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The Leafs have a big weekend ahead as they play back-to-back games. Saturday, the Leafs host the Pittsburgh Penguins who are without Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Brooks Orpik and Chris Kunitz. Despite all the injuries, Pittsburgh sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, eight points behind Philadelphia for top spot.
The Penguins will be playing the second game of a back-to-back as tonight they are in Carolina to face the Hurricanes. The Leafs will be rooting for a Penguins win in regulation which would be a huge boost to the Leafs playoff chances.
Sunday, the Leafs are in Atlanta in a huge game for both teams. Atlanta is in action tonight as they host Florida in the first of a five-game homestand. With the Thrashers just a point behind the Leafs, Toronto will be cheering on the Panthers.
There are two other games that the Leafs will have their eye on. The Rangers face the Capitals and Ottawa takes on Buffalo. So if you're keeping score, the Leafs will be cheering on the Captials, Senators, Penguins and Panthers.
Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul
lost his phone early Friday morning but took to his Twitter account @jlupul
to help get it back. He was on NHL Radio to talk about it. Listen here
After practice, Ron Wilson said that James Reimer
will be starting both games this weekend. J.S. Giguere is ready to rejoin the team and he will be the backup netmider this weekend.
Wilson also told the media that he has been impressed with the effort that the team has given, the play of the goaltending and the sense of urgency that the team has been showing.
Below there are interviews with Wilson. Giguere, Brent, Bozak and Armstrong.
Tim Brent Tyler Bozak Colby Armstrong
Following the 2-1 win over the Islanders on Tuesday, the Leafs returned to practice prior to going to Montreal for Thursday's game with the Canadiens.
There was on absence at practice as Joffrey Lupul
didn't take part as he was given a maintenance day. Joey Crabb
took Lupul's spot on the line with Phil Kessel
and Tyler Bozak
. Lupul is expected to be in the lineup against Montreal.
J.S. Giguere was on the ice Tuesday and he hopes to be back by this weekend. Ron Wilson said if Giguere returns this weekend it may be as the back up to James Reimer
Reimer has been stellar in his brief career with the Leafs. In five home starts he has allowed five goals. In his last six games he is 4-0-2 allowing only 10 goals. The 22 year-old will get the start against Montreal on Thursday.
Ron Wilson James Reimer
The Maple Leafs took to the ice Monday at the MasterCard Centre before heading out for the back-to-back in Boston and Buffalo.
Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf
was given Monday off as a maintenance day but he will be in the lineup Tuesday in Boston. Phaneuf has played over 26 minutes in three of the last four games.
Injured forward Mike Brown
took part in practice as he continues to recover from an upper body injury. Watch the Brown infterview following practice below.
Ron Wilson didn't reveal who would start against the Bruins but he did say that the goalies will split the back-to-back.
A topic that Wilson touched on was what the absence of Colby Armstrong
means to the lineup. As I noted in my closer look Saturday
, the Leafs record without Armstrong is 3-11-3 with him in the lineup they are 20-16-3.
Just like he did during the third period of Saturday's loss, Wilson put Clarke MacArthur
back on a line with Nikolai Kulemin
and Mikhail Grabovski
Monday. Newcomer Joffrey Lupul
was with Phil Kessel
and Tyler Bozak
Here is how the Leafs lined up:Clarke MacArthur
- Mikhail Grabovski
- Nikolai KuelminJoffrey Lupul
- Tyler Bozak
- Phil Kessel
Fredrik Sjostrom - Darryl Boyce - Kristopher VersteegJoey Crabb
- Tim Brent - Jay Rosehill
Here is all of Monday's video:
Ron Wilson Joffrey Lupul Clarke MacArthur Mike Brown
Following the overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils, the Leafs were back on the ice Friday as they get set to take on the Canadiens Saturday in Montreal.Colby Armstrong
missed practice due to blurry vision. He is not expected to play Saturday in Montreal and according to head coach Ron Wilson, he could be out of the lineup for a week.
Wilson also said that there was no timetable for Colton Orr to return to the lineup. Mike Brown
is still a week to 10 days away from being ready.
JS Giguere will get the start in net Saturday.
Below is the practice video from Friday:
Following the 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday, there was no rest for the Maple Leafs as they returned to MasterCard Centre for practice Friday.
The big story Friday was that Jonas Gustavsson
was loaned to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL on a conditioning stint. Read the press release
for more. Also, Mike Ulmer was at practice and he caught up with head coach Ron Wilson to talk more about the decision
The only player not on the ice was Darryl Boyce who left Thursday's game with a facial injury. After practice, Wilson said that he doesn't expect the centre to be in the lineup Saturday.
Here is all of the post practice video:
Ron Wilson James Reimer
Tim Brent Colby Armstrong