clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Scouting The Enemy: Toronto Maple Leafs

New, comments

We take a closer look inside tonight's opponent, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Florida has played the Toronto Maple Leafs 68 times throughout their history, and is a franchise ninth-best-tying .500 against them. They're currently 28-28-5 with seven ties so far. The Leafs (plus-3) are also one of only six teams that the Panthers have managed to outscore in head-to-head competition, along with the Tampa Bay Lightning (plus-45), the New York Islanders (plus-17), the Anaheim Ducks (plus-7), the Pittsburgh Penguins (plus-1), and the Arizona Coyotes (plus-1).

The last meeting between the Cats and the Leafs was on December 28th, when the Panthers set down Toronto by a 6-4 count. Jonathan Huberdeau and Dmitry Kulikov each had a goal and an assist, Brad Boyes, Jimmy Hayes, Scottie Upshall and Willie Mitchell also lit the lamp, and Jussi Jokinen pitched in with two helpers. Roberto Luongo turned aside 18 shots in the win. * Box Score * They'll face off twice more this season, on March 3rd in Toronto and on March 26th back at the BB&T Center.

More on tonight's version of the Maple Leafs:

Forward Corps

First Line

21 - James van Riemsdyk

Van Riemsdyk is a 6'3", 200 lb. left winger from Middletown, NJ. The Philadelphia Flyers selected him second overall back in 2007, and he played his first three seasons with the club. Now 25-years-old, he's in his sixth NHL season.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

381

116

119

235

This Season

57

21

22

43

Last 10 played

10

2

1

3

vs. Florida

16

4

7

11

Assets: Boasts an outstanding combination of size, speed and skill. A surprisingly good passer, he owns plenty of scoring prowess thanks to an accurate shot and willingness to drive to the net to score goals. Has a great reach.
Flaws: Is still a little raw in his defensive game, and sometimes he's caught out of position. Could stand to use his size more to his advantage, and even become a little nastier. Needs to keep the intensity level on high at all times.
Career Potential: Talented scoring forward with upside.

42 - Tyler Bozak

Bozak is a 6'1", 195 lb. center from Regina, Saskatchewan. The 28-year-old six-year veteran led the NHL last year with a 21.1% shooting success rate. He originally joined the Leafs as a free agent after playing two seasons with the University of Denver.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

353

87

132

219

This Season

57

15

21

36

Last 10 played

10

1

3

4

vs. Florida

16

4

4

8

Assets: Skates well and also boasts good offensive instincts. Can at times make things happen on his own. Can also contribute on special teams and with the game on the line.
Flaws: Needs to bulk up more in order to maximize his game at the NHL level. Must also work on his game-to-game consistency, especially in the production department.
Career Potential: Skilled two-way center.

81 - Phil Kessel

Kessel is a 6', 202 lb. right winger from Madison, Wisconsin. He was initially selected with the fifth overall pick of the 2006 draft by the Boston Bruins. Now in his ninth season, the 27-year-old has played in three all-star games and finishes his seasons consistently at just over a point per game.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

643

243

263

506

This Season

57

21

26

47

Last 10 played

10

2

2

4

vs. Florida

31

12

8

20

Assets: Has one of the quickest releases of any scorer in the game. Owns quick feet, explosive skating ability and a howitzer of a shot. A pure goal-scorer, he's elusive and can dangle really well. Can win face-offs too, if need be.
Flaws: At times, he could stand to be more creative on offense--he can fall into stickhandling trances, overplaying the puck and forgetting to use his linemates. Overall, his play without the puck and defensive ability aren't great.
Career Potential: Elite sniper.


Second Line

26 - Daniel Winnik

Winnik, a 29-year-old from Toronto, is in his eighth NHL season and his fifth NHL team. The 6'2", 213 lb. forward was originally selected in the ninth round of the 2004 draft by the Phoenix Coyotes.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

545

55

118

173

This Season

55

6

17

23

Last 10 played

10

3

2

5

vs. Florida

7

0

3

3

Assets: Can play any forward position and displays plenty of defensive acumen. Has excellent size for the NHL game, as well as plenty of determination.
Flaws: Doesn't always use his large frame (6-2, 210 pounds) to the best of his capability, especially offensively. Is prone to prolonged scoring droughts.
Career Potential: Versatile veteran forward.

