Puck Drop: 7:30PM ET TSN
Our provincial rivals the Hamilton Coyotes are here in town for another big rivalry match. Oh. Well, nevermind. The Coyotes are from the Western Conference which means that they're probably better than the Leafs and none of us have seen them play or have any idea what colors they wear and who's on their team.
Over at SBNation's Coyotes blog Five For Howling OdinMercer (shown to the right) has posted an image of raking leaves which would be funnier if everything in Arizona wasn't burned to a crisp by their four hundred degree weather. I'm not sure if Coyotes fans will understand what a rake is or does. In fact the only thing harder to find in Arizona than Coyotes fans is potable water. Question: do Arizona residents need to rake cactus spines at any point during the year? Do cactus spines not fall off? Please let us know we're curious.
The Leafs look to make it five straight wins at home and with the Weekend of Horrors coming up (At Buffalo, Boston, Buffalo) this could be our last chance at a win for a while. Phoenix currently sits seventh in the West, ahead of Detroit, Dallas and Vancouver.
Ilya Bryzgalov has played very well this season but was shaky in Phoenix's loss to Detroit on Monday. Running down their player stats, Radim Vrbata leads the Coyotes with 10 goals, followed by Scottie Upshall with 9 and both Shane Doan and Robert Lang have 7. The Coyotes are a team that don't give up a lot of goals (75 GA in 33 GP, compared to Toronto's 97 GA) and they'll look to shut down the best friend of their worst enemy, one Mr. Phil Kessel.
Vesa Toskala starts his sixth in a row (please don't fail us now) and Luke Schenn enjoys game number three from the pressbox. I hope Wilson has a good plan here because while I'm not a huge fan of sending Schenn to the Marlies I'd rather have him in the AHL than the pressbox for an extended stretch. I'm not condemning the move though, Schenn's play hasn't been up to par and he needs to snap out of it. Hopefully this angers him up and gets him playing his game again.
There were rumors earlier this week of Jonas Gustavsson starting tonight but his return from the ablation was rushed last time and I hope the Leafs learned their lesson and sit him another week. He's an asset for the future and Toskala has played well over the past few weeks; no need to rush the Monster.
Don't forget your SPG picks and as always go Leafs go!