LGD – In Tough, In Chicago

Yesterday’s Leafs Game Day article was titled ‘Bounce Back Opportunity’, as facing off against a flawed Flyers team and backup goaltender would be an excellent opportunity to get things back on track after an ugly loss to Carolina. 

Well, that didn’t exactly work. The Leafs were unable to contain a surging Claude Giroux & Co., and were embarassed at home by a score of 7-4.

Tonight, the Leafs will face a much greater challenge in bouncing back against Chicago Blackhawks – one of the league’s best top teams. Yes, the Leafs have the hottest offence in the entire NHL, scoring 3.39 goals-per-game, but they will be going up against the league’s best defence in the Blackhawks, who only allow 2.00 goals against-per-game.

Of course, the last time the two teams met, James Reimer made 45 saves in a 3-2 Leafs victory at home. Anything can happen, but I doubt another victory over Chicago would come any easier than it did last time.

The Leafs

The biggest question regarding the Leafs lineup is certainly Jake Gardiner’s status. We all know he’s been, well, kind of bad lately, but how can you blame the guy too much when, without him, you give up seven goals to the Philadelphia Flyers? My guess is Gardiner will return to the lineup tonight for Korbinian Holzer, as his speed will be a necessity if the Leafs want to keep up with the Blackhawks forwards.

Lineups Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel

Daniel Winnik – Nazem Kadri – Mike Santorelli

Joffrey Lupul – Peter Holland – David Clarkson

David Booth – Trevor Smith – Richard Panik

Dion Phaneuf – Cody Franson

Stephane Robidas – Roman Polak

Morgan Rielly – Korbinian Holzer

The Blackhawks

Damn, that’s a beautiful lineup. You know, aside from Dan Carcillo. We can talk all we went about how the Leafs’ improved depth has made them a better team this year, but that depth will be put to the test against a third line that includes Patrick Sharp? Yeah, not good for Toronto.

Lineups Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa

Kris Versteeg – Brad Richards – Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell – Andrew Shaw – Patrick Sharp

Dan Carcillo – Marcus Kruger – Ben Smith

Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook

Niklas Hjalmarsson – Michal Rosival

Tim Erixon – Johnny Oduya

Starting Goaltenders

  • Young Oil

    All I can say is I hope this team finally gets some guts and fight in them, to be there tonight because the team sure as heck wasn’t there in the last 2 games, again these 2 Goaltenders are not going to be able to withstand another year of 35plus shots and expect the Goaltenders to save/steal the games on every giving night..enough already…

    I hope that if Reims plays tonight he has his team with him, because I hate to see another night like last night….sorry Bernie, the team seems to leave its Goalies both out to dry….

    Good luck Reims, hope this isn’t a disaster, I mean its not like he’s going to get a lot of starts to bounce back if its a disaster tonight….

  • Young Oil

    All I can say is I hope this team finally gets some guts and fight in them, to be there tonight because the team sure as heck wasn’t there in the last 2 games, again these 2 Goaltenders are not going to be able to withstand another year of 35plus shots and expect the Goaltenders to save/steal the games on every giving night..enough already…

    I hope that if Reims plays tonight he has his team with him, because I hate to see another night like last night….sorry Bernie, the team seems to leave its Goalies both out to dry….

    Good luck Reims, hope this isn’t a disaster, I mean its not like he’s going to get a lot of starts to bounce back if its a disaster tonight….