Tonight's match-up in Buffalo was a bit of a trap game and most of you know it. The Leafs had beaten the Sabres 2-0 in Toronto on Tuesday night; a game where the Sabres struggled to create any kind of threatening offense. A HNIC home game looms tomorrow with the New York Rangers, owners of first place in the Eastern Conference. As has been the case so often over the past few seasons, the Leafs started bit sluggish and were in a 2-0 hole within the first five minutes. Some people will point at the second goal as a sign that Jonas Gustavsson hasn't quite worked past all of his issues. And to some extent, those people have a point. That was a terrible goal. But in the end, you aren't going to win many games when your side only scores two goals. The Leafs had four powerplay opportunities where they hardly threatened, and despite pouring on the pressure towards the end, couldn't get a third goal past Ryan Miller.
A Schenn rant and some links after the jump...
I think it's important to note that with all of the trade talk going around, there's been a huge and varying spectrum of opinions of where Schenn is in his development. Schenn once again played the least amount of minutes among the defensemen tonight. He's being utilized by Ron Wilson and staff as the 6th guy. He is not anywhere close to a shutdown defender. He's not viewed as one by the coaching staff, and he really has yet to regain their confidence that was lost at the beginning of the season. The mental lapse on Buffalo's third goal is a great example of why his ice time is so low. If the Leafs do move him, I think a big factor in that decision is that Burke thinks he can get a guy who can help the Leafs make a deep playoff run this year, next year, etc. Luke Schenn is not that guy at this stage in his career. That does not mean he never will be. But at the moment, he isn't a difference maker on the Leafs, and if Burke thinks he can get a guy who can be a difference maker, he's going to pull the trigger.
Mirtle updates for the G & M
Quick hits from MLHS
Good post on the Schenn trade rumors from VLM
No Saturday would be complete without a little DGB