The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Penguins last night, but they played a solid game and deserved to win.
Hopefully, despite playing their second game in as many nights, and despite having to travel across the border to do so, they will also play well tonight in Long Island, assuming the game doesn’t get postponed.
The Leafs will take on the Islanders tonight using rookie goalie Joseph Woll. With Petr Mrazek still out with a groin injury, the Leafs will give the untested Woll his second shot at an NHL game.
Woll – who some people think has a sort of “Waluigi” thing going on with Justin Holl – won his first game 5-4 against the Sabres last week, but he was shaky and, frankly, not very good.
He will have to be better tonight.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs New York Islanders
The Islanders are 5-7-2 which is about where they should be, because they are a bad team with a weak roster. This is the first of three meetings between the two teams this year.
Ever since the Leafs stole John Tavares from them, the Islanders have had their number, but I expect that that is going to change tonight because the Leafs are overdue for some scoring, and what better time to score a bunch of goals then when you’re facing a back-up goalie against a tired team that isn’t very good?
A weird situation that might upset our hope for a Leafs victory is that the Islanders are playing in a new arena for just the second time ever tonight. They had a 13 game road trip and returned last night to play the Flames.
The NHL probably shouldn’t even let this game proceed though, since the Islanders have six players in Covid protocol. So a) it’s unfair that the Leafs are essentially playing against their AHL team and b) it’s just dumb to allow the infection to spread.
The Senators recently had their games postponed, so I’m not sure why the Islanders are still going or what the NHL’s decision making process is.
The Islanders will be without Anthony Beauviller, Adam Pelech, Andy Greene, Josh Baily, Ross Johnston and Anders Lee.
The NHL should just postpone this game.
In addition to health reasons, the Toronto Maple Leafs probably don’t want to play for another reason: They always lose the easiest games. You’d think the Leafs would like a gimme, but this is the Leafs were talking about. Like the time they lost to the Penguins’ AHL team earlier in the year, or the time they were beaten by an Emergency Goalie, these things don’t ever seem to go their way.