LGD: El Alamein

Tonight we are about to enter possibly the most critical tank battle of the season, as the Leafs take on the Blue Jackets in the final home game of the season. Toronto might feel compelled to win their final game in front of a home crowd, but I assure you that’s a bad idea. 

A loss tonight guarantees that the Leafs cannot pass Columbus in the standings. That would officially lock Toronto into being no better than 29th overall in the league, having a 13.5% shot at the draft lottery, and a guarantee of drafting in the top 5. 

Add to that, the Oilers are playing their final ever game at Rexall Place tonight against the slumping Canucks. A win for them would temporarily put the Leafs into possession of 30th in the league and give Toronto a shot having a 20% shot at Auston Matthews. 

The stakes are high, and it seems like a Leafs win is imminent.

THE LEAFS

With the call-up of Sam Carrick the Leafs have also returned Rich Clune to the Marlies. Overall this is a pretty insignificant move and is keeping with the Leafs philosophy of making sure that every Marlies player gets a taste of the NHL this season. Carrick has had 33 points in 50 games for the Marlies, and looks like he’ll play with Froese and Boyes tonight. 

At this point Colin Smith is the only player signed to an NHL contract that hasn’t been on an NHL roster this season. Alex Stalock hasn’t been with the Leafs and Antoine Bibeau hasn’t played in an NHL game, but it’s likely that Colin Smith will be the guy we see before the season is done. Presumably he’ll get the call for Kapanen so the Leafs don’t torch his ELC by playing him in one extra game.

Lineup via Dailyfaceoff.com

THE BJS

Columbus has to be one of the biggest disappointments in the NHL this season. A lot of people gave them the benefit of the doubt heading into the year that they only suffered last season due to injuries and bringing in someone like Saad would at least elevate them to being a bubble team.

Instead we’ve treated to a typical John Tortorella disaster accompanied by the fact that Sergei Bobrovsky’s contract is now giving teammate David Clarkson’s contract serious competition for being the worst in the league. You may be shocked to learn that Nick Foligno isn’t as good as his best year either. 

The Blue Jackets are in terrible shape and seem poised to takeover the basement of the league for the foreseeable future. Hopefully the Leafs can let them win tonight so they can have some happiness in their lives.

Lineup via Dailyfaceoff.com

Starting Goaltenders

Three more years at $7.425M is what is left on Bobrovsky’s contract after this season. That’s a lot of money for someone who has only managed 35 starts before tonight and is putting up a .908 save percentage. 

The Leafs will counter that mess with one of their own. Garret Sparks and his mindblowing .897 save percentage will get to go again tonight. I mean, we want to lose and those are the kind of numbers that do it, but you really have to wonder why he hasn’t been returned to the Marlies and Stalock or Bibeau haven’t been given a shot.

What to Watch For…

  • The other Carrick
  • Out of town scoreboard to see if the Oilers can win
  • Kapanen is reunited with Nylander, that’s something, right?
  • I dunno. I really can’t imagine why you are watching this game. I assume you are tuning in because you don’t like baseball.
The game starts at 7:00 PM ET and can be seen on Sportsnet.

  • While El Alamein was a critical battle point for Allied Forces (British forces defend Egypt, protecting the vital Suez Canal and preventing the Nazi North African pincer from reaching the Caucuses and capturing the life blood of Russian oil) it is definitely not the most influential tank battle of World War 2. That honour goes to the battle of Kursk – the largest tank battle in world history. a slugging match between Soviet and Nazi forces saw as many as 6000 tanks participate in the battle.

    • That’s very interesting. Netflix has a multi-part documentary called world War two in colour. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it!

      Maybe I’ll watch that again instead of watching the Leafs tank battle tonight!

  • Harte of a Lion

    Tonight I will turn on my 70″ LED, another Leafs game that I will watch because that’s what I do and have done so for 54+ years(approximately 4000 games). As long as they play hard and show me that the team is moving in the right direction (finally) then I am happy.

    I remember listening to Foster Hewitt call the Leaf games in the wonderful 60’s, hiding under my covers with my transistor radio, a flashlight and a Superman comic book. My father had told me I wasn’t old enough to stay up and watch the team on the television. He was a first generation immigrant from a country where the only ice was in a Scotch and never caught “hockey fever”.

    I have suffered through Harold “I’m not a crook” Ballard, Steve Stavro, Teachers Pension and now RogersBell “you gotta be kidding us?”

    The end of Imlach part 1, Jim Gregory, the 80’s, Imlach part II, MacNamara, Gord “OMFG you couldn’t find anyone better?” Stellick, Floyd Smith, the 90’s with Cliff Fletcher Part 1, (yes Virginia there was a Santa Clause) Kerry Fraser and his BS non call, (no Virginia, there is no Santa Clause because Santa was shot in a drive-by… by Kerry Fraser)
    Bill Waters, Ken “I wanna be the Prime Rib Roast” Dryden, Pat Quinn (yes Virginia there was a Santa Clause Pt II), the turn of the century, y2k, yJFJ, Cliff “Steen & Colaiacovo for Stempniak…are you on drugs or just Ferkin senile?” Fletcher part II, Brian “I got a 5 year plan but this kid Kessel? is definitely worth Seguin, Hamilton and Knight, and so we really screw the pooch, Let’s swap Richard Rakell and John Gibson for Tyler Biggs cause we need face punchers who can’t even score in the ECHL” Burke, Dave “of the awful contracts Nonis, is a hotdog a sandwich? Steve (it’s not a fabrication if you don’t get caught)Simmons…… And Finally…

    Redemption…

    Brendan ? Shanahan, The Godfather himself, Lou Lamoriello, and Mike Babcock.

    Perhaps deep down I know, that you can not truly feel satisfaction and joy unless you have experienced sorrow and disappointment.
    3 more games, another seasons past, I must be a masochist because every September I BeLeaf!