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Preview: Dallas Stars @ Toronto Maple Leafs (6:30pm CST)

Catch this one on the Plus channel. Didn’t you hear? the Mavericks might be interesting again.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Do you like goals?

The Toronto Maple Leafs allowed six last night to the New York Islanders. Two nights before that they let the Bruins have a go with five (and somehow won with six of their own). Two nights before that they graciously accommodated the St. Louis Blues with five. And the time before that- Well you remember the six-goal romp the Stars hung on them, yeah?

That's a bad stretch, but their offense has done its best to keep up. Leafs fans have watched a combined 22 goal celebrations in their last two games altogether.

As I said last week- For the Stars it's like looking in a mirror. A smelly mirror. Like spreading a nice soft cheese on a chunk of french bread. It's kind of delicious and certainly entertaining, but it smells like hell and you know you that no one should be doing it.

In that quartet of stinky-cheese the Leafs have been out-shot 34-32, 41-26 and 31-27. The exception? Their 43-20 flogging of the Dallas Stars in the SOG department at American Airlines Center.

Ticked as they were at the Stars fast start in that one, they might be a little perturbed at their evening in Brooklyn Monday. They were up 4-2 halfway through the game with a shorthanded goal to boot, then blew a 5-4 lead with less than two minutes to play before surrendering the OT winner 2:42 into 3-on-3.

Dallas carries their own blown lead into this one, of course, after watching a 3-2 advantage over the hated Blackhawks deteriorate into a trio of late Chicago goals fueled by Patty Kane.

Notable on the Leaf's night? All five goals came from rookies. Which is preposterous. The Toronto Sun expounds...

Good thing they produced however, considering the frantic state of the team defensively these days.

But even with a sensational five goals from their rookies, the Leafs couldn’t stand that prosperity, losing 6-5 in overtime to the New York Islanders.

Brock Nelson’s second of the game at 2:42 of overtime was the winner as the Leafs blew leads of 4-2 and 5-4 for the loss.

Following up on a 6-5 win in Boston on Saturday, the single point allowed the Leafs to move back into a playoff position, moving into a tie with the Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division. With four games in hand, the Leafs will attempt to build on that position Tuesday at home against the Dallas Stars.

At some point, they’re going to have to become far more responsible in their own end, despite the production of their rookies. [Toronto Sun]

The similarities are there- Though you have to wonder if you wouldn't rather be in Toronto's shoes at this point. It's almost common sense that you would. Maybe? Defense is an issue in both locales, but the Leafs are getting their gobs of goals from rookies and the Stars are wondering what Jason Spezza, Ales Hemsky, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Eaves have left in the tank.

If you had to fix one which would you rather fix with an eye on the future? In these dog days of a season that seems to be taking a slow boat to hockey china it's a question worthy of idle blog comments, no? Of course, they are the Leafs, so...

Mr. Stepneski tweeted a few updates on the Stars front- Not much substantive...


Leafs lineup:

  • Komarov-Kadri-Nylander
  • van Riemsdyk-Bozak-Marner
  • Hyman-Matthews-Brown
  • Martin-Smith-Soshnikov


  • Rielly-Zaitsev
  • Gardiner-Carrick
  • Hunwick-Polak


  • Frederik Andersen
  • Curtis McElhinney

From Stars PR:


The Dallas Stars travel to Toronto face the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre. The two clubs play for the second and final time during the 2016-17 regular season. In the first meeting of the season on Jan. 31, 2017, the Stars recorded a 6-3 victory at American Airlines Center. Four players recorded multi-point games for the Stars including defenseman Dan Hamhuis (0-2=2) and forwards Devin Shore (1-1=2), Brett Ritchie (1-1=2) and Tyler Seguin (0-2=2). The Stars opened the contest with five goals in the first period, marking the first time they had accomplished this feat as a franchise since Dec. 21, 1988 against the Los Angeles Kings. In the last game between Dallas and Toronto at Air Canada Centre on Nov. 2, 2015, the Maple Leafs posted a 4-1 win over the Stars. Captain Jamie Benn notched the lone goal for Dallas (1-0=1), with forwards Patrick Sharp (0-1=1) and Tyler Seguin (0-1=1) recording the helpers.


Captain Jamie Benn potted a goal (1-0=1) on Saturday night against Chicago and is now riding a season-long six-game point streak (5-3=8), his longest point streak since recording points in seven-straight games (4-7=11) from Dec. 19 - Dec. 31, 2015. He also has goals in a season-best four consecutive contests (4-2=6). Benn ranks second on the Stars with 46 points (16-30=46) in 49 games this season. Among club leaders, he ranks first on the team with 31 takeaways, is tied for first with two game-winning goals and ranks fifth with 66 hits. The native of Victoria, B.C. has four points over his last four road contests (2-2=4) and ranks second on the club with 17 points (6-11=17) in 21 road games. Benn has recorded goals in two of his last three games (2-0=2) against Toronto and has points nine points (3-6=9) in 10 games against the Maple Leafs.