The 10-5 Toronto Maple Leafs get back to the ice tonight for their first game in six days as they welcome in the New Jersey Devils to the Air Canada Centre on Friday night. The Leafs will try to get back to their winning ways while the Devils will try to put aside the noise surrounding the team and Martin Brodeur in regards to both parties potentially going their separate ways.
This news has come at a bad time for the Devils as the NHL‘s Eastern Conference is looking more competitive than ever, and they are currently looking in from the outside as they sit near the bottom of the standings. A distraction surrounding the franchise’s all-time best player is something that will surely serve as a distraction as the team tries to move forward.
The Maple Leafs are most likely welcoming this distraction onto their opponents as they are dealing with some hardships of their own. The Leafs will be without both Dave Bolland and Tyler Bozak who are both out with injuries. The team will also be playing its first game in six days and will hope to quickly shake off any rust they may have accumulated over the past week.
Jonathan Bernier will get the start for the Leafs while the awkward goaltending situation coming out of the Devils’ dressing room will feature Cory Schneider rather than Brodeur. Seeing Brodeur sitting on the Devils’ bench to start the game will definitely come as a shock to many as he has proven to be a thorn in the side of the Maple Leafs over his career.
The Maple Leafs will try their best to use the Devils’ goaltending drama to their advantage as they continue to battle at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. For the Devils, they just need to hope that the relentless Toronto media lets up on their star player, who won’t even be starting, and allows the rest of the team to focus on the game.