Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Toronto Maple Leafs

Game Journal: Game 38 - Maple Leafs vs. Ducks

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs

4:45 PM: Tonight's officials will be Tom Chmielewski and Brad Meier, while Kiel Murchison and Jay Sharrers will be the linesmen. Those looking to tune in to the game can watch on Sportsnet, listen in on Sportsnet 590 The FAN and follow the Leafs on Twitter.

Danielle Emanuele and Joe Bowen check in from Anaheim to get you set with the Maple Leafs Game Preview.

4:30 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Maple Leafs and Ducks.

Toronto Maple Leafs

40 Grabner - 43 Kadri - 47 Komarov
21 van Riemsdyk - 42 Bozak - 15 Parenteau
26 Winnik - 33 Arcobello - 19 Lupul
23 Matthias - 24 Holland - 28 Boyes

51 Gardiner - 3 Phaneuf
2 Hunwick - 44 Rielly
52 Marincin - 46 Polak

45 Bernier
30 Bibeau

Anaheim Ducks

67 Rakell - 15 Getzlaf - 10 Perry
26 Hagelin - 17 Kesler - 33 Silfverberg
7 Cogliano - 22 Horcoff - 25 Santorelli
19 Maroon - 44 Thompson - 29 Stewart

47 Lindholm - 42 Manson
45 Vatanen - 2 Bieksa
53 Theodore - 5 Holzer

36 Gibson
31 Andersen

4:20 PM: Here's what Leo Komarov had to say on Wednesday following being named to the NHL All-Star Game...

Leafs TV

What does it mean to you to be an all-star?

I saw that online today on the internet and it's actually pretty fun but I'm not trying to think about that. We've got pretty important games here. It feels good.

Does it feel odd to be set apart?

Yeah, but like I always say, it's my teammates. That's a huge part. I've played with Naz for the whole season and he has been really good. It's not me who made it, it's all the teammates and the whole team.

How has this team grown over the last year?

I don't want to talk about what's in the future or last year. We've got a new coaching staff and a new system we're playing to but I think we're doing okay so far. We need to win more games and we're trying to play hard every night.

Do you think there's a new energy with guys given the success this system has had?

Yeah, we're trying 100 per cent every day. Your teammate beside you is going to do the same thing. It's way easier.

Is it going to be difficult to turn off your physical edge for all-star 3-on-3?

Yeah the all-star game is always fun to play. It's a little bit different hockey than normal hockey. Let's just play this game first.

What do you think it'll be like to be with the stars of the League?

It's exciting, it's always nice. Like I told you, I don't want to think about it right now.

Did you spend much time with Kapanen in training camp?

It's a big goal for him. He lived in my place for [a month and a half] and he's good guy and a really good hockey player so I'm kind of happy for him. He didn't score that many goals in the tournament but that's a big goal he did. I hope he's going to enjoy it for the rest of his life.

4:10 PM: James van Riemsdyk spoke to the media on Wednesday. Here's what he had to say...

Leafs TV

On Komarov as an all-star:

We're really happy for him. He has been playing really well this year and, again, he's a great teammate, a great guy and he has had a great year so far. We're really happy for him.

What was the reaction when you found out about it?

I saw it this morning, I came across Twitter and actually ran into him in the hallway coming downstairs so I obviously congratulated him then. It's really exciting for him and I'm sure he's pretty pumped up.

Did you see him enjoy the news?

I don't think he believed me when I told him so that was kind of funny. He thought I was messing with him because I think he had a trip potentially planned so now he's got a different one. It's exciting for him and he's had a great year and he has been a great player for us. We're really happy for him.

Can you see him in 3-on-3 grinding it out?

I think he has more skill than people give him credit for so it'll be fun for him and I'll look forward to watching him.

How has this team grown over the last year?

I think we're playing a much more organized style with more detail. I think in the last couple of years we were shooting ourselves in the foot too many times making stupid mistakes and there's a lot less of that this year. When you don't make as many mistakes you give yourself a chance every night. I think that has been key for us this year.

Did anyone take it personally after last year when the perception was this team couldn't be coached?

I don't know if that's the right word. Guys don't worry too much about the outside noise. Everyone is confident about their abilities and different things get portrayed different ways but it doesn't make it true, it just makes it people's perceptions. We're happy with the way we've progressed this year and the way things have gone so far. We have a lot of room to grow and we want to keep pushing forward and getting better.

Are you noticing this group enjoying coming to work more?

We've always had a tight group of guys ever since I've been here. It's been a fun group of guys to be around, especially when things are going better on the ice. Like you said, it makes it more to come to the rink and go to work every day. I think that amplifies everything and makes you that much more excited to get to work.

What do you think a goal like Kapanen scored can do for his confidence?

It can definitely springboard you with some confidence. I just remember skating with him a couple of times and you notice his speed right away and his skill and that was a pretty highly skilled play he made in a big moment. Good for him, that's pretty exciting.

