Just a couple of things to report, with the biggest being the return of Jack Campbell to the crease:
Campbell has been sidelined for nearly a month with a rib injury and the hope is that a few weeks away from the ice and the opportunity to get healthy will give him the chance to return to his early season form. If they can get the Jack Campbell that we all know he can be it will boost the Leafs’ chances of making it past the 1st round of the playoffs ten fold.
In other news, Nick Abruzzese will make his NHL debut tonight:
While there is a lot of hype surrounding the Slate Hill, NY native, I’m reserving judgement for the moment. At just 22 years old, Nick has time to make it to the NHL and shouldn’t be expected to hit the ground running. In fact, a healthy stint in the AHL to start next season is likely in the cards, which would allow him to acclimate to the speed and physicality of the game at the pro level. Listed at just 5’9″, 160lbs, Abruzzese will need that time for sure, but that shouldn’t take away from his legitimacy of being a solid NHL prospect.
In other lineup news, Alex Kerfoot will dress tonight after missing practice yesterday, while Jason Spezza will sit.
It will be good for Spezza to take a few days off down the stretch so he can enter the playoffs rested and ready. They’ll need his veteran presence on the 4th line.
This also means that Colin Blackwell, a healthy scratch last game versus the Winnipeg Jets, will draw back into the lineup. He’s been good for the Leafs since they acquired him, in the same deal that brought Mark Giordano to Toronto, at the deadline.
From the other side of the rink, this game will see the 989 game Iron Man Streak, which is an NHL record held by Keith Yandle, come to an end. The Flyers are set to make Yandle a healthy scratch tonight.
This has many people wondering why the Flyers didn’t give him another 11 games to make it to 1000. A nice, round number for sure, but meaningless at the end of the day. It’s my opinion that if a player can’t keep up at the NHL level anymore he should be sat for somebody that can. This isn’t the first time Keith Yandle has been trending due to his Iron Man Streak. When he broke the record a few months back he was deservingly applauded, but before that he was a potential scratch in Florida last season. The final decision was to play Yandle, allowing him to continue on his games played streak, but that does go to show that he has been falling off for a while now.
Then again, 11 meaningless games wouldn’t do anybody any hard, especially for a team that isn’t playoff bound.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know your thoughts.