Turn things around? Turn things around!?
After reading Ryan’s article on Auston Matthews, I don’t think I want the Toronto Maple Leafs to try and turn things around tonight. The Leafs have lost five games in a row, and will go for six this evening in Philadelphia against a Flyers team streaking in the other direction. In fact, if the league-worst Columbus Blue Jackets somehow pull out a win against the league-best Washington Capitals tonight, the Leafs will fall to 30th. What a time to be alive!
James van Riemsdyk isn’t in the lineup tonight, as expected, due to injury. Not because he was traded to the New York Rangers earlier today. And, as expected, pretty much everything else remains the same. Even Rich Clune is sticking in the lineup, for some reason. Also look out for a big performance from Morgan Rielly, who’s looking to bounce back with a renewed commitment to being on the ice in the final minute of the game (and with a new helmet that fits on his apparently large noggin).
Philadelphia is 5-1-1 in the month of January, and that top line of Voracek-Giroux-Simmonds is a big reason why. Hopefully the Leafs’ shutdown pairing of Martin Marincin and Roman Polak are up to the task!
*cries under a table*
It’s shaping up to be a true goaltending battle this evening as the NHL’s two best netminders faceoff in… wait, what? Wow. No way. Philadelphia’s Michal Neuvirth (.936) leads the league in Save Percentage? And James Reimer (.934) sits in second? And both of these teams aren’t even in the playoffs? Dear Lord…
It’s not about what I think is going to happen. It’s all about what I want to happen. And what I want to happen is the Leafs pick, at least, top-three in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. So, with all due respect to the current players on the roster and to Mike Babcock and the coaching staff, I want the Flyers to beat the Leafs by a score of, say, 3-2. IN REGULATION. Let’s hit rock bottom.