LGD: Reim Time?

Don’t look now, but the Leafs are on a real roll.  They’ve picked up at least a point in six of their last seven games, and are currently riding a three-game win streak.  That will all be put to the test in a big way tonight though, as the Leafs head into Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers, a team that’s won 8 in a row and sits #1 in the league standings.

THE LEAFS

Expected lines via DailyFaceoff.com

leafs lines

The Leafs figure to keep the same group of players together that they’ve been rolling out in each of the last three games.  That means Brad Boyes, Martin Marincin, and Frankie Corrado all appear to be out once again.  I think Brad Boyes is better than some players currently in the Leafs lineup (sup, Byron Froese?).  Martin Marincin hasn’t been all that good to start the year, but I still think that he’s young enough and that there’s enough there that the team needs to find a way to get him in some more games.  I’m not sold on Corrado at all, but it is a little strange the way the team has handled him this season, having him up with the Leafs for the majority of the season while seemingly not even coming to close to putting him into the lineup.  All that said, I won’t put up too much of a fight over it, since the Leafs have won three in a row (although that’s largely thanks to James Reimer).  Anyways, we’ll see how things go tonight.  If they win great, and if they lose, perhaps we’ll see some logical shuffling of the roster ahead of their next contest.

THE RANGERS

Expected lines via DailyFaceoff.com

rangers lines

I don’t have a whole lot to analyze on these lines, other than to say that it’s no real surprise that the Rangers are currently first in the NHL.  They’ve just got a strong mix of front-end talent as well as depth throughout their lineup.  Derek Stepan, Rick Nash, right down through to having Keith Yandle on your third-pairing, the Rangers just having a fairly complete team, and that’s the basic recipe for winning games in the NHL.  Having Henrik Lundqvist in net doesn’t hurt either.

STARTING GOALIES

Nothing is official from the Leafs’ end, but given how well he’s played, my money is on James Reimer getting his eighth straight start tonight for the Leafs.

For the Rangers, former Blackhawks netminder Antti Raanta, who is 3-0 on the season, is expected to start for New York.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • Who the starting goalie will be.  If it’s Reimer, will he play stellar once again?  If it’s Bernier, can he start to find his form?
  • He’s tied for third in the league with 72 shots on goal, but he’s only scored once.  Is tonight the night Nazem Kadri breaks the slump?
  • Can Byron Froese get his first NHL goal tonight?
  • Gary Empey

    Looks like Jonathan Bernier gets the start.

    Last night’s game was 40+ shot night. Reimer is in the midst of a seven-games-in-13 days run of starts.

    Babcock has loved Byron Froese ever since he has been called up. He is good on faceoffs and is a terrific skater. Our penalty kill was horrible until Byron Froese was called up. Like all players coming up from the AHL it takes a while for them to adjust to the quickness and speed of the NHL.

    I am surprised Leafs didn’t dress at least one more fresh player. They appeared to be tired in the third period last night.