|DiPietro's next injury is bound to happen sooner or later.|
I'm setting the over/under at the 8:00 mark of the second period.
The bigger picture of the evening is the Leafs attempt at winning five streak. With the team firing on all other cylinders (minus the bottom defense pairing) the team returns home to after a successful road trip. The Islanders much like all of the other opponents the Leafs have faced are run down by injuries. No Streit, No Okposo, and John Tavares still getting over his concussion, the Leafs on paper will make easy work of the Islanders. Unfortunately, that never seems to be the case, and likely the Leafs are facing a team that will approach this game with a nothing to lose attitude that will serve them well in season that will see another Lottery Pick wind up in Long Island.
I'm somewhat disappointed that Nino Neiderreiter and Nazem Kadri won't get a chance to again change pleasantries, but Neiderreiter, Tavares, and Moulson are enough of a threat that Toronto's defense can't take them fore granted. Defensively it looks like the Islanders are overly stocked with bottom pairing defensemen, but the upside for them is that they are largely shot blockers and shutdown guys. If DiPietro (or Roloson) are standing on their heads the game it will be a long night even for snipers with Clarke MacArthurs skill.
The first Nationally televised game of the AHL season game was somewhat of a bust for the Marlies, in that they lost to the Baby Sens. I'm not particularly disappointed as the game Saturday against Hamilton warrants somewhat of mulligan on Sunday afternoon, but there were a few things worth noting.
First things first, the Marlies scored one goal against an ECHL callup goaltender. Considering Hanson, Caputi, and Kadri were all considered for NHL top six roles I would have expected a turkey shot.
Mueller's "fight" was hilarious, but I'm sure the Patron Saint of Truculence, Brian Burke, was disappointed that his European import was the only one willing to drop A glove to defend his teammates.
Rynnas was solid in net, nothing to really add beyond that. I was a little disappointed that Reimer wasn't playing, but I can't always get what I want.
Jeff Finger wearing an 'A' was a bit of a surprise for me, and I'm not sure he makes sense in this role. I'm hoping this is a sign that he's not disgruntled, but this is also probably a sign that he's going to be settling in for his two year stay.
Most of the Marlies seemed slow, and were not too agressive on attacking the puck, again this is likely a 5-3 battle against Hamilton the day before slowing them down.
It's nice to see Jeff Marek and Elliot Friedman running the show on CBC, let's hope this is a look into near future of HNIC.
Also nice, is the larger crowd at the Ricoh. No one expects the place to be a sellout, but it's nice to see that more people are supporting AHL hockey. You'd assume it would be popular with number of people that were convinced that Kadri would be a 70 point player in the NHL this season, why not check him out.