Preview: Maple Leafs versus The Comets

Pre-Game: 7pm LeafsTV
Broadcast: 7:30pm Sportsnet Ontario
Post-Game: 10:30pm LeafsTV
Bloggers in attendance: ME!


The Dallas Stars Fight Song by Pantera

Stat that worries me about tonight

Dallas is 4-1-1 in its last six and 6-2-2 in its last 10 at Toronto.

REMEMBER YOUR SPG PICKS

He's also earned the No. 1 star of the week by the NHL for his six-goal outing in the past three games. So good for him. A Toronto writer actually informed him of the honor before the PR folks could. Loui took it in typical Loui fashion. "They're just going in right now."

Tracey Myers, Five For Fighting

Hmm...does John Ondrasik know that she's infringing on his copyright? Who is this Loui character?

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2008 - Loui Eriksson 32 18 8 26 4 6 2 0 3 1 65 27.7

I wonder how that superstar kid is doing. The one that got away?

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2008 - Fabian Brunnstrom 29 9 3 12 -9 2 2 0 3 0 43 20.9

Looks like a bit of a toss-up. He's certainly not the game breaker that he was being sold as yet but that shooting percentage is pretty nice. It's not Jeremy Williams:

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2008 - Jeremy Williams 6 5 2 7 6 0 0 0 0 0 16 31.3

The Stars' defense has given up 5 in each of the last 5 games. Toronto has scored 5, 6, and 7 in their last three outings. Wowza. When you add those two things up it's not hard to tell what the Stars and their spare defensive corps and poor penalty killing are going to be expecting on Tuesday night. Murder north of the border is likely.

Brad, Stars.HockeyAnalysis.Com

How beat up are the Stars? Very.

Dallas Stars Injuries

Probable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Joel Lundqvist shoulder 12.23.2008
Nicklas Grossman flu-like symptoms 12.23.2008

Doubtful

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Brian Sutherby groin 12.23.2008

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Sergei Zubov to undergo left hip surgery 11.29.2008
Brenden Morrow right knee surgery 11.21.2008

Toss in Marty Turco's struggles: 

GP MIN W L T EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2008 - Marty Turco 29 1694 12 12 5 3 94 3.33 784 690 .880 0

And the Leafs have a pretty good opportunity here to pick up their sixth win in seven games. Normally that would mean that the Leafs would proceed to get blown out (and they still might) but I am feeling an odd thing: confidence.

Overall, I think it's likely that some of the older forwards are "auditioning" for jobs elsewhere, as their upside is near it's peak. But until they're sent on their way, it's nice to know that the Leafs have 3 seriously threatening lines to throw over the boards at any given moment, and the f4th is far from horrible in the offensive end.

Steve, Leafs.HockeyAnalysis.com

The emergence of the Beamer Line has helped take some pressure off of the Man Grabs Stemps line and Antropov's Army. The fifth goal last night showed what John Mitchell can bring to the table so it would be nice to see him and Kulemin hit it off.

On a sidenote, you can't copy and paste from HockeyAnalysis sites which is a massive pain in the ass.

UPDATE:

It's unclear if Wilson will keep Pogge in the net or start veteran Curtis Joseph on Tuesday as top netminder Vesa Toskala continues to deal with a groin problem. Joseph has only made one appearance since a Nov. 25 loss to Atlanta.

It has to be Pogge right? WOO-HOO!!

UPDATE TWO:

While there was some speculation Pogge might get another start or veteran backup Curtis Joseph would face the Stars, Toskala was the first goaltender off the ice, which is the custom for the starter. Joseph did not take part in the skate.

What the hell Toronto media! Can't you just ask a freaking question?

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