Tonight, the Columbus Blue Jackets face off against the Arizona Coyotes at the Gila River Arena in Glendale. Savvy readers may have picked up on the fact that this is a Leafs pregame post on a Leafs-centric website and that neither of these teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs. That said, even savvier readers might recognize that the Blue Jackets-Coyotes matchup has big implications on the Blue and White.
See, if Columbus wins (Haha, I know! But stick with me!) and Toronto loses, the Blue Jackets will leapfrog the Leafs in the standings. And you know what that means… 30th overall, baby! Can’t get any lower than that! Tank! Tank! Tank!
It appears that we’ll be treated to a new-look first line tonight, as Shawn Matthias bumps James van Riemsdyk (lol what?) off the Kadri-Komarov line. JVR will instead play on the second line with Tyler Bozak, who is thriving now that he doesn’t have to play with that selfish Phil Kessel character. Also, hey, is that Frank Corrado playing again tonight? It’s a Christmas miracle.
My God, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are old. I mean, still effective, but hella old. I’m picturing Marleau burying a sweet Thornton pass on the powerplay, hugging each other in celebration, and *poof* they turn into dust. That’s how old they are. Also, Logan Couture is still out of action. That’s great news for the Leafs and terrible news for my struggling fantasy team. (Go Big Fatty Meat Fists!)
Jonathan Bernier is a bad goalie now, so Garret Sparks is back between the pipes tonight while James Reimer continues to recover from a mystery injury. At the other end, Martin Jones starts for the Sharks. He’s got a .920 SV% and a 2.24 GAA this season, so maybe Toronto traded for the wrong Los Angeles backup? Yeah, probably, but Sparks has a .921 SV% and a 2.20 GAA, soooooooooooo…..
What to Watch For…
- Lou Lamoriello looking upon Brent Burns’ beard with disgust and contempt
- Garret Sparks’ pads. Best pads in the league
- Sharks left winger Joonas Donskoi, because I’m not convinced that’s a real person