MLHS Morning Mashup: Hockey Night in Motown


(Frank Gunn / The Canadian Press)

The Maple Leafs visit the Joe Louis Arena in the only meeting of the season against an original six rival in the Detroit Red Wings. Coming off their third-straight win after a victory in Colorado on Thursday, tonight’s game is the next step in the attempt to more or less run the board and climb into the top-eight of the Eastern Conference. Despite being second in the West, the Red Wings have struggled in the month of March, going 4-4-3 in their last 11, including two losses in regulation and an overtime loss, in their last three games.

Toronto is looking to capitalize on the Red Wings glut of injuries. Detroit will be without leading offensive forwards Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Johan Franzen (groin). With a 16-7-4 overall record and a 12-3-1 road record when James Reimer is between the pipes, the Leafs have been one of the top three teams since the all star break, behind only the San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils. In order to prove up to making the playoffs, let alone to competing in them, Toronto needs to be able to beat the best. Let’s hope the continued lack of outside help hasn’t taken some of the wind out of the Leafs‘ collective sail, as the state of Florida failed the Leafs last night with Carolina and Buffalo wins over Tampa Bay and the Panthers.

Follow the jump for today’s Leaf Links.


“You scoreboard-watch a little bit and you hope and pray that other teams help you out,” said Reimer, “but all you can control is what you do and how you play and what you do on the ice. Right now we’re just trying to focus in here and take care of our business and hopefully we can squeak in there.”

Leafs Links:

Maple Leafs Playoff Death Clock – High Noon

Pension Plan Puppets unveils a playoff death clock to track the Leafs’ chances to qualify for the post season.

Stuff Coming Up

Jeffler previews what’s ahead in Marlie Land at the HQ.

Leafs win in Colorado was textbook

Steve Lansky of The Leafs Nation thinks the blue and white displayed a full-team effort in Colorado on Thursday.

A brief history of NHL suspensions

DGB runs down the lengthy suspensions in the NHL dating back to 1989.

Reimer a revelation in Toronto

Colorado beat writer Adrian Dater offers an unbiased and well-written profile on Optimus Reim’s standout play in Toronto.

Aulie Providing Perfect Answer To Phaneuf

Jonas Siegel writes that Aulie has complimented Phaneuf since been recalled from the AHL.

Leafs familiar with sophomore slumps

Article from the Toronto Star on the second season slump for Tyler Bozak and the possibility of Reimer experiencing a slip in his game next year.

Will Red Wings dash Leafs’ dream?

James Mirtle discusses every Leaf fans’ worst nightmare.

Reimer has a fan in Babcock … sort of

Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun writes that other coaches around the league are taking notice of Reimer, including Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock.

Schenn, Kulemin sweet on Detroit

Another story for the Sun on the memories that Luke Schenn and Nikolai Kulemin still hold from their first game at the Joe.

Buyout bad Maple Leafs contracts?

In his weekly rumor roundup, THN blogger Lyle Spector looks at the possibility of the Leafs buying out the contract of Mike Komisarek, among others.

Other hockey links:

Death Watch: Dream lives on for Leafs, Thrashers; West reshuffles

Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy is one of many who still believes the Leafs have hope.

Still In It?

Houses of the Hockey looks at the teams still in the thick of the playoff race.

Carbonneau looks to Land Back in NHL

St. Louis beat writer Andy Strickland reports that former Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau is interested in returning to the NHL.

Leafs Video of the Day:

You can’t pick this up on your standard TV feed – the audio of Optimus Reim’s activity in net courtesy of Steve Dangle: