LGD: Looking to Rebound

The Leafs have scored 1 goal in their last 4 games and are 1-5-0 since Peter Horachek took over for Randy Carlyle.  They have played better under Horachek, but the results haven’t been there.  Toronto will look to change that tonight facing the lowly Carolina Hurricanes at Air Canada Center.

In fact, each of Toronto’s next 5 games are against teams below them in the standings.  Since not many teams can lay claim to that stake, you know it’s a pretty sad bunch.  So the Leafs really have no excuse to not win some hockey games.  Here’s how things look to shape up tonight:

THE LEAFS

Expected Lines via DailyFaceoff.com
leafs

Joffrey Lupul, Peter Holland, Leo Komarov, and now Stephane Robidas are all out with injury.  It seems like Komarov has a chance, albeit a small one, to play Wednesday.  Other then that, that grouping of injured players will be out until some point after the All-Star break.
With their depth depleted, the Leafs really need their big guys to step up.  van Riemsdyk, Kessel, Bernier; one of these guys has to put in a performance above everyone else and help get a win for this team.

THE CANES

Expected Lines via DailyFaceoff.com
carolina

It’s been a really bad season for this team.  They have shown signs of life lately, but they still sit 28th in the league and will almost assuredly be picking fop five come June.  And while it’s been a tough year, it’s not all bad.  They have gotten alright goaltending, Bill Peters has actually done a decent job as the new head coach, Justin Faulk has taken another big step forward, and Elias Lindholm is beginning to establish himself as a legitimate NHLer.  With a name like McDavid, Eichel, or Hanifin to add to their arsenal this summer, Carolina is a team I’d pencil in for a quick turnaround next season.

STARTING GOALTENDERS

It will be Jonathan Bernier (32GP, .915 sv%) versus Anton Khudobin (14GP, .912 sv%) in goal tonight.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

  • The Leafs to bounce back.  They are coming off their toughest stretch of the season and are now headed into their easiest.  The plethora of road games is going to start easing up a little bit now, and they’ve now seemingly gotten used to Peter Horachek’s mantra.  I know people are acting like the sky is falling in Leafland, but I think this team can and will play some decent hockey to finish the season.  Will they make the playoffs?  Probably not.  Will they have a lottery pick?  Almost assuredly no.