Preview: Game #7 Capitals @ Leafs - Is there room for Cody Franson?

Cam Charron
January 31 2013 11:33AM

Mike Komisarek is going to be held out of the lineup for a second straight contest, this one against the Washington Capitals. The Cody Franson-Mark Fraser pairings had strong games in Buffalo, both according to performance numbers and production numbers. It's a workable pairing, but I think Franson deserves to get a few more minutes. For some reason he hasn't gotten onto the good side of anybody in the organization, or has appeared to.

That's odd that he played more minutes in Nashville his two seasons there per game than he has so far under Randy Carlyle, but the season is still young, and maybe he'll realize at some point that having two defencemen play their off-side in the top four may be stretching expectation. Franson is a rare right shot.

The Toronto Maple Leafs play at home to the Washington Capitals tonight and attempt to win their second straight game for the first time since March 17. They could wrap up January over .500, against some odds. Not all odds, but most odds.

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LFR6 - Game 6 - Frattin's OT Stunner

Steve Dangle
January 30 2013 01:58PM

You know what's nice? Talking about wins!

In one second, Matt Frattin turns one point for the Leafs into two. How about Franson? Kadri? Komarov? Brown's hit and fight? Watch! 

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Frattin Party: Leafs beat Sabres 4-3 - Recap and scoring chances

Cam Charron
January 29 2013 08:55PM

Via NHLInteractive

Well that was unlikely.

Not only has Ryan Miller typically been a beast against the Toronto Maple Leafs in his career, but the Toronto Maple Leafs got in no small way out-played by the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center Tuesday night, but walked away with a 4-3 overtime win thanks to Matt Frattin's second goal of the contest.

Jay McClement and Cody Franson also scored for the Leafs, who won a real weird one, but you knew that already. I have some detailed scoring chance data ahead, which I guarantee you is information you won't see anywhere else on the World Wide Web.

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Preview: Game #6 Leafs @ Sabres

Cam Charron
January 29 2013 02:00PM

The hilarious thing is that Mike Komisarek suffered a freak injury doing "something he regrets" according to Randy Carlyle.

The not-so hilarious thing is that apparently his injury involved a fibreglass shard to the eye, which seems like it would hurt a lot. The other not-so hilarious thing is that Mike Komisarek is one of the five legitimate NHLers the Maple Leafs have on defence. Komisarek has been useful on the penalty kill this season, on a team of defencemen that don't have an awful lot of experience playing the penalty kill.

The Leafs lineup isn't yet set, and isn't exactly known which defenceman will take Komisarek's spot, but Jake Gardiner was recalled from the Toronto Marlies earlier today and will be a "game-time decision". Hopefully, both Gardiner and Franson will slot into the lineup at the expense of Mark Fraser, Gardiner can play limited offensive minutes with Marlies defensive partner Mike Kostka, and the Leafs can return Dion Phaneuf to his comfort zone alongside Carl Gunnarsson. The Leafs may need a five-man checking unit tonight.

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Tracking Phil Kessel Shots on Goal

Gus Katsaros
January 29 2013 09:36AM

It’s finally reached the point where the chatter to trade Phil Kessel is getting so hot it’s lighting the kindling for the bon fire that’s coming. Forever maligned as a piece involved in a fateful trade, Kessel will burn his name into the annals of Leafs history, or scorch a path out of town.

There’s merit in trying to maximize asset value and get a decent return for a goal scoring threat, perhaps from a team with a need of scoring help and is willing to pay for it.

That’s also contingent on whether the Leafs are inclined to move him.

I don’t believe in the value of a player fluctuating such wide variation over short periods unless there is a fundamental change in the player’s makeup, a bad injury perhaps. Hockey personnel already have a vibrant profile of every NHL player knowing their skill sets and capabilities under the right circumstance.

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