Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!
It's game three of "no back up goalie" week in Leafsland and now that we're at game two of a back-to-back it's now very important to have a proper back up play the game.
We don't want to overwork Ilya Samsonov, so he shouldn't take the ice at all tonight, but the Leafs have been forced by the league to sign a bunch of unsigned players to amateur tryout agreements to fill that role.
Because, you see, this is all the Leafs fault and shame on them.
So, who will the wheel of tendy's land on next?
Ryan Bischel, Notre Dame, NCAA
Unsigned after four years at Notre Dame, Bischel could be on the lookout for an NHL chance. An ATO, a chance to appear in a game with two of the top NHL teams, why not? Five shutouts in 37 games, a .931 save percentage? Sure, why not get in his ear for a day.
Nathan Darveau, Victoriaville Tigres, QMJHL
With the Tigres out in five games against Drummondville, this Q goalie could be worth a look, even if it's just game day skate, warm ups and five minutes at the end of the game. Two shutouts and a .922 save percentage, unsigned, and away we go.
Curtis Joseph, retired, NHL
A member of the community relations team, he's already working for the Maple Leafs, he could be down there with his gear right away - we were already treated to rumors of him suiting up as an EBUG last week and everyone loved it.
Me, complete amateur, PPP
Hell, why not? This game doesn't matter.
Whoever suits up as the backup tonight, they should start the game.
In other news Ty Voit got some great recognition from the OHL coaches. He was named "Playmaker of the Year" and "Stickhandler of the Year" for the Western Conference in the annual Coaches Poll.
The division 3A Women's World Championship got spicy between Romania and Bulgaria.
Auston Matthews hit 40 goals for the fifth time in his seven season career, and has the Maple Leafs record for most consecutive 40 goal seasons with four.
Last night, Canada beat the USA in a shootout in a tense and controversy-filled game. Goal reviews, clock reviews, offside or not, Canada ended up the winner on this goal from a former Brampton player:
Canada will now finish first in group A and play the third-place team in group B in the quarterfinals. The games today, on the last day of preliminary play, will decide the order:
11:00AM - Hungary vs Germany
3:00PM - Sweden vs France
7:00PM - Czechia vs Switzerland
The quarterfinals begin on Thursday.
NHL Wild Card
In NHL news, John Tavares did the Islanders a big favour by beating the Panthers in OT. The Panthers have 92 points and play the Hurricanes on Thursday. The Islanders have 91 points and play Montréal on Wednesday. The Panthers have the tiebreaker at this point, but that single point last night helped the Islanders solidify their claim to a spot even if they both win their games.
But Pittsburgh isn't done yet either, because they play two games, Chicago tonight and Columbus on Thursday. They have 90 points, and if they win both of those games against tanking teams, they could take the first wild card spot.
Buffalo has not been eliminated yet, with three games left, and 87 points, they'd have to win them all and get some help with a lot of unlikely losses.
The Western picture is clearer. Calgary can't make it in now with only one remaining game to play and an RW total five less than Winnipeg. But Nashville has two more games to play and 90 points to the Jets' 93. They can just beat them outright if the Jets lose their final game against Colorado. Nashville would need to beat Minnesota and Colorado, so not very likely, but weirder things have happened when two teams are built from the goalie out.
The Maple Leafs will also play the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at 7PM.
Catch a game, enjoy the weather, and have a great day.