LGD: To Win or Not to Win?

The Leafs snapped a franchise-high 11-game losing streak Saturday against the lowly Edmonton Oilers.  They will face a much tougher test tonight against the defending Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers.  They’re in a bit of luck though, as the Rangers are without star netminder Henrik Lundqvist.  Or are they lucky?  According to a recent survey, 4 in 5 Leaf fans want the Leafs to tank.  So…go Rangers?

tank

I don’t even know what to say to get you excited about this game.  The Leafs are a dead man walking, and it seems like we already know what’s going to happen the rest of this season.  The Leafs are going to trade Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli, and Daniel Winnik at or around the trade deadline for a package of future considerations.  Peter Horachek is going to get replaced.  Dave Nonis probably, too.  And to cap it all off, the Leafs are going to be picking early this June, probably in the realm of 5th to 10th overall.  Watching the Leafs the rest of the season is like watching a movie that you already know the ending to.

So on that chipper note, here are the lineups tonight:

THE LEAFS

Expected Lines via DailyFaceoff.com

leafss

Dion Phaneuf suffered a setback in his hand injury and is expected to miss another week.  David Clarkson is expected to be a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

THE RANGERS

Expected Lines via DailyFaceoff.com

rangers

For me, one of the small pleasures of every NHL season is finding out when someone I didn’t realize was on a team is.  Matt Hunwick is that guy.  I had absolutely no idea he was a Ranger this year.
Honorable mention to Lee Stempniak who I also forgot was a Ranger until now.  Poor guy is playing on the 4th line.

STARTING GOALTENDERS

James Reimer (23GP, .907) vs. Cam Talbot (14GP, .918).

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • Can Justin Fisher lookalike Rick Nash take back sole possession of the league goal-scoring lead?
  • Can the Leafs score more than one goal for the second straight game?
  • I don’t even know at this point.  I’m so bored with this season.  Go Raptors or something.
  • Jeremy Ian

    I agree, it’s hard to figure out what to hope for. This is one reason I want the UFA trades to happen sooner — to make sure the team loses some of its key props, and to see how guys like Percy and Leivo do stepping in. But a brutal losing streak is too painful. Just once in a while, a good, trouncing victory. There’s no way they will reach Buffalo/Edmonton bottom, so why humiliate yourself completely?