LGD: Ron Francis Rivalry Renewed

Remember Ron Francis? It’s only been 11 years since the Leafs made the decision to acquire the veteran at the trade deadline. With 1798, Francis holds the rare distinction of having the most regular season points in his career of any player to suit up for the Leafs. He only scored ten of those points in Toronto, but it’s fair to say he’s one of the organization’s most memorable players.

Oh, and he’s also the GM of the Leafs the teams are playing tonight, the Carolina Hurricanes.

Besides the Francis storyline, it’s really not that exciting of a game by itself. Ok, including the Francis storyline, it’s not much of a good game either. Both teams are quite bad, as you probably know. This game has a feel reminiscent of a 8th place game matchup at the World Juniors, which is probably why they stopped playing those games.

Insert generic line about tanking and draft position and how the fans want a loss, but also the fans are bad because they should want a win. McDavid McDavid but maybe Eichel is good too. Strome or Marner? Is Hanafin as good as they say? Trade Kessel. That young guy Bozak did a thing, maybe he’s the number 1 centre of the future. Why is Lawson Crouse rated so high, again? Hey, did you see the NHL put out some new stats? Where’s Fenwick Adjusted Open Play In The Shootout? Does Nylander deserve the captaincy right now, or should we wait until we make the Sundin-Salming-Nylander statue first? 

Anyway, onto the lineups.

The Leafs

Morgan Rielly 
Morgan Rielly
Roman Polak 
Roman Polak
Jake Gardiner 
Jake Gardiner
Korbinian Holzer 
Korbinian Holzer
Stephane Robidas 
Stephane Robidas
Petter Granberg 
Petter Granberg

That right side of the defence is… interesting. The “third line” is probably more like a fourth line, really. Olli Jokinen, Toronto Maple Leaf. Just thought you could use a reminder.

The Canes

Defensive Pairings
Andrej Sekera 
Andrej Sekera
Justin Faulk 
Justin Faulk
Tim Gleason 
Tim Gleason
John-Michael Liles 
John-Michael Liles
Ron Hainsey 
Ron Hainsey
Brett Bellemore 
Brett Bellemore

McClement’s going to score the winner in his 29 minutes of ice time. Gleason-Liles is the most hilarious pairing in the NHL, hands down. They’re not even bad together, posting a 5v5 52.5 Shot Attempts Percentage. (For the old-fashioned folks, that’s Corsi.) Jiri Tlusty will probably undress some of the Leafs’ defence, unless he undresses himself first.

Starting Goalies


Cam Ward’s been around for a while now, eh? See you at puck drop, if you’re still watching.