LGD: Time to Star-t Winning

dallasgif

Tonight a team with one win in a month of hockey will play a team with only two losses in a month of hockey. The good news is it’s a new month so anything can happen. And while anything could happen there’s probably a good chance that what will happen is Dallas will continue to be good and the Leafs will continue to be bad. 

The other good news is that Dallas is a very exciting team to watch, and after everyone predicted big things for them last season, we all finally get to see them deliver on them a season later, and smugly feel good that we were eventually right. 

The bad news is that Dallas being exciting really doesn’t help anyone who finds a potential seven game losing streak to be a little embarrassing even for a team that’s rebuilding.

The Leafs

The Leafs welcome back Nick Spaling to the lineup which is something that is incredibly being looked at as a positive. Spaling will attempt to shutdown Benn and Seguin, which is an even more depressing thought. If you want to be more encouraged about it, think about how Jay McClement struggling in a shutdown role made him seem valuable. 

Brad Boyes will also be making his return tonight, which means that Rich Clune (probably suspended by the time you read this) and Peter Holland will be sitting. The idea of scratching Holland when there are so many better options available for scratching will continue to puzzle me, but this season isn’t worth getting hung up on little things, so I hope he enjoys his night off.

Lineups via Dailyfaceoff.com

The Stars

For a team starting a four game Eastern road trip, this is probably a game viewed as an important one to win. Of course, when the teams you’re playing against are the Leafs, Bruins, Canes, and Wings you might be taking a laissez faire to your time on the road. 

Seguin, Benn, and Klingberg are all at a point per game pace or higher, and the next four highest scorers on the Stars have totals good enough to lead the Leafs in scoring. Hopefully the Leafs fixed their goaltending between Saturday night and tonight, because that would really help keep this game from being embarrassing. 

Lineups via Dailyfaceoff.com

Starting Goaltenders

It looks like someone pulled a M. Babcock Shyamalan and switched up the starter at the last minute. James Reimer will get the nod tonight

Antti Niemi gets the start for Dallas. He hasn’t been particularly good this season, but Karri has been Lehtonen a lot of pucks, so he’s become the starter by default.

What to Watch For…

  • A thoughtful tribute to almost Leaf Tyler Seguin on the ACC scoreboard during the first timeout.
  • The Stars fourth line outscoring the Leafs first line
  • Jamie Benn getting a penalty, and everyone on twitter tripping over themselves to make the same “doesn’t like going to the box” joke
  • That as good as the Stars look, you could still see them being one of the teams crazy enough to trade for Roman Polak
  • When things go bad, youtube highlights of Auston Matthews
  • FlareKnight

    Prepping for another tough night.

    This week is just going to be rough. Dallas, Winnipeg, Detroit, Washington.

    Anything can happen, one or more of these teams could have a bad night.

    But it’s all about getting to the bottom of the league so when the lotto screws us over we still at least have the 4th overall pick.

  • FlareKnight

    i just want to know what parenteau has blackmailed babcock with to remain in the lineup let alone in the top 6. same with grabner… but i’m not complaining since losing is a good thing. benn/seguin/sharp vs spaling should be a laugh riot… poor winnik. let’s just hope polak isn’t facing them or it could get real ugly real fast…

  • FlareKnight

    Tough night for the Leafs today. Dallas is playing very well. I would be satisfied if they score some goals today even it it is in a losing effort. Goals, good PK and no short-handed goals against would satisfy me. If they are to beat us, let them do that at even strength!

  • Gary Empey

    My wish is I hope I don’t have to listen to the broadcaster telling me the life story of every Dallas player as the game is being played.

    Reimer better be sharp. If he lets in another softie like his last appearance I think Babcock may pull him off the ice. That last one deflated the whole team for all of the second period.