Games played: 6
Standings: 15th (last) in Eastern ConferenceGoals for: 13
Goals for Per Game: 2.16
Goals against: 28
Goals against per game: 4.67
New York Lamers
Games played: 7
Standings: 1st in Eastern Conference
Goals for: 28
Goals for Per Game: 4
Goals against: 14
Goals against per game: 2
Tonight, the Leafs hope to end a 6 game losing streak, and leave those losers the New York Islanders in the dust, as the only team who has yet to win a game this season. Since the Panic Button had to be sent in for repairs due to constant pressing, Brian Burke and Ron Wilson decided to press the Reset Button instead. Coach Wilson felt the team was no longer having fun and was afraid to make mistakes, so he organized a "Fun practice" of Dodgeball and Finger painting. Then at 6:00 pm, Their mommies came and picked them up. Jason Blake was excited because he was going to visit his cousin.
It is likely Matt Stajan and Nik Hagman will be back in the lineup after being healthy scratches in a 4-1 loss to Colorado. With Vesa Toskala and Jonas Gustavsson still injured, Andy McDonald and James Reimer will be the Starter and Backup respectively. Jonas Gustavvson is expected to be back the following game, which is next Saturday vs Vancouver.
While on paper, this years defense far surpasses last years, expectations have been dashed by poor defensive zone coverage and mental errors. A solid effort tonight could be a big step toward rejuvenating the fans and getting the defensive play to the level where it should be. Francois Beauchemin, Mike Komisarek and Luke Schenn would benefit the most from a strong game at the ACC.
A win tonight would allow the Leafs to set out on a positive note on their upcoming 5 game road trip. It would also allow them to not be justifiably booed out of their own building for the third home game in a row. The upcoming road trip could end up being very important if the Leafs are still in the playoff hunt when game #82 rolls around. with 11 of a possible 12 points already gone this year, the upcoming 10 points - 4 of which are against division rivals - could make or break the season. The final game of the road trip is clearly a practical joke from NHL head office, as it takes place Halloween night Vs Leprechauns.
The Rangers are basically then Anti-Leafs right now as they are on a 6 game winning streak and first in the league with 12 points and a 6-1-0 record. With Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal red hot with 10 points each, and rookie Defensemen Michael Del Zotto with 7 Pts, Toronto will undoubtedly be tested to its limits. And if a 6 game losing streak wasnt enough adversity for the Maple Leafs they will have their hands full trying not to score in their own net.
If the Leafs lose tonight the question will be "how many loses will it take before Burke starts mortgaging the future to prevent a top 5 draft pick?"
Hopefully the Leafs will win and get the ball rolling so we don't have to ask that question.