It really wasn’t that long ago that the Toronto Maple Leafs had a real shot at making the playoffs. (No, seriously.)
At this point, the Maple Leafs are in tank mode, though – whether that’s by choice or not.
The latter point is strengthened by a series of injuries, which might open up another opportunity for prodigal prospect Nazem Kadri. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that injuries to Joffrey Lupul, Nikolai Kulemin and Mike Brown might be part of the reason Kadri’s been called up.
You can break Kadri’s runs in 2011-12 into three categories now that he’s back up for at least a cup of coffee. Here’s how the first two spans went:
Oct. 20-24: three games, one assist Dec. 22-Jan. 31: 16 games, four goals and one assist
For all the hype Kadri’s gotten since being drafted seventh overall in 2009, he hasn’t really justified the attention that naturally comes from Toronto. At 21 years old it’s ridiculous to close the book on him, however, but you have to wonder if this last stretch might have an impact on his future with the Leafs.
This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.
Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic
Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.
Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”
Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.
That said, it the very specific present, they’ll be watching Tuesday’s game from the press box.
After an unsatisfactory practice amid flailing playoff hopes, Flames head coach Bob Hartley made a big statement tonight, taking Monahan, Gaudreau and Lance Bouma out of the lineup as healthy scratches against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
#TORvsCGY Roster Update: Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, and Lance Bouma will be healthy scratches for tonight’s game vs. the #Leafs.