MAPLE LEAFS (2-8-4) at STARS (12-3-0)
8:30pm – American Airlines Center (SportsNet)
The Stars are shining and the Leafs are falling.
Tonight the Leafs head into Dallas to face one of the leagues’ best teams – which is lead by the most dominant duo in the NHL. It will be no easy task to shut down the high scoring Benn and Seguin, but that is a job Morgan Rielly faces, and embraces.
Rielly has emerged as the go-to guy on the back end for Mike Babcock, playing top minutes against top lines. What I find impressive is the sophomore defenseman has done this all while leading the team in points, even though he rarely sees time on the powerplay.
James Reimer will start in goal for the fifth straight time since Bernier (who traveled with the team but is still on the IR) got injured. Reimer has a 0.923 save percentage over this current stretch as the Leafs starting goalie, but tonight may be his biggest test of the season.
60 shots from Nazem Kadri is among the league leaders in that stat, but held at just 1 goal so far is not what the young center has hoped for. I do, however, believe the goals will come his away if he continues to play as well as he is. Kadri has earned high praise from coach Babcock all season – and even before then, so he will have the opportunity to put the puck in the back of the net. It will happen, trust me.
The flu bug had Dion Phaneuf down Monday, but he is expected to play tonight – paired with Jake Gardiner once again.
Daniel Winnik will not play due to a lower body injury. Peter Holland gets the call to replace him between Nick Spaling and Joffrey Lupul – a line that will likely see a lot of Benn and Seguin.
On the Stars side, it appears Eaves, McKenzie and Moan will sit out due to injuries. Antti Niemi will start in goal for the first time since losing to the Leafs 4-1 back on November 2nd.
Lastly, I would just like to add that tomorrow is Remembrance Day, so be sure to wear your poppies proudly to show respect. After all, those brave men and women fought for our freedoms so we can do things such as tuning in to watch hockey, and talking about it freely on a great site like Leafs Hub. They paid the ultimate sacrifice, so please take the time to have a moment of silence to remember how lucky we truly are.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Gdiff (5v5) — -3
Gdiff (All) — -13
CF% (5v5) – 51.3
PP% – 14.3
PK% – 78.4
Gdiff (5v5) — +5
Gdiff (All) — +13
CF% (5v5) – 52.5
PP% – 29.2
PK% – 78.3
Toronto Maple Leafs
JVR – Kadri – Komarov
Mathias – Holland – Parenteau
Winnik – Bozak – Lupul
Grabner – Froese – Boyes
Gardiner – Phaneuf
Hunwick – Rielly
Marincin – Polak
Benn – Seguin – Sharp
Faksa – Spezza – Hemsky
Janmark – Eakin – Nichushkin
Roussel – Fiddler – Sceviour
Goligoski – Klingberg
Oduya – Demers
Nemeth – Benn
Today in Leafs History….
Today in Leafs history brought to you by …… @DoctorRobert
- 1934 – Leafs goalie George Hainsworth stopped the first penalty shot in NHL history. The shot was taken by Armand Mondou of the Canadiens. The Leafs would win the game 2-1.
- 1934 – Leafs centre Bill Sutherland was born in Regina, Saskatchewan.
- 1945 – Former Leafs goaltender Allan Smith was born in Toronto, Ontario.
- 1986 – Legendary Leaf Francis “King” Clancy passed away in Toronto.
- 1990 – Leafs trade Ed Olczyk and Mark Osbourne to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Dave Ellet and Paul Fenton.
- 1995 – Mats Sundin ties a team record as he collects 3 assists in the first period against the Washington Capitals. The Leafs would go on to win 6-1!
- 2011 – Leafs almost blow a 2-0 lead as they narrowly beat the Blues 3-2 in a shootout. John-Michael Liles and Phil Kessel scored both Leaf goals on the powerplay.