LGD: Episode 41- A New Hope

I slept like a baby last night (not like my baby, but one
that actually sleeps well). Food tastes better today. The sun is shining a
little brighter, people are a little friendlier and every song that comes on
the radio makes me want to dance.

Welcome to the post-Carlyle era.

The Leafs have anointed Peter Horachek as the interim coach
officially today, and Steve Spott and Steve Staios (Manager of Player
Development) will be serving as his assistants.

The Capitals are also a team playing in this game. They just
played outside and had fun doing so. Their 7-1-2 record in their past 10 games
is a little intimidating and it has helped move them past Toronto in the
Eastern Conference standings. Braden Holtby has been great in net for the Caps
this season, but you don’t play great goalies against bad teams, so the Leafs
might see Justin Peters tonight.

The Leafs

Horachek has decided to start off his head coaching gig the
right way by splitting up Bozak and Kessel. This has immediately endeared him
towards all of us at TLN. With the recall today of Sam Carrick, he’s also
rolling a really fun fourth line that should be worth watching in the sheltered
minutes they play. It’s also interesting that every line seems to carry at
least one forward who isn’t a tire fire in their own zone. Neat. Couple that
with the revised system of clogging the middle of their zone when defending and
we might have a team worth watching, though it still has more Korbinian Holzer
than I’d like.

Lineup
via Daily Faceoff

Winnik – Kadri –
Kessel
van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Santorelli
Komarov – Smith – Clarkson
McKegg – Carrick – Panik

Phaneuf – Franson
Rielly – Polak
Gardiner – Holzer

The Capitals

It’s great that Capitals had the Winter Classic this year
because if they weren’t the only game on when I had an afternoon off I probably
never would see them play. They are still an offensively gifted team, and are
deep enough on the blueline that Mike Green is in their third pairing. We can
laugh at them for paying Brooks Orpik “David Clarkson money” and using him in
their top pairing (even if it seems to be working for them at the moment). Also
I feel I need to laugh at Tom Wilson whenever the opportunity arises. He might
not be making Clarkson money yet, but the Caps sure did waste a good draft pick
on this meat sack.

Lineup
via Daily Faceoff

Burakovsky –
Backstrom – Ovechkin
Johansson – Kuznetsov – Brouwer
Laich – Fehr – Ward
Chimera – Beagle – Wilson

Orpik – Carlson
Alzner – Niskanen
Hillen – Green

Starting Goaltenders

VS

What to Watch For

  • How cool is it not seeing Carlyle behind the bench <3 <3 <3
  • Keep count of which superstar gets criticized by
    the broadcast team more, Ovechkin or Kessel
  • Oh neat, Kadri and Kessel are pretty good
    together
  • Wilson and Clarkson punch each other so hard
    they merge into one and that player bears a striking resemblance to Zack
    Kassian
  • The coaching change didn’t improve Holzer’s game
    at all
  • You’re probably really enjoying watching this
    game and that feels weird to you