LGD: Looking For A Win

The Leafs lost last night, bad. Jerseys were tossed in disgust. It was just ugly. I happened to be there last night, and the crowd was either completely dead or not even remotely pleased with what was happening on the ice. The Leafs were just completely out-classed by a much better Penguins team who ran roughshod over a Leafs system that looks exactly the same as it did last year. In short, the Leafs are just a mess right now, but I’m not sure why people are surprised. This is what the team looks like when you take out-of-this-world goaltending out of the equation. Placed side by side against a contender, it’s clear that the Leafs just aren’t good enough right now.

The good news is that today’s a new day and a new game. The bad news is that it’s against another good team playing in their home opener, the Rangers.

THE LEAFS

Projected lines via DailyFaceoff.com

James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel

Joffrey Lupul – Nazem Kadri – Daniel Winnik

Richard Panik – Peter Holland – Brandon Kozun

Leo Komarov – Mike Santorelli – David Clarkson

Dion Phaneuf – Stephane Robidas

Jake Gardiner – Morgan Rielly

Stuart Percy – Roman Polak

No changes have been made so far from last night’s starting lineup other than Winnik switching with Kozun. Franson has been cleared to play, but it hasn’t been determined who comes out for him (it should be Robidas though). Last night saw Kadri and Lupul get some time with Kessel in the third, while Bozak and JVR took shifts with Clarkson. That’s a much more balanced mix on the top six as the first line has been getting murdered possession-wise to start the season.

THE RANGERS

Projected lines via DailyFaceoff.com

Chris Kreider – Martin St. Louis – Rick Nash 

Carl Hagelin – Derick Brassard – Mats Zuccarello 

Anthony Duclair – Kevin Hayes – Lee Stempniak 

J.T. Miller – Dominic Moore – Jesper Fast 

Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi

Marc Staal – Kevin Klein

John Moore – Matt Hunwick

This is a far cry from the team that went to the Stanley Cup final. Their depth leaves a lot to be desired, and frankly this seems like a very beatable team. Also, Martin St. Louis plays centre now? When did that happen.

THE STARTING GOALIES

Tail end of a back-to-back, which means it’s ReimTime for Toronto. Bernier isn’t the reason the Leafs have lost by any means, but he hasn’t been good either. This is a good chance for Reimer to assert himself and get more starts, if he can steal a win here from the Rangers. 

New York started Talbot last night so that Henrik Lundqvist could start the home opener well rested. That’s not a good sign for the Buds.

While you wait for puck drop, you should sign up for the Nations Draft.  Get all the details here .