LGD: Life After JVR

It’s a weird feeling losing your top scorer and not really being fazed by it. The Leafs, who lost a tight seven-goal affair last outing against the Sharks, found out earlier this week that James van Riemdsyk is broken. Tonight, they face their first game without their 14-goal man- against the league’s current worst team in the standings- the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Leafs

It looks Josh Leivo makes his debut for the Leafs this season tonight, after putting up 30 points in 35 AHL games with the Marlies. Whether he’ll stay in a more regular role is uncertain, but it’ll be interesting to see his usage under Mike Babcock. Leivo’s played just 16 NHL games so far over the past two seasons with the Leafs, as he’s yet to really stick as much more than an injury replacement. 

The Blue Jackets

Defensive Pairings
Ryan Murray 
Ryan Murray
Seth Jones 
Seth Jones
Jack Johnson 
Jack Johnson
David Savard 
David Savard
Fedor Tyutin 
Fedor Tyutin
Justin Falk 

 Justin Falk

Lineups via DailyFaceoff.com

Keep an eye out for Kerby Rychel, who Toronto’s rumoured to be interested in. Seth Jones slots in as a top-pairing defender in his first matchup against the Leafs in a Blue Jacket uniform. I’m no expert, but that’s one line above Morgan Rielly, so he’s probably better and worth at least twice as many Ryan Johansens. There’s some talent through this lineup… but it’s not exactly surprising why the team’s sitting where they are in the standings. No David Clarkson, either, as he’s out with an upper body injury. 

Starting goalies

 Don’t know much about Anton Forsberg? The 23-year old Swede’s let in one out of every ten shots exactly in the AHL this season for a .900 save percentage in 21 games with Erie, while he’s projected to make his fifth appearance this year at the NHL level tonight. To be fair, Forsberg put up a .927 save percentage last season in the AHL, but hasn’t had the most impressive numbers this year. Weak even strength goaltending has killed Columbus this year, as they’ve got the second-worst save percentage at 5v5 in the league.

x3KlGE

In for the Leafs is this man. You do you, James.