For the first time since Jan. 9 and only the second time in 2015, the Toronto Maple Leafs won a hockey game.
They ended an 11-game losing streak on Saturday night, an accomplishment that probably won’t be tarnished by the fact that it came against the lowly Edmonton Oilers. At least, it probably won’t tarnish it for the Leafs’ players and executives, who must feel an incredible sense of relief right now.
(Brendan Shanahan looked that way when shown in the press box, at least.)
Fittingly, it was this close to being a perfect victory, but Luke Gadzic scored with seconds remaining to spoil James Reimer’s shutout bid. Still, a 5-1 victory prompted cheers from the home crowd.
MORE: Click here for Morgan Rielly’s stupendous goal.
The Leafs would have to pull off a momentous run to make this more than a mere face-saving victory. Reimer seems to have some belief that Toronto can do just that:
They have a long, long way to go for that to be anything more than wishful thinking. Still, a win’s a win, and this one was a fairly impressive one in that. At least after a pretty weak overall first period.
(Note: apologies to Cam Tucker for swiping his headline format.)
The Toronto Maple Leafs are minutes from breaking their harrowing losing streak against the Edmonton Oilers with a 5-0 lead. If you want a moment that symbolizes this slum-breaking evening, look no further than Morgan Rielly’s mind-blowing goal:
Toronto’s still in a bad way as far as the 2014-15 season goes (the word tank was floating around tonight, and not just in regard to Edmonton), but moments like these might make a few people feel a little better about the future.
James Reimer’s biased opinion:
This past month seems like an endless stream of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ gaffes blowing up in their faces. The latest example comes tonight, as David Clarkson adds the latest bullet point to his nightmare stay in Toronto: healthy scratch.
The Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno captures the embarrassment pretty well:
Remember when some were calling Clarkson the next coming of Wendel Clark? Woops.
Hey, at least he has more time for Ping Pong tonight, though:
All the latest from the blue paint…
Dubnyk looks for a fifth straight win
Devan Dubnyk will make his ninth consecutive start Saturday night when the Colorado Avalanche visit Minnesota. Dubnyk posted a 24 save shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. The 28-year-old has won four straight while posting a 0.75 G.A.A. and a .974 save percentage.
Semyon Varlamov gets the start for the Colorado Avalanche.
Kings at Lightning: Jonathan Quick vs. Ben Bishop
Blue Jackets at Senators: Curtis McElhinney vs. Robin Lehner
Devils at Canadiens: Keith Kinkaid vs. Carey Price
Oilers at Leafs: Viktor Fasth vs. James Reimer
Stars at Sabres: Anders Lindback vs. Jhonas Enroth
Islanders at Bruins: Chad Johnson vs. Tuukka Rask
Red Wings at Coyotes: Petr Mrazek vs. Mike Smith
Penguins at Canucks: Thomas Greiss, vs. Ryan Miller
Hurricanes at Sharks: Cam Ward vs. Antti Niemi
The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to snap an 11-game (0-10-1) skid tonight when they play host to the Edmonton Oilers.
They’ll likely have to do so with another injury on the blue line.
Petter Granberg was recalled by the club on an emergency basis meaning one of the six defensemen who played in last night’s 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils is likely hurt.
Korbinian Holzer, Morgan Rielly and Stephane Robidas took part in the the Leafs’ optional practice this morning, which suggests Roman Polak, Jake Gardiner or Cody Franson could be nursing an injury.
Additionally, captain Dion Phaneuf (hand) will miss is sixth straight game tonight.
Granberg, 22, has appeared in three games for the Leafs this season averaging 11:30 in ice time.
The one bright spot for Leafs fans is that Toronto is 5-0-0 in its last five meetings with Edmonton. The Leafs have also won seven of the last 10 meetings with the Oilers.
Edmonton begins a six-game, 10-day road trip tonight. The Oilers have one win in their last three and are 5-13-7 on the road this season.