I’ve noticed that the last few FTBs I’ve done have centered around Nazem Kadri in some way or another. Well, here’s another Kadri-themed read for your Leaf-loving eyes, and it’s something that has had fans talking since Monday night’s 4-2 win.
Strictly from watching the game, you can’t deny that Tomas Plekanec had his best game in a Maple Leafs uniform. Mike Babcock said it best during the post-game scrums. Perhaps it was that the 35-year-old felt that he finally had a purpose (played 17:58 when his previous high was 14:05 against the Buffalo Sabres... yay), or perhaps he woke up that morning hungry for some rat stew, but the turtleneck was visible.
The Tomas Plekanec that Leafs fans have been waiting for since the deadline appears to have shown up tonight pic.twitter.com/kr9FOnh04I— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) April 17, 2018
Now after a two-shot and one secondary night, fans are calling for the line to remain intact when Kadri’s suspension ends.
I can understand that sentiment to an extent. If the Leafs let the Patrick Marleau-Plekanec-Mitch Marner line stay together, then Kadri could centre Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen, or even Josh Leivo! Ok, now that’s crazy talk, Leivo getting into a playoff game? Come on.
All jokes aside, a Johnsson-Kadri-Kapanen line would pretty fun to watch. The combination of speed and creativity on the fourth line could give Bruce Cassidy a mean headache. However, the Leafs are at their best with the Mar-Kad-Mar trio running their magic.
Sure Plekanec agitated the heck out of Brad Marchand, but the head-to-head matchup doesn‘t look that scandalous (on-ice Corsi For and Against 10-26). Additionally, if it weren‘t for Frederik Anderson going God Mode, David Pastrnak would’ve made it 4-3 with around two minutes to go.
No one wants to play the ‘What If’ game, but it gets you thinking.
This isn‘t to take away from the night Plekanec had, and quite frankly, I’m glad he was able to have an impact on the team. However, we know what the lineup will and should look like once Kadri returns.
Around the Hockey World
Calgary Flames Fire Glen Gulutzan and Two Assistants - Matchsticks and Gasoline
At least they didn't wait until after he won a Jake Adams to do it (assuming that was ever a possibility).
Is New Jersey Devils’ Cory Schneider Done Being Elite? - Nucks Misconduct
Corey Schnieder went from being the player involved in the famous Gary Bettman line to taking a backseat to Keith Kinkaid. Who knew?
Big and Hitty is not always a good thing - Arctic Ice Hockey
If there is a big discrepancy in hits between teams, then one team was playing the role of the cat while the other being the mouse. There are other things players have to bring to the table to have an impact on the ice nowadays.
Panik arrested after allegedly refusing to leave bar - Five For Howling
The best thing that came out of this post were the puns. In all honesty, Panik-ing was probably the most ill-advised move.
Whose series is it, anyway? - Broad Street Hockey
The Flyers responded from a 7-1 shelling but found themselves in a similar situation at the end of Game Three (be it by two fewer goals). It's an understatement that certain names need to stand up.
Andrei Vasilevskiy named finalist for Vezina Trophy - Raw Charge
Would've been nice to see Freddie there but good for Andrei Vasilevskiy, Pekka Rinne, and Connor Hellebuyck to get the recognition.
Only in Sweden.....— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) April 18, 2018
( C More) pic.twitter.com/Kg3A5LszOq
Enjoy your Wednesday and use it to get wired up for Game Four tomorrow!
Acknowledgements: Corsi stats from naturalstattrick.com