43 - Nazem Kadri

Kadri, a 6', 188 native of London, Ontario, was Toronto's first round pick in 2009, going seventh overall. The 24-year-old center is now in his sixth NHL season.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

232

60

83

143

This Season

55

14

16

30

Last 10 played

10

2

2

4

vs. Florida

12

2

7

9

Assets: Has great scoring instincts, soft hands and offensive flair to make spectacular plays. Also skates extremely well. His creativity is off the charts. Can line up at all three forward positions.
Flaws: Is a little undersized for the highest level. Must gain more strength and conditioning to thrive in the NHL. Also needs to make the simple play more often and improve his defense overall.
Career Potential: Skilled scoring forward with upside.

18 - Richard Panik

Panik is a 6'1", 208 lb. second rounder from the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Selected initially by the Tampa Bay Lightning, the 24-year-old native of Martin, Czechoslovakia is in his third NHL season, but his first in Toronto.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

126

17

17

34

This Season

51

9

3

12

Last 10 played

10

2

2

4

vs. Florida

5

1

1

2

Assets: Has loads of skill and an ideal frame for the National Hockey League game. Displays excellent scoring instincts and pretty good hockey sense.
Flaws: Needs to work on his defensive-zone coverage in order to maximize his potential. Must also continue to fill out his 6-2 frame.
Career Potential: Talented winger with some upside.


Third Line

47 - Leo Komarov

Komarov, a 28-year-old native of Narva, USSR, is a 5'11", 198 lb. center. The second year man was originally selected in the second round of the 2006 draft by Toronto.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

80

9

20

29

This Season

38

5

15

20

Last 10 played

10

0

2

2

vs. Florida

2

1

0

1

Assets: Owns good skill for lower levels, as well as the feisty attitude required to be an effective bottom-six forward at the National Hockey League level. Is good at agitating opponents. Skates well.
Flaws: Doesn't have ideal NHL size, so he must get stronger in order to play his aggravating style at the highest level. Also, he is not going to put up big numbers against the world's best defenders.
Career Potential: Agitating winger with a little upside.

24 - Peter Holland

Holland is a 6'2", 195 lb. center from Toronto. The Anaheim Ducks selected him with the 15th overall selection of the 2009 draft. Now in his fourth NHL season, the 24-year-old joined the Leafs last season via mid-season trade.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

115

19

16

35

This Season

47

9

9

18

Last 10 played

10

1

2

3

vs. Florida

3

0

1

1

Assets: Is a versatile forward with scoring and all-around upside. Owns an ideal frame (6-3, 200 pounds) for the National Hockey League game.
Flaws: Needs to make better use of his 6-3 frame, especially in terms of his physical play, in order to make an impact at the highest level.
Career Potential: Scoring forward with upside.

71 - David Clarkson

Clarkson, a nine-year veteran from Toronto, is a 30-year-old 6'1", 200 lb winger. Undrafted, he took a more circuitous route to the NHL after collecting 233 penalty minutes with the AHL's Albany River Rats in 2005-06. He joined the Leafs after seven seasons with the New Jersey Devils. He has since finished in the NHL's top 10 in the penalty minutes four times (including 85 this season). His 16 points against Florida make them his favorite opponent.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

541

112

84

196

This Season

55

10

5

15

Last 10 played

10

1

1

2

vs. Florida

26

9

7

16

Assets: Has good size, which he likes to utilize early and often throughout a game. Plays an agitating, in-your-face game. Can play either wing position and has all-around ability. Can be an asset from in close on the power play.
Flaws: Is not a natural offensive winger and doesn't own enough high-end skills to become an impact goal-scorer. Needs to stay away from bad penalties when riling up opponents, since he can fire up the wrong team at times.
Career Potential: Quality agitating winger.


Fourth Line

20 - David Booth

Booth, a 6', 212 lb. product of Detroit, MI, was Florida's second round pick in 2004, and the number 20 Panther of all-time, according to my (not-so) scientific poll back in 2012. Now in his ninth NHL season, and with his third NHL team, the 30-year-old winger is 10th on Florida's all-time goals scored list, with 87.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

477

114

107

221

This Season

34

1

2

3

Last 10 played

10

0

1

1

vs. Florida

2

0

0

0

Assets: Has speed to burn. Can put up points in bunches and is ultra aggressive on the forecheck. Also boasts a nose for the net. Can play on either side of center, which adds to his overall value.
Flaws: Concussions are still a concern with him, especially since he has a bad habit of keeping his head down in dangerous areas of the ice. Isn't a natural setup man. Lacks game-to-game consistency.
Career Potential: Speedy, streaky scoring winger, when healthy.

