LGD: Let the Bodies Hit the Floor

The Leafs will look to end their recent slide against a team even more injured than they are.

With just 2 wins in their last 8 games and underlying numbers that suggest the struggles are only going to continue, the Leafs play the final game of a 7-game road trip tonight in Winnipeg.

THE LEAFS

The injuries are beginning to mount up for the Leafs.  It has been announced that Joffrey Lupul is out 4 weeks, Nazem Kadri is out 7-10 days, and Peter Holland is week-to-week.  The Leafs actually played pretty well against Minnesota last night, especially considering the lineup they dressed, and will look to play at a similar level with a different result against the Jets.  Here are the expected lines:

James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Bozak-Phil Kessel

Leo Komarov-Trevor Smith-David Clarkson

Richard Panik-Greg McKegg-Mike Santorelli

Carter Ashton-Daniel Winnik-David Booth

Dion Phaneuf-Cody Franson

Morgan Rielly-Roman Polak

Jake Gardiner-Korbinian Holzer

THE JETS

Winnipeg has been ravaged by even more injuries than the Leafs, with Evander Kane, Tobias Enstrom, Zach Bogosian, and Jacob Trouba all out long-term.  Winnipeg’s first forward line looks familiar and their second one looks okay when you consider they are battling injuries, but after that the lineup gets pretty thin.  Dustin Byfuglien is the only defenseman they have capable of eating big minutes, and Jets head coach Paul Maurice prefers him at forward.  Here is their expected lineup tonight:

(via DailyFaceoff.com)

Andrew Ladd-Bryan Little-Blake Wheeler

Matthieu Perrault-Mark Schiefele-Michael Frolik

Chris Thorburn-Adam Lowry-Matt Halischuk

T.J. Galiardi-Jim Slater-Anthony Peluso

Ben Chiarot-Dustin Byfuglien

Jay Harrison-Grand Clitsome

Adam Pardy-Paul Postma

STARTING GOALTENDERS

With Jonathan Bernier starting last night in Minnesota, Manitoba native James Reimer (15GP, .905Sv%) is expected to start in goal against Winnipeg.  24-year-old Michael Hutchinson (15GP, .937Sv%) has recently stolen the crease from long-time Jets starter Ondrej Pavelec, and he is expected to get the start opposite Reimer.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • How the lines are maneuvered.  Will Randy Carlyle switch things up at all?  Might Santorelli move back to the middle?  Could Stephane Robidas draw back in?  How will the ice-time be distributed?  I don’t like the lines as currently constructed, but the Leafs did play fairly well yesterday against a good Minnesota team.  It will be especially interesting to see how the Leafs play given that it’s the tail end of a back-to-back.
  • CMpuck

    Whatever happens tonight I am with you Reims all the way, GOOD LUCK!!!!

    Tough breaks with all the injuries due to the game against Boston, but IF and I say IF the WHOLE TEAM not just the Goalie can pull it together tonight we can end this road trip with some class…

    GO LEAFS GO!!!!!

  • STAN

    If those ARE the Leafs’ lines, yikes! At least replace the useless Clarkson with Santorelli, arguably one of the Leafs three best players this past month.

    Meantime, is NOW not the time for Shanonis™ to make a major move? He could say we had no choice but to move (pick a so-called ‘core’ player) to help us short AND long term. If you’ve got to give up a little youth, so be it.

    I’m disappointed that David Perron was available and ended up in Pittsburgh. He would have fit in seamlessly in Toronto.