LGD: Computer boys

You may have forgotten it in the holiday haze of booze and tryptophan, but the Leafs are on a little winning streak right now and have actually positioned themselves nicely to make the climb for a playoff spot in the new year. As things currently stand, thanks to that pair of road wins against Colorado and Arizona prior to the Christmas break, Toronto is just five points back of the Bruins for third in the Atlantic, with FOUR games in hand. It’s right there for them, but they still have to keep pace and eventually leap a couple teams in the process, including their opponent tonight, the Fancy Cats of Florida.

These points are important.

THE LEAFS

Santa didn’t bother bringing the Leafs a new third-pairing, I see.

THE PANTHERS

Hard to come to grips with the Leafs parting with noted first-liner, Seth Griffith. He must be filling the net. Oh, four points in 16 games? That takes the sting off.


You tell ’em, Steve.

STARTING GOALTENDERS

According to Daily Faceoff, Andersen, with his 0.923 save-percentage (!), has been confirmed for the Leafs. Luongo is the likely starter for Florida. I think Marner may have ruined Reimer forever in the last game, so it isn’t surprising he won’t get another shot at his old team.

NUMBERS

TOR FLA
Wins 14 15
Points Per Game 1.06 1.03
Power Play 19.6%   14.9% 
Penalty Kill 83.6% 85.6%
Score-Adjusted Corsi     52.3% 52.5%

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR

Auston Matthews. Always watch out for Auston Matthews, now tied for 6th in the league in goals (with company like Ovechkin and Tarasenko) after blowing the doors off December. I actually couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over so I could watch Matthews play hockey for the Leafs again. 

Game goes at 7:00 EST on Sportsnet. 

  • Stan Smith

    Games in hand have a habit of not becoming points in hand, and while they are only 5 points out of a playoff spot they are only 2 points out of last in the East so I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much yet. In the era of the loser point it is really difficult to make up any kind of ground. I think the Leafs would need a stretch of games similar to what the Wild or the Blue Jackets have had to really make a run for it. I’m not saying they can’t do it, just that the odds are against it.

    For me, they are fun to watch, and I’m going to just sit back and enjoy the games. The future does look bright.