The Leafs(Toronto Maple Leafs championship rings) 7-6 win against Philly two weeks ago was certainly a far-from-perfect, barn burner of a game, but it was nevertheless a much-needed win for Toronto after two awful performances against Tampa Bay and Chicago in the days leading up to it. The night after, against Ottawa, things went south again and the Philly game ended up being their only win of the week. Winners of just three of their last eight, the Leafs have conceded six (vs. PHI) and five goals (vs. FLA) in two of those wins and they would like to start winning and putting together cleaner 60-minute performances here as the regular season winds down.
Brian Elliot was the starter last time around, as Carter Hart had returned the night before in a loss to Washington. Tonight, with both teams rested, Hart — who has now started virtually every game outside of back-to-backs for the last couple of months — will be in between the pipes for the Flyers(custom Philadelphia Flyers championship rings). He’s now played 27 games on the season and is sporting a sparkling .927 save percentage and a more average ‘goals saved above expected’ mark of -1.2.
In the Leafs(nhl championship rings for sale) net, the decision to start Frederik Andersen is raising some eyebrows as the Leafs are now in a spot where home-ice is out of reach and they’re not at any risk of dropping out of third in the division — the same position as last year. Alternating starts with Garret Sparks the rest of the way makes sense from a rest perspective, although ultimately, these decisions come down to the goalie and the goalie coach as far as how Andersen is feeling about his game and where his energy level is at, mentally and physically. The Leafs want Andersen at his best performance-wise come Game 1 vs. Boston and he’s currently working through a six-game stretch where he’s posted a .841 save percentage, so there is that balance of getting Andersen to emerge from the funk while ensuring he’s fresh for the postseason(championship sports rings).