Once upon a time, the Kings and Maple Leafs waged what was arguably the best seven-game series in Stanley Cup Playoff history. Fast forwarding a little more than two decades later, today they are a pair of franchises heading in very different directions. Los Angeles is considered to have a roster full of players in their prime and should be a championship contending team for the next several years. Meanwhile, Toronto has turned into an even bigger circus than normal, with more questions than answers about who will be on the bench and coaching behind it come the start of next season.
Tonight marks the Leafs lone visit of the season to Staples Center and it should be a spirited affair, especially considering several of the Kings top players are from the greater Toronto area and will want to put on a show for those watching back home.
Helping us take a look at a few things that just might go down after the puck drops this evening is Toronto writer Steve Dangle of theLeafsNation.com . He joined us for some Puck Probability when the Kings were in Toronto last month (see here if you missed it) and is back for more. Here are a handful of things to look for in tonight’s Kings v Leafs matchup…
Odds by MayorsManor:
2:1 – Jeff Carter scores the first goal of the game.
4:1 – Carter plays with at least six different line mates before the night is over.
7:1 – Brayden McNabb outhits Dion Phaneuf.
15:1 – After a false start, where he ended up not playing on Saturday, Andy Andreoff returns to action and picks up at least one point and one fight.
75:1 – Mike Richards is seen screaming at Jonathan Bernier when the goalie tries to sneak in a quick “hello” during pre-game warmups. No, there isn’t much of a back story there. Richards just needs an outlet right now and young Bernier will be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
500:1 – Bernier will apologize for his trade request and ask to come back to Los Angeles.
600:1 – Phil Kessel will make an amazing, game-saving defensive play late in the third period.
Odds by Steve Dangle:
1:1 – Tyler Toffoli will not be traded for Joffrey Lupul.
8:1 – Lost in the Lupul-for-Toffoli rumours and the Jonathan Bernier trade, nobody will mention that the Leafs once gave the Kings the pick used to draft Mike Cammalleri in exchange for Aki fricking Berg.
45:1 – Bernier will refer to Jonathan Quick as “A great teammate” and “One of the greatest leaders South Africa has ever had.”
50:1 – Matt Frattin watches the game while on a bus heading to an AHL game, sobbing quietly into a pint of ice cream while listening to late-90’s break-up songs.
100:1 – The Leafs fire their coach again.
REQUIRED READING: Looking back at the Kings vs Maple Leafs 1993 Playoff Series
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