Similar to the Canadiens game on Friday, you simply cannot think about a Kings – Maple Leafs contest and not quickly be taken back to 1993. What played out in their epic series to determine who would move on to the Stanley Cup Final that year was arguably the best 7-game series in NHL history. Of course there was the famous call on Wayne Gretzky (which Kerry Fraser spoke with MayorsManor about in great detail here, even revealing some previously unknown information), plus a handful of other key storylines involving players from both sides. For a quick look at what went down, we highly encourage you to spend a few minutes here.
For newer fans, the more intriguing aspect of this weekend’s game likely centers on Jonathan Bernier. The former L.A. first round draft pick was leap frogged by Jonathan Quick during their development days and the latter put a firm grip on the Kings’ crease – one so tight that the French Canadian netminder simply couldn’t pry it free. A trade in the summer of 2013 gave Bernier a new lease on life and he is now hoping to be part of the core group that returns the Maple Leafs to prominence in the Eastern Conference.
Specific to Sunday’s afternoon extravaganza, we have come up with five notes that will very likely make you sound smart while watching all the action with a friend or loved one… or even at a sports bar talking to strangers…
Five Things You May Not Have Known about Toronto Maple Leafs:
1. Entering Saturday’s action, Toronto is tied with Tampa Bay for the number one offense in the NHL, each averaging around 3.4 goals per game.
2. The Maple Leafs have scored 40 of their 91 goals in the second period.
3. Prior to Saturday, Jonathan Bernier has won six of his last eight starts.
4. The Leafs lead the NHL with six shorthanded goals. Los Angeles is right behind them, thought, with five.
5. Former LA Kings prospect Brandon Kozun is still in search of his first NHL goal. He has one assist this season in six games. He returned to the lineup this week after being out since October with a high-ankle sprain.
What might happen on the ice, you ask? Be sure to click here to see the latest article in our Puck Probability series.
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