The New York Islanders are in town to take on the Leafs at the ACC tonight. The Leafs are once again without centre Nazem Kadri, who will sit out his third and final game of his suspension. That means we’ll probably see new acquisition Peter Holland manning the first-line centre spot for the second game in a row.
The Islanders and Leafs are similar in that they’re both top-heavy in terms of scoring depth. The Isles have John Tavares, who’s tied for second in the league in scoring with 25 points, while Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo are at 21 and 20 respectively. But the next man on the scoring list is Thomas Vanek, who has only 12 in 19 games.
The Leafs have five forwards on their current roster – Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk, Mason Raymond, Nazem Kadri and Joffrey Lupul – with double-digit points, but there’s basically no support after that. David Clarkson and Nikolai Kulemin are two guys who need to get things going offensively.
The big difference between the two teams is goaltending. The Isles will have to roll with Kevin Poulin in net since Evgeni Nabokov is expected to be out four weeks with a groin injury. That’s one position the Leafs seem to have a decided advantage over the Isles in.
For more on the game, check back for the game preview later today. In the meantime, here are some links.
James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel talk centre depth, offensive struggles, the need for help on the blue-line and more. From TSN Radio 1050.
The Peter Holland trade helped a lot, but really the centre depth on this team is abysmal. From Hope In The Big Smoke.
I’ll be at the game tonight wearing my freshly purchased Brad Staubitz jersey. (I wish.) From Jeff Veillette of The Leafs Nation.
A tale of two sophomores. From Kyle Cicerella.
He celebrated by taking a trip to the Zoo to see the Giraffes, I presume. From Eric Roberts of Rink Royalty.