Kadri out as falling Leafs start tough stretch vs. Sharks


The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without one of their top scorers tonight when they host San Jose, as center Nazem Kadri (7G, 10A) will miss the game following the death of his grandfather.

Kadri’s absence won’t make things any easier for a Leafs team that finished November with a 4-6-3 record and hasn’t won in its last four.

On top of that, here’s what’s coming up in the next couple of weeks:


To say Toronto’s poor November came as a surprise would, of course, be false. The Leafs have had puck-possession issues all season. In October, they were able to get by with excellent goaltending, special teams and shooting. But that was a way of winning that was unlikely to continue.

Almost amazingly, the Leafs have been out-shot in 23 of their 27 games, yet they’ve still managed to win 14. Only the Buffalo Sabres have been out-possessed more than Toronto, per Extra Skater.

“We’ve been giving up a lot of shots, and you can’t have luck on your side all season,” Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier said recently.

And the Leafs will need more than luck against the teams they’ll be playing shortly. Here are the top 10 teams in a possession statistic called Fenwick (unblocked shot attempts) with the score close:


The Leafs play six of those teams in their next eight games.

Oh, and guess who’s 11th on the list — that would be Dallas, which Toronto hosts Thursday.

The Leafs (14-10-3) currently hold down the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, four points up on New Jersey and five on Philadelphia.

Pens lose Dupuis (lower body) for 4-5 weeks

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins
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Pascal Dupuis can’t escape his health issues.

Dupuis, who’s missed over 100 games the last two years with various ailments, will now be sidelined for 4-5 weeks with a lower-body injury, per the Penguins.

Dupuis’ injury is not related to previous health issues — a torn ACL and blood clotting — but it will keep him out for a fairly significant length of time. The Penguins play 11 games in the opening month of October, and three more in the first week of November.

The 36-year-old winger had been working with a variety of linemates during the preseason, but was frequently paired up with center Nick Bonino. The hope for Pittsburgh is that Dupuis can return to full health and replicate some of the success he had during his last full season — the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, in which he scored 20 goals and 31 points in 48 games.


PHT Morning Skate: 10 years of Ovechkin; 10,000 days with Lamoriello

Alex Ovechkin
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Looking back at 10 years of Alex Ovechkin with the Washington Capitals (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

David Conte spent 10,000 days with Lou Lamoriello and lived to tell about it. (TSN)

Want to spot some contract year guys? Here are 32 pending restricted free agents. (Sportsnet)

NHL GMs are starting to sniff around with the 2015-16 season about to kick off. (Ottawa Sun)

Some backstory on Zack Kassian that was passed around on Twitter last evening. (Canucks website)

Hey, you can’t say Raffi Torres hasn’t literally paid for his ways:

This is some quality chirping between Jaromir Jagr and Matthew Barnaby: