LGD: Leafs Visit San Jose

The last time these two teams met just a few weeks back, Garret Sparks got the start and immediately got injured. Jonathan Bernier would come on in relief and give up five goals in a 5-4 OT loss to the Sharks. Tonight, Bernier will get an opportunity to exact some revenge. Not only for the loss, but for the loss of his goaltending comrade.

We miss you, Garret. <3

The Leafs

It’s amazing what Toronto has done with four third lines this year. The scoring isn’t plentiful, but it’s balanced. Even the fourth line, with Mark Arcobello and Brad Boyes, has some offensive pop. On the blueline, it’s also pretty balanced. Jake Gardiner is paired with Dion Phaneuf to help him out. Morgan Rielly is doing the same for Matt Hunwick, and Martin Marincin is doing the same for Roman Polak. And Frank Corrado is nowhere to be found.

But seriously, has anyone seen Frank? I worry.

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The Sharks

Whoa. Lot’s of balance here as well. With Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture all down the middle, the goal scoring punch runs deep. Danius Zubrus is out of the lineup tonight with an undisclosed injury or ailment – he’d played on the top line with Thornton and Pavelski the last time these two teams met in mid-December. Tonight, Tomas Hertl will take his place. 

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Starting Goaltenders

Bernier will get the start in net tonight, and for once I’m not convinced he’s going to totally suck. Bernier has been pretty strong as of late, facing 120 shots in his last three starts and only allowing three goals over that stretch, including a shutout against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. 

It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but Martin Jones is expected to start for the Sharks. Sporting a .910 SV% and a 2.50 GAA in 32 games this season, Jones is fine, but’s he not exactly a brick wall. Toronto isn’t facing an elite goalie like they did on Thursday in Jonathan Quick. 

Predictions

I keep on expecting the Leafs to lose games, and they keep on winning them instead. So, to hell with it. Leafs will win. Leafs will win big. Leafs will win 5-1, and Tyler Bozak will get two of those goals. Just because.

Christoph Waltz’s Predictions