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Leafs Game Day: Florida at Toronto

Panthers (3-3-0) vs. Leafs (4-2-1)

The Leafs need a win tonight. Badly. Or else the team might just find itself on a tailspin to oblivion and the City of Toronto will push the panic button.

The Leafs’ 4-0-0 start raised eyebrows across the NHL. Brian Burke haters disappeared in that span as well. Gone was the criticism of the Kessel trade which flooded talk radio all the way into September. Gone was the criticism that Brian Burke failed to bring in a top line forward in Free Agency. Or the idea that stashing Kadri in the minors for another season was not the right move.

If the Leafs lose tonight, look for those critics to come back out of the closet. Not only that, but guys like Versteeg, Armstrong, Brown, Zigomanis, McArthur will all be exposed to the pressure-cooker that is the Toronto media.

Storylines

Dion Phaneuf was –3 on Saturday. Ron Wilson’s coaching staff has spoken to him since then. Look for him to play a more defense-first game and pinch more selectively.

Look for J.S. Giguere to make his second straight start as Ron Wilson changes his rotation.

Nikolai Kulemin moves up to Line 1 with Kessel and Bozak, with Versteeg moving to Line 2 with Grabovski and McArthur.

Phil Kessel and Clark McArthur have scored 12 of Toronto’s 20 goals. The Leafs will need more secondary scoring to win this game.

After two concussions last season, David Booth is back to his old self, posting 3 goals and 6 points in 6 games this season.

The Panthers have won 3 of their last 4 games.

Historically

The Leafs posted 2 wins and 2 losses against the Panthers last season.

Giguere has lost his last two starts versus Florida posting a 3.08 GAA.

In his last 7 games against Toronto, Booth has posted 3 goals and 5 assists.

Starting Goaltenders

J.S. Giguere (3-1-1, 0.900 SV%, 2.56 GAA)
Vokoun (3-3-0, 0.925 SV%, 2.13 GAA)

Injury Report

Toronto
None

Florida
Byron Bitz: Out Indefinitely (sports hernia)
Jason Garrisson: Could be back against Toronto (groin)
Shawn Mattias: Day-to-Day (foot)

Standings

TOR: 7 GP, 4-2-1, 9 Points (2nd in Northeast, 7th in Conference)
FLA: 6 GP, 3-3-0, 5 Points (5th in Southeast, 13th in Conference)

Home/Away Record

TOR at Home: 2-1-0
FLA on the Road: 1-2-0

Stats

Toronto
G/G: 2.86 (12th)
GA: 2.57 (12th)
PP%: 12.5 (19th)
PK%: 88.5 (8th)
SOG/G: 26.1 (29th)
SA/G: 26.7 (4th)
Average Goal Differential: 0.29

Florida
G/G: 2.83 (14th)
GA: 2 (3rd)
PP%: 4.4 (30th)
PK%: 86.7 (10th)
SOG/G: 30.7 (16th)
SA/G: 27.7 (10th)
Average Goal Differential: 0.83

Comparables

Leafs Home Scoring: 2.5 (17th)
Panthers Road GA: 1.67 (4thth)

Panthers Road Scoring: 2 (23rd)
Leafs Home GA: 1.75 (6th)

Leafs Home PP: 11.11% (18th)
Panthers Road PK: 100% (1st)

Panther Road PP: 0% (27th)
Leafs Home PK: 91.67% (7th)

Filed in: | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: booth, florida+panthers, giguere, kessel, kulemin, mcarthur, phaneuf, toronto+maple+leafs, vokoun

Comments

Avatar

First line looked a LOT better tonight. Great win. What’s the over/under on Kessel’s goal total this year now?

Posted by slapshot on 10/27/10 at 12:11 AM ET

SuperMario's avatar

Definitely looked better. Got lucky on the Goalie Interference call for sure. I’d say Kessel is poised to break 50 this year. Although the fan in me wishes he keeps up this pace and breaks 80 goals!

Posted by SuperMario from Toronto on 10/27/10 at 12:21 AM ET

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