LGD – Leafs Visit the Island

While the rebuild is most certainly on, today’s iteration of the Toronto Maple Leafs still has to, perhaps unfortunately, play hockey games. They’ll do that tonight when the Leafs travel to Long Island to take on John Tavares and the shockingly fantastic New York Islanders.

New York carries a 35-18-1 record and 71 points into tonight’s match up, tying them with the Detroit Red Wings for 6th in the league standings. The score a ton of goals (fourth most in the league), and have a deep forward group that, even without Kyle Okposo, is hard to shut down. 

That being said, the Islanders aren’t without flaws. They allow the second fewest shots against per game in the NHL, but their 2.78 goals against per game still ranks 23rd. Their penalty kill is also horrifying, but for both teams – their 72.5% penalty kill percentage is worst in the league, while their eight shorthanded goals is best.

If the Leafs can put a good number of shots on net and capitalize on the powerpffffffffffffffffffttttttttt.

Sorry, sorry. I almost made it through that whole opening without remembering how bad the Leafs actually are.

The Leafs

No Dion Phaneuf, no Joffrey Lupul, and Phil Kessel has been practicing on the fourth line. Lovely stuff. But hey, at least David Clarkson is back in the lineup.

Lineups Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

LeafsVsIslanders1

The Islanders

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the fact that the Islanders put together their defensive top pairing in one offseason by trading away a few picks and prospects. Also, it’s another opportunity tonight for Nazem Kadri to study how to be as good as John Tavares by lining up across from John Tavares.

Lineups Courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

LeafsVsIslanders2

Starting Goaltenders

What to Watch For

  • Horachek regularly checking his Give-a-Shit meter
  • David Clarkson playing more minutes than Phil Kessel
  • Pieces of falling rock and scaffolding
  • Actual scorched earth
  • Jeremy Ian

    Hey! It’s good to see Grabbo and Kuley again. Good for them that they’re finally on a team headed to the playoffs!

    TORCH IT!!! Every last piece!!! TANK!!!

  • STAN

    Yeah, whatever.

    I had to laugh at this line from The Globe & Mail’s piece regarding Shanahan having permission to eviscerate this Leafs team.

    “From very early on, he’d realized that if the club aspired to be a Stanley Cup contender, it required a major overhaul.”

    Duh.

    Pretty much anyone with eyes and basic hockey sense has known this for several seasons. The day Burke/Nonis & Co. cashed in the future for The Pylon, (cliche coming) the writing was on the wall.

  • STAN

    The multitude of unwashed masses in Ontario that support and cheer on the Leafs seek a Leaf champion and/or champions…

    P.S. I thought that McClement fellow along with Raymond were Leaf assets. The Leafs should of kept them imo.

  • STAN

    can’t wait for strome vs strome in the near future! hope grabo/kuley continue the tradition of ex leafs run out of town for no reason light us up! hope we lose 🙂

  • STAN

    The last thing the leafs need is a guy who admits his skating needs a lot of work. Haven’t the leafs either traded or drafted enough slow afoot players such as Gauthier, Allison, Valiquette etc. It is a game of speed in 2015 and thus the leafs should avoid Strome.

  • STAN

    An outstanding article appears in the pension plan puppets blog as a writer points out the major trials and tribulations that Rogers is having this season with their huge risky investment in the N.H.L. The writer breaks it down to 5 areas where Rogers is bleeding financially big time. The leafs of course with their horrid play are not helping Rogers and their dreams of infinite cash from the N.H.L.

    It is a must read.