but resting dog shit can’t catch the wind.
After a disappointing loss to the Habs Saturday night, the Leafs are hungry, they want and know they have to win here. They have the tools to do it:
- So far this season Andersen and Jones stack up pretty close to one another. One having a 0.914 sv% on the season and the latter having a 0.915 sv%. Sorted by sv% alone they sit 15th and 16th amongst all goalies with 35+ GP. I would have to give the edge to Andersen only because he has accumulated 1 assist, 1 point and 16 penalty minutes. Jones has 0’s across the bored, WIMP……
- Our Leafs carry the edge in Face-off Win Percentage by a whopping 0.9%, to be honest who gives a shit, because we all know face-offs don’t matter. In all honesty the NHL should move to a “jump
ballpuck” rule similar to the NBA. That’s right, lets just alternate starting puck possession behind the nets for no apparent reason. #WetFartNoise…..
- Lets take a second to appreciate that Brian Boyle is a 52.23 adj CF% hockey player and by this reason alone we will never see Ben Smith and his 41.55 adj CF% in the Blue and White again. I mean who cares that he is 6’6″, skates well, can score, and hits like a freight train. None of that matters…..
- Our boys in blue, have a slight advantage in PK% when sorted highest to lowest, but take note that the Sharks currently sit in the bottom 10 teams in PP%. Lets hope that our quickness can draw a few extra penalties to give us the obvious advantage in the special teams department:
- PP% —> TOR – 22.8% (Tied for 1st in the league) SJS 17.6% (21st in the league)
- Our home town heroes have scored exactly 20 more goals than the Sharks have this season and hopefully score 20 tonight. Hopefully all scored by William Nylander so people stop talking about trading him…..
The way I see it, the Leafs need at least 4, of the available 6 points available to be won on this western road trip. They can do it. We just gotta have faith.
Projected Line Combinations
Toronto Maple Leafs
Komarov — Kadri — Leivo
Hyman — Matthews — Nylander
van Riemsdyk — Bozak — Marner
Martin — Boyle — Leivo
Gardiner — Carrick
Hunwick — Polak
San Jose Shark
Labanc — Thornton — Pavelski
Marleau — Couture — Boedker
Karlsson — Hertl — Ward
Sorensen — Tierney — Haley
Martin — Burns
Vlasic — Braun
Dillon — Schlemko