March 21 2013 03:16PM
So Lupul was suspended for his hit on Victor Hedman for two games, and I have to say I'm quite surprised. Ryan Hamilton was called up to fill Mike Komisarek's spot in the lineup, so he'll play for the Leafs in Buffalo. Leafs without Lupul, but the bigger absentee in this game is Thomas Vanek, out with a lower-body injury for the Sabres.
I didn't see the play with sound on, but I'm guessing it's from when Vanek was hit by a Christian Ehrhoff slapshot against Montreal on Tuesday in the team's 3-2 win. Might have been Ehrhoff, I could be wrong there, but Vanek missed the second half of the game. He came out to do a skate during a TV timeout and is still practicing with the team so poolies, it probably isn't long-term.
The Sabres have been pretty well a two-man team this season. The other guy is Ehrhoff.
March 21 2013 01:10PM
THE STREAK ENDED!!! YESSS!!!!!!! Oh and I got engaged BUT THE STREAK ENDED YESSSS!
March 21 2013 04:27AM
Joffrey Lupul has had a pretty eventful first couple of games back from the injury. He's found the scoresheet multiple times: three goals, and four penalties. The first three penalties were questionable calls—two of them happened to take the Leafs off the powerplay—but the third was pretty cut and dry. The question we all want to know: does the hit merit suspension?
At the start of the third period in the Maple Leafs win against the Lightning, Lupul skates by big Tampa defenceman Victor Hedman and clocks him to the head. The call was two for "illegal check to the head".
March 20 2013 09:20PM
Photo via Claus Anderson/NHL Interactive
Coming into this game, the Toronto Maple Leafs had significantly outplayed non-playoff opponents. They had out-chanced them 185-145 this season, compared to being out-chanced 196-242 by playoff teams. That is a very significant swing.
But it's one you might expect of a team whose true talent level is likely in that big swath of teams positioned between 6th and 12th in the Eastern Conference standings, separated by just 7 points. The idea, you see, is that it is easier to play against bad hockey teams, and harder to play against better hockey teams.
Toronto, after a rough stretch of schedule, finally got to play an opponent that is not only lousy, but not particularly well-coached. From the opening puck drop, the Maple Leafs asserted themselves as the better team over the Tampa Bay Lightning. They scored the first four goals, let time tick away in the third, and ended up winning 4-2, and it wasn't really close.
March 20 2013 03:05PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs have lost five straight games.
Qualifier: The Toronto Maple Leafs last five games have all come against playoff teams.
Addendum: If the Toronto Maple Leafs are a playoff team, they'll have to beat playoff opponents.
Tonight they play Tampa Bay, a team outside of playoff position. The team has had a tough schedule of late, facing Boston, Pittsburgh twice and Winnipeg twice, and coming back from two 4-1 deficits to boot to force OTs.
Last time the Leafs faced the Bolts, they got off to a slow start, and Ben Scrivens allowed two sloppy ones in a 4-2 loss. You can read the recap from that game here.