MAPLE LEAFS (2-8-3) at CAPITALS (9-3-0)
7:00pm – Verizon Center (CBC)
Last night Toronto Maple Leafs played host to the Detroit Red Wings on Hall of Fame night.
James Reimer, who played his second straight game for the team while the teams so-called “starting goalie” Jonathan Bernier was out nursing an injury from the press box.
The Leafs played their hearts out last night and looked like a good, strong and coefficient unit for 95% of the hockey game; yet, as has been the case too many times in this young NHL season the team ends up getting burned because of that 5% where they looked lackluster and the teams goaltending isn’t there to bail them out. The Leafs managed to scrounge together just enough offense (albeit on a pretty weak goal off the butt end of Mrazek’s stick) to get them into OT and guarantee at least one point. They would eventually fall to the Red Wings 2-1.
Does this sound familiar? Of course it does. If you were to ask even the most casual Maple Leafs fans to sum up this years team i’m pretty confident this is what you’d get in return. We have a team that tries hard, and in most games have outplayed and out chanced the opposing teams yet can’t find a way to capitalize on their chances. Meanwhile, their goaltending has seemed lackluster and uninspired most nights giving up weak goals at he most inopportune times.
This brings us to tonight’s matchup. The Toronto Maple Leafs face off against the surging Washington Capitals tonight on Hockey Night in Canada.
It’s expected that Reimer will get the back to back nod for the Maple Leafs after a mostly strong performance last night, despite a really bad first goal that had his team on their heels all night. Meanwhile Holtby’s strong play this season pretty much guarantees he’ll be between the pipes most nights for his team.
Tonight’s game is one of those games where you really just hope the leafs can maintain the oppositions offensive powerhouses and not let the game get completely out of hand. Washington is currently firing on all cylinders because guys like Ovechkin, Oshie, Kuznetsov & Backstrom are all producing at almost a point per game pace.
It’s expected that this trend will continue tonight.
We are getting to the point in the season where there are really no more excuses for this teams lack of production from top offensive players such as; Lupul, Kadri, Grabner, van Riemsdyk, Bozak & Parenteau. They need to start producing for the Maple Leafs if they are to have any success against the Capitals tonight.
If these guys can’t generate more than just “scoring chances” they’ll need to bear down defensively and try to chip away at Washington defense to pop one in, and hopefully keep Washington’s big guns off the scoresheet.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Gdiff (5v5) — -4
Gdiff (All) — -13
CF% (5v5) – 51.9
PP% – 12.8
PK% – 77.8
Gdiff (5v5) — +7
Gdiff (All) — +11
CF% (5v5) – 54.4
PP% – 22.9
PK% – 86.1
Toronto Maple Leafs
JVR – Bozak – Komarov
Matthias – Kadri – Lupul
Winnik – Spaling – Parenteau
Grabner – Froese – Boyes
Gardiner – Phaneuf
Hunwick – Rielly
Harrington – Polak
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Oshie
Johansson – Backstrom – Burakovsky
Chimera – Beagle – Williams
Laich – Latta – Wilson
Orpik – Carlson
Alzner – Niskanen
Orlov – Schmidt
Today in Leafs History….
Today in Leafs history brought to you by …… @DoctorRobert
- 1885 – Arenas left-winger Rusty Crawford was born in Cardinal, Ontario.
- 1914 – Winger Jack Forsey was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Forsey played 19 NHL games in his career and they all came with the Leafs during the 1942-1943 season. Believe it or not, he netted 16 points that year!
- 1960 – Leafs acquire Eddie “The Entertainer” Shack from the New York Rangers in exchange for Pat Hannigan and Johnny Wilson. Shack won four cups with the Leafs during the 1960s and he was credited with scoring the cup winning goal in 1963!
- 1978 – Leafs roll into St. Louis and crush the Blues 5-0!
- 1988 – A dark day in Leafs history…as the club trades Russ Courtnall to the rival Canadiens for troubled defenseman John Kordic and a 6th round pick (Mike Doers).
- 1992 – Doug Gilmour powers the Leafs to 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins as he tallies two goals and an assist.
- 2003 – In a terrible, Devilish-style hockey game, the Leafs tied New Jersey 1-1 through 65 minutes of play. Gary Roberts scored the lone Leaf goal.
- 2009 – Folk hero Phil Kessel scores his first goal as a Maple Leaf in a 5-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. Jason Blake and Ian White picked up the assists on this legendary goal.