Date: Friday October 25, 2013
Puck Drop: 7:00pm
TV Channel: LEAFS TV
Friday Night! Columbus! David Clarkson returns! Is there anything else to actually do in Ohio besides watch this game?
The Toronto Maple Leafs $36-million man makes his debut in the Blue & White Friday night in Columbus following his 11 game suspension for jumping off the bench and awkwardly hugging/grabbing at John Scott in the preseason.
Despite a better than expected start record wise, the Maple Leafs are happy to have Clarkson in the line up as they have been thoroughly outplayed by the opposition in almost every aspect aside from goaltending early in the 2013/2014 campaign. Clarkson, a good and sometime spectacular player when it comes to possession stats, could go a long way towards helping the Leafs right the ship (that only appears to be sinking if you look below the surface of the water).
While Clarkson is making his season debut, it appears as if Joffrey Lupul could make his annual trip up to the press box in order to nurse an injury after he suffered a bruised foot in practice yesterday after blocking a shot with his foot. Lupul has been the Leafs best forward so far this season and any absence, no matter how short, would be a blow to the Leafs.
While Lupul received bad news, Morgan Rielly was the recipient of some good news as he can officially move out of the hotel he’s been living in. The Leafs announced that Rielly would be staying with the team beyond the 9-game mark, which will burn a year on his entry-level deal. The next games played mark to keep an eye on is 39, if Rielly surpasses that this season it will move his free agenecy clock a year forward.
The Blue Jackets enter tonight’s game with a 4-5 record through their first 9 games of the season, good for 5th in the Metropolitan division. Marian Gaborik is leading the team with 9 points in his 8 GP this season, while Sergei Bobrovsky is off to a good, albeit non-Veznina worthy start with a GAA of 2.49 and a SV% of .921.
While not as poor as the Maple Leafs, Columbus has not excelled in the possession aspect of the game, with a Corsi For of 47.0% (good for 20th in the NHL). The main difference between these two teams this season? Columbus has managed a shooting % of just 5.1%, less than half of the unsustainable 10.9% currently being enjoyed by the Maple Leafs.
Leafs win big 5-1 while finally winning the possession battle in a game. David Clarkson tries way too hard in an attempt to justify his ludicrous contract, but in turn begins to show why he got that money with a Gordie Howe hat trick. At minimum he’s going to get into a fight…and with the Leafs luck, he’ll probably break his hand or something stupid.
Tags: Toronto Maple Leafs