Date: Friday November 8, 2013
Puck Drop: 7:00pm ET
TV Channel: TSN
David Clarkson is still trying to determine his role on the Maple Leafs, and in the midst of an early season scoring drought about to face his former team, there’s no time like the presence to have a break out performance. Clarkson will be playing his 6th game of the season after missing the first 10 of the year serving a suspension, and has yet to find a groove, but perhaps facing his former team will help him get comfortable.
After a week full of practices thanks to a full 5 days off in between games, Clarkson and the rest of the Leafs should be well prepared for Friday night’s match up against the Devils. The Leafs will be looking to reverse their early season trend of being thoroughly handled in terms of possession and shots against, although they will also want to ensure that they don’t mess with their early season trend of winning more than they lose.
Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the start on Friday night against the Devils, at least partially due to the fact that James Reimer will be able to start on Saturday night in order to face the Bruins that must haunt his dreams after the Leafs Game 7 meltdown in the playoffs.
Sitting just 4-7-4 on the season the Devils have not been able to compensate for the loss of a top end offensive talent for the second year straight after Ilya Kovalchuk “retired” following Zach Parise‘s free agency departure a year early. The team’s offensive struggles combined with a slow start from Martin Brodeur have not been a recipe for success early.
The Leafs will come out flying after a week’s worth of rest, the newly christened JVR-Kessel-Lupul line will be an offensive force en route to a 5-2 victory.