LGD: Underrated Sunday Hockey

This has been a pretty rough weekend for the Toronto Maple Leafs. First, they get beat by the Ottawa Senators, which is embarrassing enough. And today, they have to go to Michigan. If it wasn’t for the fact that this game with the Detroit Red Wings tonight was scheduled months and months in advance, I’d almost think this road trip was some form of cruel punishment.

The Leafs

It looks like it will be the same group for the Leafs tonight that lost to the Ottawa Senators yesterday, which is truly an A+ tank move. Good job, Babs! That said, young players tend to be volatile – Toronto could just as easily go off for five or more goals tonight as they could get completely snuffed out by the Red Wings. This team is going to be a complete crapshoot for the remaining 15 games.

leafs

The Red Wings

Dylan Larkin is nice and Petr Mrazek is exciting (when he plays) but man, is this Red Wings team boring as all hell. They’re 15th in NHL standings, have won 34 games and lost 34 games – they’re as average a team as you can find. Still, they’ll be desperate for points. Coming off a big win over the New York Rangers last night, Detroit narrowly holding on to the final Wild Card playoff spot in the East. 

The good news for Toronto tonight is that their youngsters should feel a little safer out there on the ice. Niklas Kronwall has a banged up knee and will miss a few weeks of action. Lowered heads of the world, rejoice. 

detroit

Starting Goaltenders

Jonathan Bernier is back in the Toronto crease tonight after Garret Sparks got three consecutive starts. Considering Sparks gave up four goals on 17 shots last night, the bar is pretty damn low for Bernier. But really, if anyone’s going to underperform…

At the other end, we think it’s Mrazek in net for Detroit. He’s been excellent this season, with a .924 SV% and a 2.20 GAA in 47 games played. This guy earns every dollar he makes. And luckily for the Red Wings, he’s almost making up for all the dollars that Jimmy Howard doesn’t earn, too.

Predictions

  • Red Wings win, Tank Game stays strong
  • There will be at least a little Larkin vs. Nylander debate (William Forever)
  • Marincin will be on the ice for seven goals against, finish with a positive Corsi rating
  • Enough ‘classy’ and ‘underrated’ jokes to fill Lake Michigan.
  • Gary Empey

    If we want two first round picks, it would be good if Toronto could win this game.

    The Wings are holding down the last wildcard spot at the moment. They are one point behind Pittsburgh and 3 points ahead of the Flyers.

    Evgeni Malkin is out six to eight weeks-