Who: Toronto Maple Kostkas at Washington Capitalvechkins
What: Game #10 of the lockout shortened 20
Where: The Verizon Centre in Washington DC
When: 7pm; Leafs TV in Canada, CSN-DC in Washington
Why: Sheer futility
Let's break it down shall we?
Tuesday night? Check.
Southeast opponent? Check.
Tail end of a back-to-back? Check.
Opposing team in a slump? Check.
Former Leafs on opposing team in an expanded role? Check.
So what will you be doing after about 7:53pm EST or so once you're beyond disgusted with the piss poor effort the Leafs will undoubtedly give tonight in Washington? I'll be tuning into the season premiere of Tosh.O and probably watching the PHI-TBL game.
Last week when the Leafs played a back-to-back against Pittsburgh and the Islanders, coaching savant Randy Carlye overplayed his top players in the first game; Phaneuf with 25:47, Kessel with 20:28, Bozak with 23:16, Kostka (not a top player) with 23:16) and then proceeded to give them even more TOI in the next game. (Phaneuf 25:50, Kessel, 24:01, Bozak 23:18, Kostka 23:54. Even worse, the TOI for the "secondary" players actually fell on the 2nd night. Grabovski went from 16:20 to 14:30; Kulemin from 18:32 to 14:18; JVR from 16:11 to 13:42.
So to summarize, in the 2nd game in a back-to-back Randy Carlyle increases the icetime of his overplayed players, and decreases the icetime of his more rested players. This is simply more evidence that Randy Carlyle has terrible bench management. At this point you have to ask the question; Tanking or Stupid?
My prediction? Get ready for a tired Leafs teams to come out fast, quickly fatigue and then be driven into the dirt by their coach while throwing the game away in the 2nd and 3rd periods against a weak opponent. It's not going to be a pretty site.
Here are your lineups:
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel
Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin
Matt Frattin - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
Jay McClement, 1-2 useless plugs, and maybe Dave Steckel
Dion Phaneuf - Mike Kostka
John Michael Liles - Cody Franson
Korbinian Holzer - Mark Fraser/Mike Komisarek