LGD – Winter Classic

It’s been cold and miserable in Toronto this week – and the weather hasn’t been so great either. The Leafs played two of their worst games ever, and then played one of their better games because they finally competed, which kind of makes sense if you think about it – the only thing consistent about this team is its inconsistency. 

Now, the Leafs welcome the Red Wings, a team who continue to be very good year in and year out. They have a great coach that educates his players, they’re great at puck possession, they pull fantastic players out of late draft picks, and they have not just one but two top line centres. The Red Wings are literally the anti-Leafs.

THE LEAFS

The Leafs are 0-2 so far against Detroit, with the first loss against them being bulletin board material for how embarrassing it was. Or was that the game against Pittsburgh? Or was it against Boston? Or Buffalo? Or Nashville? There have been a lot of embarrassing games it’s almost like those games are more likely closer to the norm than the very good games this team plays. 
Carlyle continues with his bizarre line combinations that I can’t begin to understand. Why he won’t go back to Winnik-Kadri-Kessel would make a really great Twilight Zone episode in my opinion.
Good news injury-wise – Joffrey Lupul should be back for Wednesday’s game against Pittsburgh and David Booth should make his Leafs debut as well. 

Bad news injury-wise – Joffrey Lupul and David Booth are scheduled to be out 4-6 weeks each following Wednesday’s game.

van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Kessel
Komarov – Kadri – Santorelli

Winnik – Holland – Clarkson

Panik – Smith – Leivo

Phaneuf – Franson
Gardiner – Polak
Rielly – Robidas

THE WINGS

Even without Datsyuk, there is a lot to like up front for Detroit. A great mix of skill, speed, youth, and veterans. I don’t get how this team is competitive every year but hey I guess that’s what competent management and coaching can give you.
Oh and Detroit is 9th in CF% so don’t expect Toronto to get the puck very much unless they’ve changed their game plan up a little bit. Which they haven’t. It’s been three years.

Lineups via DailyFaceoff.com

Nyquist – Zetterberg – Franzen
Tatar – Sheahan – Abdelkader
Cleary – Helm – Jurco
Miller – Glendening – Andersson
Kronwall – Ericsson
Quincey – DeKeyser
Lashoff – Ouellet

STARTING GOALIES

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Jonathan “Heart Eyes Emoji” Bernier

vs

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WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

  • Lots of fights
  • Pretty passing between Nyquist and Zetterberg
  • If the Leafs win – the tidal change to “this team is great”
  • If the Leafs lose – quotes from players and management about how they know they are good because they beat Tampa and Boston, using those games as the rule and not the exceptions.
  • Compete
  • BubbaLou

    I hope the leafs compete today. If they don’t win it’ll probably be due to them not competing hard enough. If they do compete then they may compete themselves to a win, but only if they have enough compete.

  • BubbaLou

    If they win… Plan the parade. If they lose Carlyle must go, Kessel is to fat, clarkson sucks, MLSE only cares about money and phaneuph is a pylon. Because of Toronto logic

    • BubbaLou

      You know what that crap reminds me of? Internet memes. These are the in-jokes we tell each other – like prison humor.

      The problem is telling which people are just joking around, and which people believe this like holy gospel.

  • BubbaLou

    Why does lup’s have such bad luck… He always will get hurt for some stupid reason. This time he was hurt at the start of the season, so we can count of him being there for the rest. That is just his luck.

  • Jeremy Ian

    It’s not that the Leafs lose that’s the main problem
    It’s that they don’t show up for some games.
    I cant even remember the last shoot out.

    The Leafs are well paid professionals-the reason
    they are getting so much flak this year is
    for some games especially against division rivals
    they are not even in many important games.

    If they lose a one goal game but were competitive
    there really wouldn’t be a problem.

    But after the last three recent collapses
    everyone is just waiting for a repeat of past performances.

  • Jeremy Ian

    I still don’t get why the Leafs/Carlyle keep this first line together when the Winnik-Kadri-Kessel line was working much better

    Lupul – Kadri – Kessel
    JVR – Holland – Winnik
    Komarov – Bozak – Clarkson
    Sattorelli – Panik – Booth

    This would be my ideal line up once everyone is healthy