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LGD: Polak/Carrick Reunion Tour

Not since Loggins and Messina has there been a duo with such obvious contempt for everything the other one is. On one hand we have Roman Polak, the hard working, blue collar player who just can’t seem to do anything right. And on the other hand we have Connor Carrick, the cerebral, offensive defenseman who just can’t seem to do anything right. Despite the recent success of Connor Carrick, it’s hard to make a case that the Leafs were wrong to move on from either of these players, but that’s not going to stop them from having the games of their lives tonight. A Roman Polak goal seems to be a given, because it’s the Leafs, and if there isn’t salt in our wounds we’re not doing it right.

Lineups

LW C RW Forwards
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 74.8#35 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 84.0#7 C

Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS

Rating: 70.7#87 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 76.51#19 FL1
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 71.9#78 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 79.9#17 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 76.9#33 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.25#6 FL2
Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 72.0#74 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 77.8#27 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 70.1#96 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.29#6 FL3
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 73.0#54 LW

Par Lindholm
PAR LINDHOLM

Rating: 72.5#93 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 70.8#86 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 72.10#2 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 76.8#14 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 71.9#60 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.34#20 DL1
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 76.1#20 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 71.3#73 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.67#14 DL2
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 74.5#29 LD

Igor Ozhiganov
IGOR OZHIGANOV
DL3 Rating
Rating: 74.54#1 DL3

Oh how I pine for a simpler time when Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner were allowed to play together, and Ron Hainsey received 3rd pairing minutes (I’m told this has never happened.) It would also be nice to see Kapanen up with Matthews, but whatcha gonna do? I guess wait until the 2nd period when it becomes clear that Ennis isn’t working.

LW C RW Forwards
Jamie Benn
JAMIE BENN

Rating: 81.7#7 LW

Tyler Seguin
TYLER SEGUIN

Rating: 80.6#14 C

Alexander Radulov
ALEXANDER RADULOV

Rating: 78.0#15 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 80.11#8 FL1
Mattias Janmark
MATTIAS JANMARK

Rating: 70.6#143 LW

Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA

Rating: 71.2#133 C

Blake Comeau
BLAKE COMEAU

Rating: 70.5#100 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 70.76#31 FL2
Devin Shore
DEVIN SHORE

Rating: 71.9#117 LW

Radek Faksa
RADEK FAKSA

Rating: 72.5#95 C

Tyler Pitlick
TYLER PITLICK

Rating: 70.8#85 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.74#22 FL3
Jason Dickinson
JASON DICKINSON

Rating: 70.1#112 LW

Roope Hintz
ROOPE HINTZ

Rating: 72.4#97 C

Brett Ritchie
BRETT RITCHIE

Rating: 70.3#92 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.94#14 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Esa Lindell
ESA LINDELL

Rating: 73.9#36 LD

John Klingberg
JOHN KLINGBERG

Rating: 81.8#3 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 77.87#5 DL1
Marc Methot
MARC METHOT

Rating: 70.9#89 LD

Miro Heiskanen
MIRO HEISKANEN

Rating: 72.3#4 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 71.60#23 DL2
Connor Carrick
CONNOR CARRICK

Rating: 72.5#54 LD

Roman Polak
ROMAN POLAK

Rating: 70.2#89 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.32#17 DL3

So this looks like an exercise in shutting down one line. Cool. The Leafs can do that (they can but that doesn’t mean they won’t make it look incredibly hard.) The fact that Polak and Carrick are paired together is either a blessing or a curse for the Leafs.

Preview

It looks like it will be a return to Freddie Andersen between the pipes tonight (thank gord.) and the Stars will counter with Ben Bishop, who has been doing incredibly well for a goaltender who has a Polak/Carrick defensive pairing on his team.

On a side note, not really related to this preview at all, I have a question. Does Dallas have a rival in the NHL? I’m sure you’re going to say the Blackhawks, but I’ll revise the question to does Dallas have a rival in the league where the other team also considers them a rival? It seems like playing against Dallas is universally a mediocre experience for most teams. You’re going up against a team that’s good, not great, but has anyone ever been excited for a matchup against the Stars? A Tuesday night game in Dallas has to be one of the most forgettable nights on the schedule, and it’s probably a good thing we’re getting it out of the way when we’re just excited that regular season hockey is back.

The game starts at 8:30 pm ET, and can be seen on TSN4. Please remember to tweet about how much you hate the late start time. It gives me strength.

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