Major tank implications in the nation’s capital tonight, folks. It’s pretty incredible that six teams are currently tied with a league-low 47 points, including your Toronto Maple Leafs. Not only could a win pull Toronto out of the basement, but the Ottawa Senators sit only five points ahead of the Leafs, with the good guys still having two games in hand. There are not many things that bring more joy to Leafs fans than beating up on the Senators and rubbing it in the face of that one Ottawa fan you may or may not know, so it’s shaping up to be a tough night for the more militant members of Tank Nation.
Toronto has won their past two games against decent enough opponents in the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils, and will look to make it three-in-a-row before heading off on their Western Canada roadtrip next week.
The Leafs lineup is a bit of a mess right now, which if we’re being honest, is not much different than it’s been all season. Seeing Peter Holland shifted to the wing alongside Nazem Kadri kind of makes you go “oh, cool,” while seeing Joffrey Lupul and Brad Boyes on the fourth line makes you want to gag. More and more, Lupul is looking like a buyout candidate – I can’t see how he finishes current contract, which keeps him in town for two more seasons after this one.
Here’s all you need to know about the Ottawa Senators: two nights ago, they lost to the Edmonton Oilers. Nay, they lost to the Edmonton Oilers by a score of 7-2. Dear Lord, how miserable can a franchise get if they’re getting thoroughly stomped by the supremely miserable Oilers?
My favourite part about the Senators being bad is that I’m not certain they have a solid plan in place to get better. I mean, you can forgive Toronto for being terrible this year because it’s entirely by design. Ottawa? Bless you, Ottawa.
James Reimer is back in for the Leafs tonight. He’s Babcock’s go-to guy now, so no surprise there whatsoever. For Ottawa, it’s Craig Anderson – he’s given up 12 goals in his last three games. I imagine that stat would look even worse had he not been pulled 11 minutes into the game against Edmonton.
What to Watch For…
- Jared Cowen… he’s a scratch, but the former ninth overall pick could be traded any second
- Erik Karlsson… he’s the only player worth watching in this game, to be honest
- 8:00pm… That’s when you can switch over to the Chicago vs. Dallas game