Maple Leafs: Polak Inexplicably Back in Lineup vs Kings

Fresh off one of their best games of the year, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be in LA to take on the Kings.

Last night vs the Anaheim Might Ducks (I will always call them that) the Toronto Maple Leafs were victorious to the tune of 3-1.  Even though it was maybe somewhat expected, what with the Ducks missing so many regulars, the Leafs played one of their best games of the season last night.

Morgan Rielly led the way with an 80% CF and the Leafs dominated both the first and third periods, controlling over 60% of the play.  Patrick Marleau scored the winning goal, and incredibly, it was his 100th career game winner.

The best part of course was seeing Andersen have a great game, stopping all but one of the 29 shots he faced.

VS Kings

The Toronto Maple Leafs will play the Kings tonight, for the second (and I think final) time this season (barring a meeting in the Final, which isn’t as crazy as it might have seemed a month ago).  The Leafs beat the Kings 3-2 a couple of weeks ago in what – until last night – was one of Andersen’s only good games so far.

Tonight the Leafs – according to Mark Masters – will send Carrick back to the bench in favor of Polak. It’s hard to believe how stubborn Mike Babcock is, but this remains one of the most bizarre lineup decisions in recent memory.  Carrick wasn’t great last night, but he also hadn’t played in a week or so.

Even if he played with one skate, Carrick would likely be better than Polak.

On forward, the Leafs will leave Bozak and Marner on the fourth line with Martin (!) and Leivo will come out for Kapanen.  Leivo was not very good last night, I didn’t think, anyways, but much like Carrick, it’s hard to blame him for it.

Kasperi Kapanen will play tonight with Komarov and Kadri, which is a very, very good defensive line.  I love when Kapanen is in the lineup, and as much as Leivo has earned his spot, between the two of them, the Leafs should obviously be a lot more concerned with developing Kapanen into a core player.

It’s never too early to talk standings, and with a win tonight, coupled with a Tampa loss (they’re not nearly as good as their record indicates) would move the Leafs to within three points of the division leader.