|Phaneuf battles with Downie. The first of many|
battles between Downie and the Leafs.
The pressure was on and Toronto needed to come out hard against Tampa Bay... It didn't help that Lecavalier scored in the first minute of the game. That would be the first of ten goals on what would turn out to be a very entertaining hockey game. Later in the first period Lupul would answer for the Maple Leafs and a few minutes later Carl Gunnarson would give Toronto the lead heading into the second period.
On the injury front, the Leafs expect Mike Brown, Tyler Bozak, Mike Komisarek and Colby Armstrong to be ready to return to action within the next week and a half or so. This is good news for Toronto who have struggled to keep a healthy amount of regulars in their line-up. This may be bad news for players like Joey Crabb, Matt Frattin, Darryl Boyce and Keith Aulie. For the most part these players have played well since being called up by the Maple Leafs, but with all these regulars set to come back someone is going to have to sit out.
The Leafs record jumped to 19-15-5 and although they still sit tenth in the east, there are only tree points separating them from the fifth place Pittsburgh Penguins. Toronto needs to carry the momentum from tonight's win into their next handful of games and put a win streak together to keep pace with the teams ahead of them. Ottawa currently holds the sixth spot due in large part to a three game winning streak. The Jets also are on a three game win-streak and hold the ninth spot in the east. The Capitals have won their last four game and find themselves in seventh.
With the win over Tampa, the Leafs are 9-5-4 at home this season. Of the twelve games the Leafs play in the month of January, nine of them are played on home ice. This is a big opportunity for Toronto to slide back into the top eight and make their way back into the playoffs. The Leafs continue their current home streak as they host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.