Game Preview: Maple Leafs v. Sabres







5-5-2, 12 points

3-9-2, 8 points

PP %

13.7%, 21st


PK %

78.0%, 24th

77.6%, 25th

Goals For



Goals Against



The struggling Toronto Maple Leafs host the struggling Buffalo Sabres. Normally I’d assume that means that the Leafs would be the one to continue struggling however Ryan Miller is out injured. Last year he had a .953 sv % and 1.82 GAA against the Leafs in six games. Thank God he got injured. Of course, it means that our good friend Patrick Lalime will be in net!

The next bit of great news: Bob Cole will be back in the booth for tonight’s game according to Elliotte Friedman. This means that Jim Hughson is free to take his Eastern hate to Vancouver to fellate Roberto Luongo every time he is only able to bat down a shot with his slow glove hand.

Ron Wilson provided a bit of perspective to people lamenting the state of the Leafs’ offence:

"The best scoring team in the league’s just been shutout twice and three times in a row on the road in the [San Jose] Sharks so maybe they should fire the coach and trade three of their best players in order to shake things up," Wilson said of his former team, which is also off to a slow start.

The offence is definitely a concern but Mike Komisarek offers up something that I argued last year:

"Offence comes from good defence," Leafs defenceman Mike Komisarek said. "If we all sort of commit defensively, and we win those battles in our zone; get pucks out; use our speed and get pucks deep, we’re going to get rewarded for it."

The Leafs started to get their top players going offensively against Washington. Kris Versteeg finally potted a breakaway, Tyler Bozak scored a goal, and Nikolai Kulemin got his second in two games. While most people talk about the Leafs’ secondary scoring the real issue has been the lack of primary scoring. The buds have done a good job over the past couple of games of driving a lot of pucks towards the net and that’s really the only way to get past their scoring drought.

It’s generally accepted (and proven really) that the Buffalo Sabres own the Maple Leafs. The one day of the week that isn’t true since the lockout is on Saturday nights where the Leafs have a 4-3 record since the lockout. I assume that the amped up crowds do their part to help the buds put forth their best performance. They could really use that kind of boost tonight.

Some more reading before tonight’s game:

  1. Ron Wilson on North America’s inability to work through problems without resorting to giving up.
  2. Sabres fans do not have much confidence in their team right now.
  3. The bad part of Bob Cole’s return: Harry Neale is in the booth. Vinay Menon talks to him on his return to Toronto.
  4. More on Korbinian Holzer who will be making his NHL debut tonight.

And here’s your flashback video, Patrick Lalime’s most famous performance in Toronto:


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.