The Toronto Maple Leafs need to win tonight to avoid ten straight losses. Unfortunately for them, that’s much easier said than done when they face the Nashville Predators.
During this horrific stretch for Toronto, they have been outscored 25-7 (yes, that’s seven goals in ten games) and now they need to continue on a ten game road trip that started with a loss in Philadelphia.
Nashville is tied with the Anaheim Ducks with 70 points for the most in the west and in the NHL overall. They are tied with the Chicago Blackhawks with 115 goals against overall for the least amount in the west. This has been mostly without Pekka Rinne who is injured.
The last time the Maple Leafs played Nashville was on November 18th when the Predators scored nine goals to light up the Leafs 9-2 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
While they have been struggling, trade rumors have emerged all around Toronto. Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis was in Manchester to see the Los Angeles Kings AHL affiliate Monarchs on Friday night, possibly to see Mike Richards, whom the Kings had sent to Manchester recently.
One report said there had been talk of a Richards for Dion Phaneuf swap with the Kings and Leafs. One thing for Toronto to consider is the five year deal that Richards has and if they want to hold that obligation for that long.
TSN’s Bob Mckenzie also says it is “no secret” that Toronto wants to move Joffery Lupul. The oft-injured forward can be a productive player, it’s just about finding the right value for him. One rumors involved for Lupul has mentioned Ryan O’Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche, who is likely to be traded soon. Is there a match with these players?
One way or another, the Leafs need to stop this skid at nine tonight if they have hope of making the playoffs. They are 12 points out of a wild card spot, so hopes are slim one way or another.