Puck Drop: 7PM Sportsnet
Phil Kessel may have injured his groin in Saturday night's professional insomnia curing seminar against the Boston Bruins. He attempted to get an MRI but couldn't due to the holidays and will be a game time decision.
First off, how can a major city's biggest sports team's best player get hurt and not be able to get treatment? Second, when looking at the MRI of Kessel's groin how relieved do you think the doctor will be when he learns Kessel's been missing that testicle for years? "Oh man I spent twenty minutes in the hallway trying to figure out how to break this news to you. Phew."
Finally, as I learned with my grandfather and stepdad, don't ever get hurt on weekends because unlike real professionals doctors never come in to work if they have to cancel their tee time. Speaking of professionals who don't work very often Philadelphia will be starting Brian Boucher in net.
The Flyers are clinging to the eighth playoff spot just two points ahead of the Rangers who have a game in hand. If the Leafs want to play the spoiler and throw a monkey wrench into the playoff picture this week couldn't have been set up better for them. With a game against Philly tonight, the Rangers tomorrow and Montreal (sixth place, 86 points) the Leafs running the table might give them a slight chance of catching either Florida or the Islanders as well as knocking a team out of the playoffs. That could be fun I guess.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere gets the start tonight for the Leafs and the lineup will be the same as it was on Saturday night against Boston. Kessel will be with Grabovski and Kulemin; a move I'm not a huge fan of because I see Grabo as a shoot first center as opposed to a playmaker. I get that Grabovski and Kulemin are supposed to create space for Kessel but I didn't see that happen Saturday night and if Kessel's groin is hurt I'm not thinking we'll see much tonight either.
This is always a bittersweet time for the Leafs post lockout. Once again a lousy season is coming to a close with the inevitable cocktease of strong play in March and April. As horrible as this season has been next Sunday we'll wake up and start counting down the months until the 2010-2011 season. The offseason will be broken up by the draft lottery (sigh), the draft (sigh) and July 1st. Get your Leafs fix tonight, tomorrow and Saturday guys, it's going to be a long summer.