NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 23rd
(All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (29-29-4) at Toronto Maple Leafs (25-28-9), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Two clubs that could have a different look after next
week's trade deadline square off tonight, as the Atlanta Thrashers take on the
Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
Though Atlanta comes into this test just five points back of Carolina for the
lead in the Southeast Division, the club is just 12th overall in the Eastern
Also, the club has yet to sign forward Marian Hossa to a contract extension,
meaning the Thrashers are likely to listen to offers for their pending free
agent. Hossa is second on the club with 26 goals and 55 points this year to go
along with 29 assists and has spent the last three seasons with Atlanta. In
that span, he has 108 goals, 139 assists and 247 points in 221 games.
Atlanta fell to 1-2-0 on its current five-game road trip with Thursday's 5-3
setback to the Hurricanes. Mark Recchi had a goal and an assist and Kari
Lehtonen made 41 saves for the Thrashers, who have dropped two straight.
Eric Perrin and Todd White also scored, while Ilya Kovalchuk and Hossa both
had two assists each.
Atlanta has lost five of its last seven on the road to fall to 13-15-2 as the
visiting club this year. The Thrashers conclude their trip on Tuesday in
Toronto wraps a five-game homestand tonight and fell to 2-2-0 on the residency
with Thursday's 5-1 pounding at the hands of Buffalo. Pavel Kubina had the
only goal, while Tomas Kaberle and Vesa Toskala had assists.
Toskala also made 18 saves in net.
The Maple Leafs are last in the Northeast Division and their 59 points has
them 14th out of the 15-team Eastern Conference and could hold a fire sale at
the trade deadline. Teams may make inquires about Mats Sundin, Nik Antropov,
Bryan McCabe, Kubina and Andrew Raycroft among a host of other players.
McCabe, Raycroft and Sundin all are questionable for tonight due to flu-like
Toronto is 15-12-5 at home this year and begin a four-game road trip on Monday
Atlanta and Toronto wrap their season series tonight. The Maple Leafs have won
two of three against the Thrashers this year and 10 of their last 14 against
Atlanta overall. Toronto has lost its last two at the Air Canada Centre
02/23 10:44:48 ET