The Toronto Maple Leafs dropped a real heart-breaker last night in Pittsburgh. Leading 4-1 in the third period, they surrendered three unanswered goals, including one with seven seconds remaining, then lost to the Penguins in a shootout.
Tonight the same two teams meet in Toronto, where everyone’s wondering how the home team will respond. The Leafs, after all, haven’t been to the playoffs since 2004 and are right on the bubble this season. If last night’s debacle throws them into a tailspin, they might not be able to recover.
For the Toronto Star, it’s reminiscent of 1972 when Team Canada blew Game 5 in Moscow and needed to win the final three games of the Summit Series against the Soviet Union.
Indeed, the newspaper recalls four “cases where teams bounced back after devastating losses” in hopes the Leafs will find some inspiration tonight.
One was the aforementioned 1972 Summit Series.
Another was the 1975 World Series when the Cincinnati Reds pulled themselves together to win Game 7 after Carlton Fisk’s walk-off homer won Game 6 for the Red Sox.
The two others involved the Blue Jays – the first during the 1992 World Series when Toronto lost Game 5 at home to the Braves with a chance to clinch, only to bounce back and win Game 6 in Atlanta.
The second occurred last July when the Jays blew a game versus the Indians then won the final three games of four-game set. (Then finished the season 81-81, not even close to making the playoffs.)
In conclusion, the Leafs have finally driven Toronto insane.
Related: Armstrong, Liles back in Leafs lineup tonight for Pens rematch
Two injury updates in one post.
First, the situation with Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was hurt last night versus the Rangers.
According to Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, Price has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. That means he’ll be out at least a week, though no exact timeline was provided.
“We don’t know how long Carey will be out, but for us it’s business as usual,” said Therrien.
Mike Condon will get the start tomorrow in New Jersey.
As for Oilers forward Nail Yakupov, he’ll be out 2-4 weeks after spraining his ankle last night in Carolina while getting tangled up with a linesman.
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf wasn’t impressed with at least two things last night in Arizona:
1. His team’s performance in a 4-2 loss to the Coyotes.
2. The atmosphere inside Gila River Arena, where the announced attendance was just 11,578.
“It’s hard. When you come into a building … it’s dead,” Getzlaf told the O.C. Register. “Nothing against the fans. It’s hard to fill a big building like this and have the amount of people in it to build your energy. So you have to do it yourself. You have to be ready when you step on the ice. I thought we came out flat.”
Anaheim’s record fell to 8-11-4 with the defeat.
The Coyotes’ average attendance also fell, to 13,144 in eight games.
Like Frank Corrado (see here), Tomas Jurco (see here), Stanislav Galiev (see here), and Patrik Nemeth (see here) before him, Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi is off to the AHL for a conditioning stint.
Tinordi, 23, has yet to play a single game for the Habs this season; however, because he’s no longer exempt from waivers, the former first-round pick has remained on Montreal’s roster.
It’s an issue that’s received a good deal of attention lately. Some believe the league should do something about it, lest more young players get “stuck” in the NHL.
Tinordi will only be allowed to spend two weeks in St. John’s, as per the rules of his conditioning loan.
Safe to say, if you’re an NHL general manager who thinks Tinordi still has potential, Marc Bergevin would welcome your best offer.
Kari Lehtonen will miss at least a few games with the upper-body injury he suffered the other night against Ottawa. The Dallas Stars announced today that they’ve placed the 32-year-old goalie on injured reserve, retroactive to Tuesday.
With Lehtonen out, Jack Campbell has been called up from AHL Texas to be Antti Niemi‘s backup. The Stars host Vancouver Friday, with a game at Minnesota Saturday.
Campbell, the 11th overall pick in the 2010 draft, has struggled in the AHL this season, going 3-3-0 with an .873 save percentage.
The Stars have also recalled defenseman Patrik Nemeth after the 23-year-old completed his 14-day conditioning assignment.
Related: Campbell credits ECHL stint for turning his game around