Dion Phaneuf is taking his job as face of the franchise a little too seriously.
On January 31st Brian Burke made the second trade that will define his tenure as the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He sent Matt "Healthy Scratch" Stajan, Jamal Mayers, Ian "Moustachulent" White, and Niklas "Hot Wife" Hagman to Calgary in return for prospect Keith Aulie, Fredrik Sjostrom, and Dion Phaneuf. Tonight, Dion Phaneuf is going to get booed to high heaven for the crime of caring too much and having too many established leaders on his team. Luckily, he stepped into a massive leadership vacuum in Toronto.
The Leafs will once again be playing in front of a Leafs-friendly crowd. It'll be vital to get out in front early to keep the crowd engaged. It would be a hell of a night for the Edmonton-born Phaneuf to pick up his second goal of the year. You can read another preview by SkinnyFish over at LeafsNation here.
|2010 - Jean-Sebastien Giguere||17||988||8||6||44||2.67||430||386||.898||0|
|2010 - Miikka Kiprusoff||26||1561||11||14||71||2.73||782||711||.909||3|
Giguere's coming off of two fine performances against Montreal and Edmonton in which he only allowed two goals which allowed our pop-gun offence to win. Kiprusoff, as has been the case every year, is getting buried with work and doing an acceptable job. Not enough to help the team overcome their structural limitations but they might be New Jersey or New York Islanders bad if not for him.
But the real story, nay, the only story tonight, is the return of Dion Phaneuf. So in case you've missed out, here's some pre-game reading: