Get your game notes: Leafs at Wings
Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Detroit Red Wings hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• Top of the East: At 17-6-5, Detroit has 39 points, which ties the team with Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh for the top spot in the Eastern Conference…
• Since Detroit dropped a 4-1 contest in Toronto on Nov. 22, Detroit has gone 7-1-0 in its last 8 games
• In this 8-game stretch, the Red Wings are averaging 4.00 goals/gm, and have scored 3+ goals in each of those games. DET is now the 4th-highest scoring team in the NHL (3.11 G/GM, behind PIT, TOR, and 1st-place TB).
• The Wings are on a 3-game win streak, defeating DAL, NYR, and CAR by a combined score of 11-5.
• Coach Mike Babcock became the 19th coach – and 2nd fastest – to 500 career wins last Sat. in the win over the Rangers. He then tied Pat Burns with his 501st career win the next day when DET beat CAR. Next up on the list is current Kings coach Darryl Sutter, who has 521 all-time wins.
• Babcock said the following about his team yesterday: “This is the best team we’ve had here since ’09, not necessarily point-wise, but direction-wise” (the ’09 Wings team lost to PIT in the Cup Final).
• Maple Leafs recovery: On Nov. 18, the Maple Leafs allowed 9 goals in a game for the first time since Dec. 1991 in a 9-2 home thrashing at the hands of the Predators. Since then, the Leafs have rebounded to go 6-1-1 in their past 8 games….
• They have scored at least 3 goals in all 8 of those games, and now boast the 2nd-best offense in the NHL, scoring 3.44 goals/game.
• The Leafs are also coming off a 5-game home stand in which they went 4-1-0, including decisive wins in their past two games over VAN (last Saturday) and CGY (yesterday), outscoring those two teams 9-3.
TORONTO TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• The Maple Leafs’ top line of LW James van Riemsdyk, C Tyler Bozak, and RW Phil Kessel are the top three scorers for Toronto this season, and they’ve been particularly effective of late:
• Kessel has 28 points (14G, 14A) in 27 GP this season, including 5 points in his last 5 games after a goal in last night’s 4-1 win over CGY.
• Kessel has led TOR in scoring every season since 2009-10 – the season he was acquired from BOS.
• Bozak is on pace for a career season with 24 points (11G, 13A) in 27 games. While he does not have a point in his last 2 games, Bozak still has 9 points (5G, 4A) in his last 8 games overall.
• Bozak set career-highs with 19 goals and 30 assists last season.
• Van Riemsdyk has 23 points (11G, 12A) in 27 games this season, including 6 in his last 5 games.
• C Mike Santorelli has been on a tear in his last 7 games, posting 2 goals, 8 assists, and a +8 rating in that span.
• Santorelli is 4th on the team in points (19), and is tied with Kessel and Dion Phaneuf for the team lead in assists with 14.
• The 28-year-old is in his first season with the Leafs after stints in NSH, FLA, WPG, and VAN. The Leafs signed him this offseason to a 1-yr/$1.5M contract.
• While G James Reimer and G Jonathan Bernier split time early, Bernier appears to have control of the starting job having made 9 straight starts, the longest stretch of consecutive starts in his career.
• Bernier is 6-2-1 in that stretch, including a win last night vs. Calgary in which he stopped 32 of 33 shots.
• However, Reimer is likely to play tonight, as this is TOR’s first back-to-back stretch since Nov. 15, which was also when Reimer made his last start. In that game, a 6-2 loss in Buffalo, Reimer allowed 6 goals on 35 shots. Overall, Reimer is 4-3-0 with a 3.64 GAA and .898 SV%, both career-worsts for a season.
• Reimer has never defeated DET in his career, posting a 0-3-0 record, 3.96 GAA, and .877 SV%.
DETROIT TEAM/PLAYER NOTES
• C Pavel Datsyuk began the season on injured reserve with a separated shoulder (suffered in preseason), and overall he has played in just 17 of the Red Wings’ 28 games.
• Despite this, he is tied for the team lead in goals (12 - with Nyquist and Tatar) and is 2nd in points (22).
• Datsyuk has had multi-point efforts in 4 of his last 5 games, posting 5G, 4A in that stretch.
• Datsyuk had a hand in all 3 goals in DET’s 3-1 win in CAR on Sunday with a goal and 2 assists.
• For his efforts last week, Datsyuk was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week.
• Captain C Henrik Zetterberg has played in all 28 games and leads DET in assists (19) and points (24).
• Zetterberg has been held without a point during the Red Wings’ 3-game winning streak.
• RW Gustav Nyquist is tied for the team lead in goals with 12 (Datsyuk, Tatar).
• Nyquist leads the team in PPG (7) – that ranks him 4th overall in the NHL (3 players have 8 PPG).
• Over the last two seasons, Nyquist has scored 40 goals in 85 games.
• LW Tomas Tatar is the 3rd Red Wing with 12 goals this season (Datsyuk, Nyquist). He is 3rd on the team in points (20).
• G Jimmy Howard is 13-5-4 with a 2.21 GAA and .917 SV% this season. He is 8-3-1 in his last 12 starts.