This could be James Reimer’s final game as a Toronto Maple Leaf.
Hell, this could be a lot of people’s final game with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Will Randy Carlyle be fired? What about Dave Nonis? Will Nazem Kadri be traded? Jake Gardiner? Cody Franson? Go down the list and you won’t find many safe names.
Tonight’s game between the the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators isn’t just about final chapters or pride. It could potentially shape both franchises for years to comes. In late 2009, the Leafs played the Senators in their final game of the season. Boyd Devereaux scored a hat-trick in a Leafs win that would ultimately drop them to 7th in the draft order. That prevented the Leafs from drafting Brayden Schenn, and in a butterfly effect sort of way, prevented the Senators from drafting Nazem Kadri, having him join the Leafs instead. I wrote about this several months ago and you can see the massive impact this event could have had.
Five years later, here we are again. A win for the Leafs tonight could potentially have them picking outside of the top ten. A loss would assure a top ten pick. I know that no professional athlete wants to lose, but…
The Leafs have recalled Peter Holland and Petter Granberg so their lineup will look a bit different. Nobody has posted what the lineups will be so I’m going to guess based on what was posted yesterday on DailyFaceoff.com.
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Mason Raymond – Nazem Kadri – David Clarkson
Troy Bodie – Peter Holland – Nikolai Kulemin
Colton Orr – Jay McClement – “Paul Ranger”
Tim Gleason – Dion Phaneuf
Carl Gunnarsson – Jake Gardiner
Morgan Rielly – Petter Granberg
Milan Michalek – Jason Spezza – Ales Hemsky
Clarke MacArthur – Kyle Turris – Mark Stone
Mike Hoffman – Mika Zibanejad – Chris Neil
Colin Greening – Zack Smith – Eric Condra
Marc Methot – Erik Karlsson
Patrick Wiercioch – Eric Gryba
Chris Phillips – Cody Ceci
This lineup is from yesterday so it my be changed. I liked this little quote from Matt Kassian.
Matt Kassian on beating Leafs: “If we can give fans a little bit of something to jab their buddies & co-workers over then all the better”
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 12, 2014
Craig Anderson is starting in net for the Senators. It’s kind of amazing how a goalie can make a coach look like a genius or a moron. Last year Anderson had and .941 save percentage with Vezina talk swirling around his name and Paul MacLean could do no wrong. This year Anderson is posting a .909, his worst numbers since he was with the Chicago Blackhawks almost a decade ago, and now some folks want MacLean fired. So you wanna be in professional sports, huh?
James Reimer’s final game with the Leafs being against the Senators in Ottawa would be very fitting. That’s where he got his first career NHL start back in 2011. That and this lil’ chestnut.
Could be the final start for James Reimer as a Leaf tonight. He is 7-0-0 with a .970 save percentage career in Ottawa.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) April 12, 2014
The Leafs and Senators play for pride on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. Puck drops at 7pm.