Will the dreaded Monday night game against a Southeast Opponent strike again?
Ugh. There are two things every Leaf fan fears: being forced to watch Glenn Healy on HNIC and a Monday or Tuesday night game against a team from the Southeast Division (curse the day if Healy ever gets a job with TSN or Sportsnet). Coming off a tough loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, the Leafs could certainly use a bit of a rebound against the Hurricanes, a team that has struggled out of the gate following some major roster additions over the summer. Here are the basics:
Where: Air Canada Centre - Toronto, Ontario
When: 7:00 pm - Sportsnet Ontario and Fox Sports South
All-time Series: 13-11-2 in favor of Carolina, including 6 of the last 8 meetings and 12 of 18 all-time on Monday or Tuesday nights.
Who to watch out for: Eric Staal, who has 33 points in 30 career games against Toronto, including 14 goals. Jeff Skinner, a Toronto boy, making only 7th appearance against Toronto. And Jordan Staal, who is still looking for his first goal as a Hurricane.
If Phil Kessel hard a tough time on Saturday against Zdeno Chara, then this game should be quite a bit easier. Carolina's pair of Justin Faulk and Tim Gleason get the tough assignments, but they are far from a shutdown pair and don't play huge minutes as ES. That said, if the Leafs can instead get Kessel out on the ice against the other pairings of Joni Pitkanen-Jamie McBain or Joe Corvo-Jay Harrison, Phil the Thrill should be able to get some excellent chances. The Hurricanes have a wealth of offensive talent on the back end, but really lack the minute eating shutdown defender that some teams deploy.
The Leafs, on the other hand, will need to be good in their own end as Carolina can roll two solid scoring lines and their offensive defensemen will get involved as well. The Leafs struggled with this against Buffalo last Tuesday. James Reimer will get his fifth consecutive start.
Jiri Tlusty - -
- Jordan Staal -