When It Means Something: The Leafs at the Columbus Blue Jackets: In Columbus, in November.

Danny Gray
November 03 2011 11:08AM

                               

 

Tonight two teams with Military inspired names go to battle in this, the most important of months, in the most redundant of places. 

The Setup:

Rick Nash may not be a Maple Leaf but he sure sounds like one. For the past eight seasons his franchise has failed to give him a linemate truly capable of keeping up with him. While many complained that MLSE never gave Sundin elite wingers, the Columbus Blue Jackets have failed to give Rick anything other than one season of goaltending insane enough to convince him to sign a long contract extension. This year they finally thought they had found him a centre in Jeff Carter, who promptly suffered a foot injury. The Jackets are off to a rough start but the combination of Carter and Nash will be a formidable one for the next few years, thankfully the Leafs will not have to face them tonight. What can we look forward to?

 

The Leafs are hoping to bring the momentum from their 8th win of the season with them into the heart of Ohio tonight. Last season it took the Leafs until November 22nd to win 8 games, they were stuck there until December 4th. It sure would be great to see them reach number 9 on the 3rd day of the most important month of the year.

The Columbus Blue Jackets stumble into tonight’s match-up with a record of 2-9-1. Lest I appear to be the proverbial black pot their special teams have been atrocious. Their PP has only scored 6 goals in 59 opportunities, good for at 10% efficiency. Their PK is an abysmal 71% allowing 12 goals in 42 times shorthanded.  They have allowed 40 goals this season, good for second last in the entire league. This is one team whose special teams that the Leafs need to take advantage of.

The Performance:

 

Tonight’s Line-Ups: To be posted when someone tweets them. 

Toronto:

 Forwards

Joffrey Lupul - Tim Connolly - Phil Kessel
Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Matthew
Lombardi - Tyler Bozak - Joey Crabb
Mike Brown - David Steckel - Philippe Dupuis

Defence

Carl Gunnarsson - Dion Phaneuf
John-Michael Liles - Mike Komisarek
Jake Gardiner - Luke Schenn

Columbus:

Forwards

Vinny Prospal - Derek MacKenzie - Rick Nash
Matt Calvert - Antoine Vermette - Ryan Johansen
RJ Umberger - Sammy Pahlsson - Cody Bass
Alexandre Giroux - Derick Brassard - Derek Dorsett
 

Defence

Fyodor Tyutin - James Wisniewski
Marc Methot - Grant Clitsome
Kris Russell - Aaron Johnson

The Protectors of the Puck-Pelted Pavillions: 

Steve "Andrew Raycroft" Mason starts for Columbus while Jonas Gustavsson will tend the twine for the Maple Leafs. 

The Prestige: 

The Columbus Blue Jackets are coming off a win against the Ducks, they have yet to win two games in a row this season. This is exactly the sort of game that the Leafs need to win. Phil Kessel hasn’t scored a goal in two games, he’s due. I like his odds against the Blue Jackets.

Go Leafs Go!

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Danny once met Doug Gilmour and it changed his life. Had he met Bret Hart the same day he would not have been able to handle it. He can be found on Twitter @ACatNamedFelix.
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