WIN OR GET KO'ED (PRE GAME OPINIONS)
Bryzgalov will not be in net to cover his "humaangas big five hole," but games in Philadelphia are always exciting. It is the Leafs and Flyers on a Friday night meeting. This looks to be a dandy as both teams are desperate for wins and could be out of the playoffs quickly if change does not occur.
The Leafs have a "bear in the forest" (OK, no more Bryzgalov jokes) and it is their 6 game losing streak. It has gotten the team, management, and the fans upset and frustrated. It went as far as Riddick Bowe wanting to beat up on Carlyle should the Leafs lose again. Their is a lot at stake here in this one: the playoffs, pleasing the fans, and keeping Carlyle without a black eye!
So, the following three items are the tools that could end the worst losing streak this year:
1) A better start
Phanuef said, Kessel said it, Calyle said it. In fact, EVERYONE said it, yet it continues to occur. Throughout this skid, the Leafs have played everyone single game, except the last one, giving up the first goal of the game. Whether it has to do with confidence, mental capacity, or just laziness, one good start to the game can make all the difference.
2) Bernier or whoever is in net needs to be sharp
This losing skid has revealed a major aspect of the team that was left off to the sides most of the season: if the Leafs don't have an elite goalie, they would not be where they are in the standings. Unfortunately for Bernier, his long anticipated return to the crease was presented in a negative way. It may take some time, but Bernier will do better.
3) Specialty teams need to be overachievers
Much like the story all season, the power play is amazing and the penalty kill is horrendous. Lately, both have been sub-par with low scoring on the power play and a ton of PP goals against have also contributed to the losing skid. If the Leafs can score on the power play and the PK kill all of their penaties, then this might be a good night for the Leafs.
Once again, no predictions for this one. I would like to know from you guys what you think will happen. Leave your prediction in the comments below and let me know what you think. For now, see you all tomorrow!