SABRES (26-31-9) at MAPLE LEAFS (21-33-10)
7:30pm (TSN4, O-Dog in the house)
Well here we go. Another game day report trying to hype up our readership for what should be another loss and yet a moral victory. By some act of biblical proportions, customs Canada allowed the armpit of America, Buffalo Sabres, to cross the border and venture down the QEW into our space. Let’s be honest here, every time I have ventured over to the First Niagara Center to watch our Maple Leafs for half the price, as soon as I came home, I felt the need to shower the filth that was bestowed upon my uncovered skin. Thank the heathens that Buffalo’s fabled Buffalo Wings and side of fresh cut fries are deep-fried at 500 degrees to disinfect all known bacterias.
Now, let’s get serious here.
It seems like Garret Sparks will be getting the nod tonight for the hometown heroes. Sparks has not won a game in a Maple Leafs uniform since Dec 8th against the New Jersey Devils. In home games this season he has an impressive 0.931 sv%. Furthermore, specifically on Mondays (2 games), Sparks seems to perform extremely well. In those two Monday games he’s only allowed 2 goals on 52 shots, posting a 0.964 sv%. Hey, it could be another Marlie Monday for him.
Yesterday, Kasperi Kapanen and Brendan Leipsic were loaned back to the Toronto Marlies. The move seems to have been made to allow for the return of right winger, Brad Boyes, who was out with an upper body injury and newly acquired left winger, Milan Michalek, who was sidelined with a finger injury. They both practiced on a line centered by, DH favourite, Peter Holland during Sunday’s practice. It will be Michalek’s first game for the Blue and White since he was acquired in the trade for long time pylon Dion Phaneuf.
….it’s important I put him in a good situation to help him
Since it is Monday and Mike Babcock referred to Kadri as a work in progress, I decided to look up his numbers on this aforementioned day. So far this season, Kadri has played 7 games on a Monday, and tallied 6 points in total. His Monday scoring rate this year seems to be 0.85 PPG. Not bad for our young polarized centre. Of all days in the week, Mondays seem to be his second best day only behind Sundays, in which he scored in every one.
On a serious note about Kadri I found today’s post practice press conference interesting…..
….now Naz plays against all the best players in the league, doesn’t help him score, but it helps him become a better player and a player that is going to be valuable for our organization for a long time
Never has a fanbase been so split on one player. We either hate him or love him. I have yet to find many in between beleafers yet. Whatever the true plan for Kadri may be, we can only speculate. Words of wisdom come from Babcock on Kadri almost daily. I, for one, have started leaning to the side of Kadri possibly becoming a Babcock/Shanahan pet project.
Beloved ex-fancy Maple Leaf Cody Franson will not play tonight due to a neck injury. It’s a true shame that I won’t see Soshnikov go bar down between his legs as well.
To conclude my last GDR before venturing south, into the hot blazing sun of Cayo Coco Cuba, I leave you all with this……
Soshnikov has two goals in three games. This, will last forever.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Nikita Soshnikov – Nazem Kadri – Leo Komarov
Zach Hyman – William Nylander – Michael Grabner
Milan Michalek – Peter Holland – Brad Boyes
Colin Greening – Brooks Laich – Ben Smith
Matt Hunwick – Morgan Rielly
Jake Gardiner – Frank Corrado
Martin Marincin – Connor Carrick
Evander Kane – Jack Eichel – Sam Reinhart
Marcus Foligno – Johan Larsson – Brian Gionta
Daniel Catenacci – Cal O’Reilly – Zemgus Girgensons
Nicolas Deslauriers – David Legwand – Matt Moulson
Josh Gorges – Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe – Zach Bogosian
Carlo Colaiacovo – Mark Pysyk
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Gdiff (5v5) — -24
Gdiff (All) — -38
CF% (5v5) – 51.5
PP% – 14.4
PK% – 79.7
Gdiff (5v5) — -29
Gdiff (All) — -17
CF% (5v5) – 47.6
PP% – 20.0
PK% – 82.2