Tonight the Leafs travel to Washington for their second of four meetings this season against the Capitals. Waiting for them on the ice will be a Leaf killer in Alexander Ovechkin. In four games last year, the Great 8 potted 4 goals to go along with his 8 helpers. In their previous meeting this year, Alex added another two assists bring up his total to 14 points in his last 5 games against the Leafs. The troubling thing is though, he’s not the Alex the Leafs need to most worry about; that would be Alex Semin. Third in the league with 18, Semin is a goal scoring machine in this contract year and is letting all potential shooters that it’s going to take mucho deniro to sign him in free agency. His last 4 games agaist the Leafs? 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 points. If the Leafs want to leave DC with two more points than they entered with, they’ll need to keep the Alexes in check.
More after the jump cause PPP needed a reminder.
New to the Capitals since these two teams last met is the addition of shutdown defenseman Scott Hannan. Expect Hannan to see a lot of Phil Kessel tonight. While the deal of Fleischmann for Hannan has improved their backend, it has also hindered the Capitals’ potent offense. In the 3 games since the trade, the Caps have only 6 goals and enter with a 2 game losing streak. Though this is not due to special teams as their PP has gone 3 for 7 (43%) in that span. Toronto’s penalty kill will need to be at the top of its game if it wishes to stop the 5th best power play in the league.
News out of Toronto today is that J.S. Giguere is out due to retweaking his groin over the weekend and James Reimer has been called from the Marlies. He will backup Gustavsson who gets the start tonight opposite Michal Neuvirth for the Caps. Though it’s not all bad news as John Mitchell and Brett Lebda will sit yet again tonight. Lebda may just be the Least Valuable Player for the Leafs this year as he’s yet to be on the ice for a Leafs goal and is a team worst -11 despite only playin 12 games. Without a doubt, he is the worst free agency signing on Brian Burke’s resume ever. Good thing he’s signed for another year at $1.45M right? Right?? Shit………..
Here are your lineups for tonight: