BY: Jeff Schneberk
The 9-4 Leafs are coming off of a spirited 4-0 win over the Oilers last night and now they head to Calgary for another western-style date, tonight.
They could not possibly have any more momentum on their side after the hockey they showcased last night. League top-5 scorer Phil Kessel scored two goals and nearly had a third, Morgan Reilly nearly had his first-ever goal in the National Hockey League, Carter Ashton and Colton nearly got physical (not with each other lol) and Optimus P-reim, goaltender James Reimer transformed back into the keeper we all knew and loved from last May during that absolutely insane playoff rush.
You take all of that stuff and what should you have? How about another win tonight?
Toronto (9-4) at Calgary (5-4) tonight is the first of two game between the two teams. Calgary will be without captain Mark Giordano for 6-8 weeks with a broken ankle. Forward Lee Stempniak will also miss tonight’s game with a broken foot. He is ranked 3rd in team scoring
LEAFS: this is the third back-to-back game for the season for Leafs. Toronto won back-to-back games to open the season in Philadelphia and Montreal at the start of the month. James Reimer may get the go-ahead in net following last night’s effort.
The Reimer/Bernier duo has a combined save percentage of .941. They have also gotten used to facing an awful lot of shots, but who cares? (remember Curtis Joseph?)
Leafs are in western Canada now for the first time since February of last year.
FLAMES: they are not as high profile as some other reunions this season but Toronto will be facing former teammate Joe Colborne tonight. Colborne played in 16 games with Toronto over three seasons.
“You always want to show well against your old team, but I’ve moved on from that,” Colborne told the Flames website. “I’m so excited with the opportunity that we have here as a team, and right from Day One it’s been a great experience for me, and they’ve given me a great opportunity, especially these last few games, playing with some great players.”
Colborne will center Mike Cammalleri and TJ Galiardi.
WHO’S HOT?: Toronto forward Phil Kessel has seven goals and three assists in the past four games, including two goals and two assists against the Oilers. … Jiri Hudler had a season-opening nine-game point streak, was scoreless in game 10, then had an assist Saturday against the Washington Capitals. Rookie Sean Monahan has at least one point in eight of his 11 NHL games. Defenseman Dennis Wideman has three points in his past two games.
INJURY REPORT: Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul (foot) returned to play Tuesday. Nikolai Kulemin (ankle) and Tyler Bozak(lower body), and defenseman Mark Fraser (knee) are on injured reserve. Kulemin and Fraser took part in the morning skate Tuesday. Bozak will have another MRI exam soon. … Flames defenseman Christopher Breen (abdominal wall) is day-to-day. Giordano and Stempniak are out.