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Posted On Saturday, 04.11.2015 / 12:57 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Canadiens at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The Montreal Canadiens will be looking to clinch first place in the Atlantic Division and home ice advantage in the first two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs when the play against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA).

Montreal can secure the Atlantic Division with a win or overtime loss against Toronto. If the Canadiens lose in regulation, the Tampa Bay Lightning could clinch the division, and the second seed in the Eastern Conference, with a win against the Boston Bruins.

“As a team you always want to get to the highest point in the standings as you possibly can and we have an opportunity to get even higher than we are right now,” said Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban. “I think we have played a lot of good hockey this year and of late we have done a good job paying attention to the details that are going to make us a better hockey team come the post-season.”

Posted On Sunday, 04.05.2015 / 10:54 AM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The Ottawa Senators will be trying for their fourth win in a row when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Center on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA, CITY).

The Senators, who are in a three-way battle with the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings for third place in the Atlantic Division, won 4-3 in overtime against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

All three teams are also in competition for a wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

The Senators held a 3-0 third period lead against the Capitals, but needed overtime to secure the victory. Ottawa center Kyle Turris decided the game with a breakaway goal, his 23rd of the season, at 3:14 of overtime. Going to extra time is nothing new for the Senators, who registered a 2-1 victoriy against the Red Wings on Tuesday in a shootout, and against the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime on Thursday.

Posted On Tuesday, 03.31.2015 / 12:10 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Lightning at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The Tampa Bay Lightning can take over first place in the Atlantic Division with a win Tuesday, but they may be without yet another key piece to their lineup.

Defenseman Victor Hedman is questionable to play against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SUN, TSN4) because of a lower-body injury.

Hedman left a 5-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday after one shift in the third period. The Lightning finished off a season sweep of the Canadiens to draw within one point of them in the Atlantic. Montreal is idle Tuesday. Each team has five regular-season games remaining.

The Lightning recalled defenseman Slater Koekkoek from Syracuse of the American Hockey League, and he could make his NHL debut if Hedman is unable to go.

Posted On Saturday, 03.28.2015 / 12:38 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- Goaltender Craig Anderson will be back trying to help the Ottawa Senators make the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA2).

Anderson, 33, has been nursing a deep bone bruise on his right hand and while he was out goalie Andrew Hammond took the hockey world by storm going 14-0-1 in his first 15 starts. Hammond is now out with a lower-body injury sustained in a collision with San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture on March 23.

"The plan is for me to get in tonight and give it a whirl," Anderson said after the morning skate. "I feel pretty good. I feel like it is where I need to be at this point of the weekend. We need to keep winning and playing well. For me, when you get out there and get in the moment you forget about everything else."

Posted On Thursday, 03.26.2015 / 12:35 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Panthers at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- Coach Gerard Gallant said his Florida Panthers cannot afford to be thinking about the past when they play the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, TSN4).

The Panthers (33-26-14) trail the Ottawa Senators by five points for the second wild card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, and allowed two third-period goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 4-3 loss Tuesday.

"It was a tough loss the other night," Gallant said. "We really wanted those two points. But hey, you move on. We know we're still in the race. We've got nine games left and we know we have to win eight or nine of them. You've got to worry about the next game, not the one you just played."

Posted On Thursday, 03.19.2015 / 12:31 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sharks at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- Sam Carrick wants to show the Toronto Maple Leafs he can be a regular in the NHL.

Carrick, 23, will get another opportunity to do that when the Maple Leafs host the San Jose Sharks at Air Canada Centre on Thursday. Carrick was called up from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League to replace center Nazem Kadri, who was suspended four games by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Wednesday for an illegal check to the head of Matt Fraser of the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

The Maple Leafs (27-38-6) have lost three straight games and their 60 points are second-fewest in the Eastern Conference. The Sharks (34-28-8) have lost two straight and are six points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference and six points behind the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division with 12 games remaining.

Carrick has been projected as a solid candidate to be the Maple Leafs’ checking-line center next season and he views his latest call-up as another chance to show management what he can do. It’s the fourth time this season Carrick has been summoned from the Marlies. In 10 NHL games he has no points and a minus-1 rating. In 50 AHL games he has seven goals, 25 points and 76 penalty minutes.

Posted On Wednesday, 03.11.2015 / 12:44 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sabres at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- Left wing James van Riemsdyk hopes the good luck he experienced in the Toronto Maple Leafs previous game carries over Wednesday against the Buffalo Sabres at Air Canada Centre.

Van Riemsdyk had gone five straight games without registering a point when he scored a goal and had an assist in Toronto's 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Monday.

"Any time you score a goal in this League it is a good thing," van Riemsdyk said.

Although he normally plays on the No. 1 line with center Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel, van Riemsdyk was switched to a line with center Peter Holland and right wing Richard Panik against the Islanders. The trio provided the Maple Leafs (26-35-6) with significant energy and will remain together against the Sabres.

"We want JVR to be the power forward we know he can be," Toronto interim coach Peter Horachek said. "He took the puck to the net hard a few times against the Islanders. We need him to take more of a prominent role on the team."

Posted On Monday, 03.09.2015 / 2:50 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Islanders at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- Tyler Kennedy had the good fortune to play with a superstar in Sidney Crosby with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Now the veteran right wing is looking forward to playing with another, John Tavares, with the New York Islanders.

Kennedy will make his debut with the Islanders when they play the Toronto Maple leafs at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

"I see huge similarities between Sid and [Tavares]," Kennedy said. "Both are very professional and they both want to win. It was one of the first things I noticed when I came here, how similar they are. They are both great players and [Tavares] is a huge leader, like Sid. He leads by example. He is the real deal."

Posted On Saturday, 03.07.2015 / 12:52 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blues at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- The next chapter of Olli Jokinen's NHL career begins when his St. Louis Blues face his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Saturday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC) at Air Canada Centre.

Jokinen, 36, will make his debut with the Blues, who acquired him from Toronto on March 2. It will be the Blues' final stop on a five-game road trip that has seen them go 2-1-1 thus far.

"It was a quick stop here and I really liked my time here," Jokinen said. "The focus is now on St. Louis and I am trying to fit in here. I am looking forward to my first game with the Blues. It is pretty exciting."

Posted On Thursday, 02.26.2015 / 12:45 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Flyers at Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- As the Philadelphia Flyers continue to push for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to the future.

On Wednesday the Maple Leafs traded left wing Daniel Winnik to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Zach Sill, a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and a second-round pick in the 2016 draft.

Sill will make his debut with the Maple Leafs on Thursday against the Flyers.

While he said it is difficult to leave a playoff-bound team for one that won't play in the postseason, Sill also thinks the move will be a good for his career.

"I was in and out of the lineup in Pittsburgh," Sill, 26, said. "When everyone is healthy it's a hard lineup to crack. Coming here is a good opportunity to get in the lineup and try to do some good things. I'm going to try to put my best foot forward and make an impression."

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It's not just going to happen on its own. We have to have guys commit to the areas we need to improve on. We're going to be better than last year but there is still a long way to go. But I really like the pieces and where we're headed.

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