Date: Thursday October 17, 2013
Puck Drop: 7:00pm
TV Channel: LEAFS TV
The Toronto Maple Leafs welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to the Air Canada Centre on Thursday night as they look to continue their hot start to pad their lead in the standings before the regression monster rears its ugly head. The Leafs are coming off of a 4-1 victory against the Minnesota Wild, while the Hurricanes fell 3-2 in a shootout at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.
James van Riemsdyk‘s status for the game is unknown, he apparently sustained an “upper-body injury” some time between Saturday’s win over the Oilers and the morning skate for Tuesday’s game. Randy Carlyle would not divulge the details of can Riemsdyk’s injury but did say that it came as a surprise to the coaching staff, indicating that it possibly occurred in an off ice incident.
With van Riemsdyk out of the line up the Leafs forward depth is even under more strain, making it 3 of the Leafs top 9 forwards that are out of the line up. Much has been made over the past few weeks about the Maple Leafs poor puck possession play, but what has not been talked about is how the loss of Nikolai Kulemin, David Clarkson, and now JVR is affecting their “advanced stats”.
Speaking of advanced stats, the Hurricanes are just one of 6 teams with a Corsi For % lower than the Leafs early in this season, meaning that tonight might be the night that they are actually able to have a Corsi For or Fenwick For over 50%! Given the way this season has gone for the Leafs, they will dominate the play tonight and manage to lose the game, giving even more ammo to the statistically ignorant.
Like I said above, the Leafs will dominate the game and still manage to lose. I’m thinking a CF% of somewhere around 57%, but a Corsi Win of 0 as the Hurricanes win 4-2, mostly because I will be in attendance at the ACC and there’s no way my personal 5 games losing streak will come to an end tonight, I’m on a roll.