4:00 PM: Nazem Kadri offered his thoughts ahead of Wednesday's game in Anaheim. Here's what he had to say...

Leafs TV

On Komarov as an all-star:

I definitely think so, yeah. I think he sees the ice, his hockey IQ is great. I think he's definitely has a better skillset than most people give him credit for and he's versatile. He can play up and down your lineup from the first line to the fourth line. Like I said, for the all-star game I don't think anyone is going to be ultra-competitive. It's going to be fun, it's going to be fun to watch but like I said, we're all happy for him.

How different is this team from one year ago?

I think the belief in the room is through the roof. We've beaten a lot of good teams, we believe in the system, we believe in each other, we believe in the staff. Realistically that's all you need. We're riding a wave right now and we've got to continue to stay consistent and try to finish this road trip off on a good note.

How much do you enjoy being on the road now and being amongst the guys?

It's enjoyable, especially when you've got some leisure time. You get to bond with the guys and do some things you wouldn't normally get the opportunity to do so we're taking it in stride but the fun's over, it's time to get back to business. We've got some good teams coming up and we've got to be on our game.

Did players take exception to last season's accusations of being uncoachable?

Of course, I think speculation is huge in this market and a lot of times it's really all it is. People just kind of think certain things for whatever reason but at the end of the day all of us bought in, all of us believe in the system and I think it's pretty obvious that's why we're having success.

Did you think there was a need to prove yourselves to Coach Babcock?

Of course, everyone is looking for something to prove. Everyone walked in this year with a chip on their shoulder and didn't really know what to expect from the staff and a few new faces on the coaching staff and on the players' end. We didn't really know what to expect, I think that's why our October was a little bit rocky, but you take that out of the equation and I think we've been a pretty successful hockey team.

3:45 PM: Here's what Mike Babcock had to say ahead of Wednesday's game in Anaheim.

Leafs TV

On Leo Komarov being named an all-star:

Well it's a huge honour. I was looking at it this morning -- anytime someone is named an all-star over the years I've look at who else in the group could have been named an all-star. James is leading us in scoring, Leo is right there, Bozak's there, Kadri, you look at it that way. I just think Leo has been really good, he has played hard every day -- penalty kill, power play, regular shift, takes faceoffs when we've got guys injured and nobody else can. He has been a real good teammate and a good pro and we're proud that he's been honoured in this way and it should help him feel good about himself.

On tonight's starting goaltender:

Bernier's starting.

Have you decided who will start beyond tonight?

No it's not. Bibeau or Reimer is playing in LA. It's just I don't know who's playing is all. We'll see if Reimer gets through today and if he's ready to go. When he's ready to go -- he's been on the ice forever, you'd think he'd be ready but we'll see.

What do you make of this Anaheim team after a slow start?

A real good team obviously. They've got good players and got good depth and good size. I like the back end, it's real active. A good kid in net. They're a real good team. I think they perceived starting the year they had a real opportunity, I think they probably still perceive the same thing. We're going to be in a tough battle tonight. They're a heavy team and we're going to have to keep them off our D.

Are they a different Ducks team than in the past?

I wouldn't say that, I just think they haven't scored. I think they're very much explosive. You look at their shooting percentages and they're way down compared to what they'd normally. I think they're playing pretty well and when I go through the pre-scouts it looks to me like they're doing a good job and getting lots of chances. I think it's a real test for our team, it's going to be a lot of fun for our guys and we'll see where we measure up.

On players being receptive to his approach:

I think it's like anything in life -- I think you're always selling yourself and your ideas. What I've learned about players over time is if your ideas make sense, they're all-in. If they don't, they're not in. I don't know what you're like but I know when someone has got a better idea than me I'd soon make their idea my idea and get on with it. That's just the way you do it. Our group has been excellent. We've had unbelievable leadership out of Dion, he just does it right every day and demands a lot out of our young guys which I really like and then you go through Hunwick and Komarov and the improvement of Kadri and Bozak and van Riemsdyk and Rielly and Gardiner. We've got a lot of guys that are doing a lot of good things so good for us.

3:30 PM: The Maple Leafs return to action on Wednesday night when they visit the Anaheim Ducks.

The Leafs head to Anaheim after a 4-1 win at home over the St. Louis Blues. The Leafs got goals from James van Riemsdyk, Peter Holland, Nazem Kadri and Michael Grabner in the win, while Jonathan Bernier made 39 saves in the win. He'll return to the crease for the Leafs in Anaheim.

The Ducks head into tonight's game having most recently defeated the Winnipeg Jets by a 4-1 score at home. Rickard Rakell, Kevin Bieksa, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler scored for the Ducks in the win, while John Gibson stopped 19 shots to earn the victory. Gibson gets the nod once again for the Ducks against the Leafs.

Stay tuned for comments from Coach Babcock and the Leafs, projected lineups and more.

View More