LGD: Looking to Luuuuuse

Remember when Roberto Luongo was rumoured to be the next Toronto Maple Leaf? You know, in anticipation of a big-ass push for bigger things? Despite what the jersey on my wall would have you think, it never materialized, and the Leafs ended up eventually getting Jonathan Bernier, who was pretty good himself. Oh, and then realized that goaltending wasn’t the problem and fell into the abyss.

Anyway, the Leafs take on Luongo and the Florida Panthers tonight.

The Leafs

Projected lineup via DailyFaceoff.com

No Phaneuf and no Franson make this defensive core very scary. As in, scary bad, which is impressive for a team that isn’t particularly great defensively. There is no universe where Korbinian Holzer should be on an NHL top four; the worst part about it being that we’ve already seen it before and know this to be true.

Olli Jokinen takes his end of the trade from “paper transaction” to “transaction”, presumably because they’re letting him play centre and he’s desperate to get his value up in an attempt to get the heck out of here. Can you blame him?

The Panthers

Projected lineup via DailyFaceoff.com

Defensive Pairings
Brian Campbell 
Brian Campbell
Aaron Ekblad 
Aaron Ekblad
Steve Kampfer 
Steve Kampfer
Erik Gudbranson  
Erik Gudbranson
Shane O'Brien 
Shane O’Brien
Alex Petrovic 
Alex Petrovic

Contrary to popular belief, Jussi and Olli are not related. But Olli did have his glory years in Florida! I wonder if David Bolland takes this opportunity to get re-injured and stay home for the rest of his contract. Bless Dale Tallon for saving Dave Nonis from himself this offseason.

The Panthers are currently in the thick of the wildcard race, just four points behind the Boston Bruins for the final spot with a game in hand. These are a huge potential two points for them tonight, and they’ll definitely be hungry for them, especially after losing four of the last five.

Starting Goaltenders

Luongo is having the bounce-back year that everybody expected, going 20-14-10 over 45 games while posting a Luong-esque 0.920 save percentage. His last appearance was against the Blues on Sunday, where he gave up a single goal in 33 shots in a shootout loss to St. Louis. In his last game against Toronto, he allowed four goals in 22 shots.

Bernier is getting his third straight start. He lost the two prior, which is good for the tank, but he was a 0.945 in them, which is good for Jonathan Bernier. 

  • STAN

    Totally disagree with your assessment of Holzer. He has looked faster, more decisive and makes about as many gaffes as Phaneuf, Gardiner, Rielly and Franson. Not to mention the ridiculous Robidas.

    • Jeremy Ian

      Actually, I agree that Holzer may not be as bad as it seems; being paired with Robidas will bring out the weak in anyone. The scary pairing is the third. They are going to get lit up.

      • Jeremy Ian

        he drags gardiner down. he’s awful. did you see him tonight? catastrophe on the pk along with robidas and granberg. i feel sorry for real nhl-defencemen like rielly/gardiner to be paired with them is a punishment they don’t deserve.