MAPLE LEAFS (8-13-5) at BLUES (15-7-4)
Quick story before I jump into the game day content. I was at the Leafs/Wild game on Thursday night at the Xcel. Guy in front of me is way into the game, which is cool. But I guess he’s getting pissed at us because he thinks we’re making fun of him (which we weren’t and I have no idea why he thought that).
The Leafs score and I jump out of my seat, the only one in my section to do so, as the guys I was with are not Leaf fans and the rest are obviously Wild fans. He gets mad and decides he wants to fight. So he gets in mine and my buddies faces, and starts saying a bunch of stuff that I’d rather not write. Now, I didn’t come to the game to get in trouble, I have 3 kids and I’m passed the point in my life where I think fighting solves anything. So I’m just like, “Dude, chill out. WTF.” He won’t have it though…goal gets called off and he starts threatening me some more along with the guy beside me. Finally my buddy says, “Alright, let’s go. Hit me.” The guy pretends he’s going to hit him, but then sits down and gets all quiet.
A few minutes later, my other buddy goes over and levels with him…“Dude, why are you so angry? Where’s that going to get you in life?”, etc., etc. Anyway the guy starts crying because he feels bad about it. You can’t make this stuff up.
Meanwhile, behind me, some other Wild fans are yelling out homophobic stuff at us and telling us to go back to Canada (we all live in Minnesota…but whatever). I may have yelled “Yeah, ‘Murica!” at them in response, but I blame that on the Crown Royal. Leafs lose 1-0 and I think that’s twice in a row they’ve been shut out with me watching. (Editor’s note: That is incorrect…the Maple Leafs lost 3-1 on 1/2/2015).
I always think it’s kind of funny when I go watch a Canadian team in Minnesota and it becomes an America vs. Canada thing. Do they not know that there are more Canadians (10) on their team than Americans (6)? Maybe it’s like that in other American (or Canadian?) arenas. I don’t know. But I do know that it’s pretty comical.
Don’t get me wrong…I love the States. I’m a dual-citizen, for crying out loud, and I’ve lived here for over 12 years. Both countries are cool. Canada is better at hockey. The States has more Chipotle restaurants. Both of these are important to keep in mind.
1. Everybody needs to chill out. It’s just hockey.
2. I would be cool with seeing the Wild lose every game forever.
Now, onto the game tonight against the Blues…
Sparks is starting, and Bibeau is backing him up. Lines are shuffled a bit (see below). Still no Corrado. That’s about all I got…to be honest.
Wait! Sean Tierney just sent me over a fun chart that I requested and wanted to share. It’s the CF% Rel for Leafs forwards this year. While this stat (like every other stat) isn’t intended to give a FULL picture, it does indicate which Leafs are driving shots effectively (relative to their teammates). I wanted to share because it backs up my conviction that JVR isn’t getting nearly enough credit for his play so far this year. He’s easily our most valuable commodity on the roster next to Rielly. Though, Leo’s seems to be getting up there too. Thanks to @SeanTierneyTSS for sending it over.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Gdiff (5v5) — -8
Gdiff (All) — -14
CF% (5v5) – 49.4
PP% – 19.0
PK% – 80.0
St. Louis Blues
Gdiff (5v5) — +6
Gdiff (All) — +4
CF% (5v5) – 53.8
PP% – 17.5
PK% – 85.7
Toronto Maple Leafs
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – PA Parenteau
Peter Holland – Nazem Kadri – Leo Komarov
Michael Grabner – Nick Spaling – Daniel Winnik
Shawn Matthias – Byron Froese – Brad Boyes
Jake Gardiner – Dion Phaneuf
Matt Hunwick – Morgan Rielly
Martin Marincin – Roman Polak
St. Louis Blues
Jori Lehtera – Paul Stastny – Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexander Steen – David Backes – Troy Brouwer
Dmitrij Jaskin – Scott Gomez – Robby Fabbri
Steve Ott – Kyle Brodziak – Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester – Alex Pietrangelo
Kevin Shattenkirk – Colton Parayko
Carl Gunnarsson – Robert Bortuzzo
Today in Leafs History….
Today in Leafs history will be back as soon as @DoctorRobert is finished with his final exams and projects