LGD: Reverse Snowbirds

The last time these two teams met up, the Leafs got a break from the worst type of winter; no snow, but lots of cold, and even scored five goals on the back of a Nazem Kadri hat trick. Their time in Sunrise was practically a vacation, really.

Fast forward a week, and the final grudge match is in Toronto, the weather is miserable, and Kadri won’t be around to bail his team out.

The Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs lines courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

This team has reached transcendence they are, for all in intents and purposes, the Toronto Marlies. Just over half the roster has played for the team this year; six forwards, three defencemen, and both goalies.

The Panthers

Florida Panthers lines courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

Basically the same Panthers lineup the Leafs saw last time around. They’re going to be fun come playoff time, whether they surprise people and go on a run, or crash and burn. It’s going to be hard to cheer against a team of rejects and teenagers, that’s for sure.

Starting Goaltenders

After Kadri and Pals put a dent into Roberto Luongo’s armour, the Panthers have decided to switch things up and put Al Montoya in net for this one. Montoya’s done pretty well for himself too this year; he’s a 0.923 over 23 appearances.

Jonathan Bernier gets the nod for the Leafs. In previous tank times, that would have been seen as a blessing, but the oft-maligned puck stopper has done his job pretty well of late. With that said, the Leafs are so devoid of goal support at this point that he should be able to boost his asset value while still losing the game.

What To Watch For

  • Half the Leafs to accidentally come out in white jerseys with shoulder stripes and a crown on the front
  • The Leafs attempting to sign Aaron Ekblad by mistake after hearing that a model-looking male had just stepped into the building
  • Craig Button suggesting during TSN’s intermission that Pierre-Luc Dubois would already have scored a hat trick
  • Jaromir Jagr stealing your girl in the player’s lounge at Real Sports
  • Nazem Kadri getting an embellishing penalty somehow