John Tavares is coming to Toronto for the first time in his NHL career. Toronto fans were salivating last year at the chance of getting Tavares with the 1st overall selection in the draft, but the Leafs ended up finishing 6 spots better than the Islanders and got the 7th overall selection. They of course choose Tavares London teammate Nazem Kadri.
Tomorrow night should be interesting, Wilson has chose to ride his hotter goalie this season and with Vesa Toskala's impressive start against the Capitals last night you have to think he will get the start again tomorrow night. By all means the Leafs stand a good chance of beating the Isles but they will have to get a good turn out by who ever is in the twine.
The Leafs won 3 of 4 meetings last year between these two teams. The Isles are 8-8-7 this year and are enjoying the team leading 19 points that rookie sensation John Tavares has contributed to the team. Another surprise for the Islanders has been free agent signing Matt Moulson who is 1 point off of Tavares on the year.
Look for ex-Islander Jason Blake to play a solid game as he usually steps his game up a little bit when he plays his former team. The Leafs will look to to stop a nasty trend they have fallen into for most of the season, that is to not give up the first goal of the game, something they have done in 18 of its 21 games so far this year.
Josh Bailey for the Islanders has scored in 2 straight games and will look to keep that pace up against the Leafs. For the Leafs Niklas Hagman scored last game and scored again when he potted the shootout winner.
For the Leafs, Mike Komisarek is still out with an torn quad muscle. Mike Van Ryn is out of course because of his knee.
For the Islanders, Rick Dipietro is still out at least another 2-4 weeks, he is trying to make his way back from knee and hip surgery. While Isles captain Doug Weight is out with an upper body injury, and Radek Martinek is out with a torn ACL.
We will have to wait and see how the Leafs do against the Isles tomorrow night and how John Tavares does in his return home. Tavares will have over 100 friends and family in attendance at the Air Canada Centre.
I am predicting a Leafs win, by a score of 4-2. Tavares will score and Ponikarovsky will score for Toronto.
In my next blog I will surprise you. It's a surprise, so click on the link tomorrow to see what I decide to talk about.