The Leafs have taken quite a beating lately from teams from the Tri-State area in their last three match-ups falling to the Islanders, Devils and most recently the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers. I know Southerners are polite, but let’s not do anything to make them feel better okay?
As always, Michael Smith on the Hurricanes Official Website keeps us up to date with the lines and depth chart. These of course may change during the course of the game considering who gets put in the coach’s dog house. (Free Ruutu!)
Tlusty – Staal – LaRose
Skinner – Jokinen – Ruutu
Dwyer -Sutter – Bowman
Joslin – Brent -Stewart
Gleason – Allen
Harrison – Faulk
Pitkanen – McBain
Cam Ward is expected to start in net and Brian Boucher will most likely get the start Friday against the enthusiastic annoying Winnipeg Jets. Still missing from the lineup are Andreas Nodl with the upper-body injury and d-man Jaroslav Spacek with the lower-body injury. If we tape them together do we have a complete player? Never mind.
James Reimer will probably get the nod to start for the Buds between the posts. Most likely out with day-to-day injuries on the Toronto side are forwards Matt Frattin (sprained ankle) and Clarke MacArthur (upper body). Forward Joffrey Lupul is on injured reserve (separated shoulder), along with Mike Brown (bruised thigh) and Nikolai Kulemin (broken finger.) Lupul’s loss is definitely being felt as he is second in scoring behind Phil Kessel with 25 goals but he leads the team with 42 helpers. Although he dropped off his furious league-leading scoring pace from the beginning of the season, Phil Kessel has 36 goals, and 41 assists. As always, I respectfully request that Dion Phaneuf does not break anyone.
The Canes are still championed by their mighty captain, Eric Staal leading the team with 23 goals and 45 helpers. Jeff Skinner trails in in goals with 20, but right behind him is Chad LaRose with 18 goals. Chad has had a great year and I would love to see him hit 20 goals for the season. There is still time!
Although this game may not count in the long run as both teams are realistically on holiday this summer, it counts to the players and it counts to the fans. I will be yelling “Let’s Go Canes” until they turn the lights off for the last time this season in the PNC Arena.
UPDATED 5:09: Per TSN’s Darren Dreger’s Twitter: Leafs have called up Jussi Rynnas from the Marlies on an emergency basis. Injury\illness to Reimer or Gustavsson.
Want to hear the other side of the story? Check out the folks at Editor in Leaf. You know the drill. Puck drops at 7pm on Fox Sports Carolinas and 99.9 the Fan.
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