Hey you know a day like today, where the snow is lightly falling, in November would put a smile on your face. Like its beautiful and picturesque. But since its February, it makes you grumpy. Stupid Snow, please go away, I'm tired of you. That's how I feel about the Leafs. In November, its like ooo the Leafs, rivalry, beat em bad! Now its like ugh the Leafs. Because really its a lose lose situation. The Sabres beat the Leafs, they are supposed to, they lose, and its, these guys suck, they can't beat the Leafs, plus you have to deal with Toronto fans either way.
The Sabres are back home after playing 6 straight on the road and having the All Star Break mixed in. They haven't played at home since Teppo took a puck off his face against Carolina. Hey and guess who's back tonight. Appartantly he and RJ needed a vacation. He takes MAG's spot in the lineup and he can go back to Portland to learn how to play defense. This is also the first of 3 games against the Canadian teams in the Northeast division. These are much bigger games then the last 4. Which were an exhibition in my mind.
So we haven't seen the Leafs since the Sabres beat them New Years day 4-1. And they beat the Sabres 2-1 in December. This is the 3rd of 6 games, and its split so far. The Leafs continue to be out of the playoff race, as they seem to be most of the time since the lockout. Sitting 11th in the conference. 6 points back of 10th Pittsburgh and 10 points behind the Sabres. They are playing for next year and seeing who should stay and go. Its open audition time for Brian Burke. Which will lead to strong play from some.
The Leafs don't have any superstars, but a lot of mid range scoring. They just need that go to guy, that Mats Sundin was. Who that will be I won't know. But I'm sure Brian Burke knows, and he has some ammunition for deadline day to improve the Leafs. But here are some of the guys to watch for, many you know.
- Nik Antropov and Jason Blake both with 38 points.
- Matt Stajan who has 36 points
- Alexei Ponikarovsky who has 35 points
- Tomas Kaberle with 30 points, but also a -12
- Lee Stempniak, local kid doing good.
- Mikhail Grabovski who has 13 goals.
Another player to watch is Rookie Luke Schenn, who had quite the night on Saturday. He is coming along and good be one of the more rock solid defensemen several years from now. And was Tyler Myers defense partner. He plays in the NHL, Tyler is still with Kelowna. (Probably one injury from being on the Sabres though)
The Leafs will put in Justin Pogge tonight. Who has one good game, and one bad game. So I can't tell what will happen tonight. The Leafs have given up 186 goals this year, the most in the NHL. So this kid will be seeing some rubber tonight, lets up the Sabres can't put some past him early to shake him up. But he is having a nice year with the Marlies. But he ain't playing the Portland Pirates tonight.
I'm sure there will be a large Leaf contingent tonight in HSBC, but we get RJ back, so that should make up for that.