Olli Jokinen

Jokinen is a 6'2", 210 lb. center from Kuopio, Finland, now 36-years-old and in his 17th NHL season with his ninth NHL team, he's Florida's all-time leader with 188 goals, and the number three all-time Panther. He was initially selected with the third overall pick, by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1997 draft.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

1217

320

426

746

This Season

48

3

3

6

Last 10 played

10

0

1

1

vs. Florida

18

5

5

10

Assets: Is a big presence up the middle and can be a decent face-off man. Has above-average hands and the instincts of a natural goal-scorer. When motivated, he plays a complete game and his leadership skills have improved.
Flaws: Is a better scorer than playmaker, so he tends to get off his game when paired with other goal-scorers. His overall game has lacked consistency in recent seasons. Has also endured personal problems in the past.
Career Potential: Inconsistent but talented big center.

23 - Trevor Smith

Smith, a 6'1", 195 lb center from Ottawa, is a 30-year-old fifth year veteran with his fourth NHL team. After going undrafted in 2007, he started bouncing around the AHL, eventually playing in 421 games and totaling 315 points over parts of seven seasons.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

91

9

10

19

This Season

39

2

2

4

Last 10 played

10

1

0

0

vs. Florida

3

0

0

0

Assets: Works extremely hard every time he's on the ice. Can line up either on the wing or at center and displays a scoring touch at lower levels.
Flaws: Still needs to get physically stronger (and add bulk to his 6-1 frame) to better compete against NHL defenders. Lacks an extra skating gear.
Career Potential: Journeyman depth scoring forward.


Defensive Corps

First Pairing

51 - Jake Gardiner

Gardiner, a 6'2", 184 lb. blueliner from Minnetonka, Minnesota was the first round selection of the Anaheim Ducks in 2008. The 24-year-old is now in his fourth NHL season.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

221

19

60

79

This Season

54

2

12

14

Last 10 played

10

0

5

5

vs. Florida

10

0

3

3

Assets: Is a smart player with the puck. Skates well due to an effortless stride. Has offensive ability, likes to join the attack, and boasts all-round upside. Can quarterback a power play.
Flaws: Needs to fill out his relatively smallish 6-0 frame in order to withstand the rigors of the pro game. Must also become a little more assertive and aggressive, as well as keep his intensity level on high in defensive situations.
Career Potential: Mobile offensive defenseman with good upside.

46 - Roman Polak

Polak, a ninth-year veteran from Ostrava, Czechoslovakia, is a 28-year-old defender. The 6', 236 lb. wrecking ball was a sixth round selection of the St. Louis Blues in 2004. This is his first season playing for a team other than the Blues.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

471

18

70

88

This Season

47

5

4

9

Last 10 played

10

0

1

1

vs. Florida

8

1

1

2

Assets: Underrated, he plays a smooth, steady game from behind the blueline and usually limits his mistakes. Is big and strong enough (6-1, 225 pounds) to handle big opponents in front of the net.
Flaws: Doesn't own great offensive ability. Can wear down with overuse. Has been prone to injury, as well. Could stand to be more physical, since he lacks consistency in that department.
Career Potential: Solid stay-at-home defenseman.


Second Pairing

44 - Morgan Rielly

Reilly is a 6'1", 205 lb. 20-year-old defenseman from Vancouver, BC, was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft by the Leafs. The second year veteran has seen his ice time increase by nearly two minutes from his rookie season.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

129

9

37

46

This Season

56

7

12

19

Last 10 played

10

3

3

6

vs. Florida

5

0

2

2

Assets: Is a tremendous skater and possesses excellent offensive instincts for the game. At times, he can act as a fourth forward on the ice. Also knows how to run a power play effectively.
Flaws: Doesn't have ideal size for the National Hockey League game, so he must get physically stronger and prove capable of effectively defending against bigger professional forwards.
Career Potential: Mobile, talented offensive defenseman with big upside.

