LGD: Hello (Again) Brooklyn

The tank rolls on again tonight, as the Toronto Maple Leafs prepare to face off against the New York Islanders. What’s in store for the blue and white,  you might ask? Well, here are a few thoughts to get you prepared for yet another skip in the road to the offseason.

The Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

PA Parenteau is back, and he’s in for Brad Boyes, who is out once again with a shoulder ailment. As well, TJ Brennan comes in for Viktor Loov, who came in for Matt Hunwick after he was shut down for the season with a sports hernia issue. Beyond that, the lineup is just about the same as the one that faced off against the Sabres; we’ll see how much of a difference Brennan’s possession-driving, low-responsibility offensive playstyle makes over the shutdown stylings of Hunwick.

The Islanders

New York Islanders lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

Mikhail Grabovski is hurt and Nikolay Kulemin is playing centre (not to mention, spelling his name with a Y). Brock nelson is a first line player, and Don Cherry’s favourite line on earth is still ever present. While many Islanders fans have called for Jack Capuano’s head, the team still sits right in the thick of the race for the Metropolitan division’s consolation prize, trailing the Rangers by three points with three games in hand.

Starting Goaltenders

Garret Sparks gets another look in net for the Leafs tonight. Lou Lamoriello was adamant that the James Reimer trade was made when it was so they could get a look at their younger goaltenders, and based on how frequently Sparks has been given a look, it’s safe to assume he was serious. Either that, or he’s simply the best they have given Jonathan Bernier’s struggles. Either way, this is Sparks’ second back-to-back of his young career.

Jaroslav Halak is out for the Islanders tonight and Thomas Greiss is in. Greiss has either won or put up a 0.900+ SV% in his last ten starts and carries an impressive yet surprising 18-6-3 record with a 0.930 SV% into tonight. This is far from your average “they’re starting the backup” situation. 

What To Look For

  • Mikhail Grabovski throwing sharpened pineapples from the press box
  • Pinpointing which minor board collision will lead to a player having a season-ending injury revealed tomorrow morning
  • TJ Brennan’s last shot of the game heading a little high..and wide.. and into Garth Snow’s box.
  • A medium-stream reporter using today as an opportunity to stir the “John Tavares should be a Leaf” pot
  • Me seeing more Islanders hockey during pre-game warmups from the ACC greens than I did in the entire obstructed-view game I went at the Barclays Center

Puck drop is at 7:00 PM.