8 - Petter Granberg

Granberg is a 6'3", 200 lb. blueliner from Gallivare, Sweden, and a fourth round selection of Toronto in 2010. The 22-year-old is in his second NHL season, but tonight will mark only his fifth career game.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

4

0

0

0

This Season

3

0

0

0

Last 10 played

3

0

0

0

vs. Florida

0

0

0

0

Assets: Has good size for the National Hockey League game, plus he keeps his game simple and limits mistakes. Excels in defensive situations. Is also a decent puck mover.
Flaws: Must make better use of his good size at the highest level in order to keep opponents honest, especially in his own end. Also, he's a limited offensive talent.
Career Potential: Solid defensive defenseman with some upside.


Third Pairing

55 - Korbinian Holzer

Holzer is a 6'3", 205 lb. defender from Munich, Germany. The Leafs chose the 27-year-old in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, and he's now playing in his third (all non-consecutive) NHL season.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

52

2

6

8

This Season

28

0

5

5

Last 10 played

10

0

1

1

vs. Florida

1

0

0

0

Assets: Has good size and plenty of physicality in his game. Also displays good puck-moving skills and a little offensive acumen. Keeps it simple.
Flaws: Needs to add more strength to his 6-3 frame in order to play consistently well at the highest level. Also needs to smooth over the rough edges in his game.
Career Potential: Physical defenseman with a little upside.

12 - Stephane Robidas

Robidas is a 5'11", 196 lb. defenseman from Sherbrooke, Quebec. The 37-year-old was initially selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the seventh round of the 1995 draft. Now in his 15th NHL season, the Leafs are his fifth team. He appeared in the all-star game in 2009.

Games

G

A

Pts

Career

929

57

201

258

This Season

44

1

6

7

Last 10 played

10

1

1

2

vs. Florida

18

1

5

6

Assets: Moves the puck quickly and effectively out of the defensive zone. Is a very heady player with solid all-around ability. Steps up in big spots. Is always willing to take a hit to make a play. Dishes it out, too.
Flaws: Should produce more points with his skill set, but has trouble providing consistent offense. Can struggle against big forwards and is prone to bone-jarring hits in the defensive zone that can wear him down.
Career Potential: Veteran big-minute defenseman.


Goaltenders

Probable Starter

45 - Jonathan Bernier

Bernier, a 26-year-old, 6', 185 lb. goaltender from Laval, Quebec. He was selected 11th overall in 2006 by the Los Angeles Kings, and played there for five seasons before taking the starting spot in Toronto for the last two seasons.

Games

W

L

OTL

SV%

GAA

SO

Career

156

71

56

18

0.917

2.57

9

This Season

39

16

17

5

0.916

2.71

2

Last 10 played

10

1

7

2

0.914

2.59

0

vs. Florida

3

1

1

0

0.938

2.58

0

Assets: His reflexes are first-rate and cat-like. Plays with supreme confidence when tending goal. Can steal a game all on his own, and is also capable of shaking off bad goals.
Flaws: Needs to play with more focus, so as to diminish the number of bad goals allowed. Can get into slumps where he starts fighting the puck. Lacks consistency, overall.
Career Potential: Talented goaltender with good upside.


Probable Backup

34 - James Reimer

Reimer is a 6'2", 208 lbs. backstop from Morweena, Manitoba. The 26-year-old was selected by the Leafs in the fourth round back in 2006. He's now in his fifth season with the club.

Games

W

L

OTL

SV%

GAA

SO

Career

164

72

60

15

0.913

2.89

11

This Season

24

7

12

0

0.905

3.20

0

Last 10 played

10

1

7

0

0.909

2.90

0

vs. Florida

6

1

4

0

0.864

3.78

1

Assets: Has pretty good size for the crease position. A solid technical goalie, he's calm and poised with good flexibility and a neat catching mitt. Works very hard and never quits.
Flaws: Does he have enough stamina to be a perennial 60-plus game goaltender at the National Hockey League level? At times, he will play too deep in nets. Can give up bad goals.
Career Potential: Talented goaltender with upside.

That wraps up the Maple Leafs that we should be seeing tonight. Tune in later for the live game thread, our pair of recaps following the contest, and pre-game coverage for their next game, on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens.