Off The Draw: Tragedy in Ottawa; Voynov ban will cost Kings
What you missed last night:
What to watch tonight:
Maple Leafs at Senators (7 p.m. EDT; TVA, SN1)
UPDATE: Due to today's tragic shooting incidents in and around Canada's Parliament building in Ottawa, this game has been postponed. The Maple Leafs are in lockdown at their hotel near where one of the shootings was reported. Events are still unfolding, but one gunman and a Canadian soldier have been killed, and a parliament guard was wounded.
Surreal scene outside of our hotel right now. Lot of very brave police officers we should all be very proud of.— Joffrey Lupul (@JLupul) October 22, 2014
Makes me sad what's going on in Ottawa right now. Thoughts and prays to everyone involved. Everybody stay safe— Erik Karlsson (@ErikKarlsson65) October 22, 2014
Leafs had their pre game meal and brief meeting. No word from the NHL regarding the game tonight— Joe Bowen (@BonsieTweets) October 22, 2014
The Maple Leafs are coming off an impressive road win on Long Island and the Senators have taken four straight, but both teams are displaying an tendency to let their opponents take offensive liberties. At 34 and 35.6 shots-allowed per game respectively, they're both ranked among the bottom seven in the league. That's going to put all the pressure on the keepers tonight. James Reimer is expected to get the start for Toronto after Jonathan Bernier backstopped the Leafs to their 5-2 win over the Isles last night. Reimer's numbers aren't great (.906, 2.87), but he's won two of three and he's been lights out against Ottawa during his career (9-2-1 with a .944 save percentage and 1.98 GAA). Coach Paul MacLean hasn't said who'll start for the Sens, but Robin Lehner was strong on Saturday, stopping 38 shots to bump his save percentage to a sterling .950 in two appearances this season.
Flyers at Penguins (8 p.m. EDT; NBCSN, TVA2)
This may have been a rivalry last season but it wasn't much of a contest—the Flyers won all four meetings against their cross-state foes. If they want to keep that streak going, the formula is simple: keep Pittsburgh's top two lines off the board. If the Flyers can manage that trick, they're golden. Pittsburgh's third and fourth lines are struggling to contribute anything offensively, managing just one goal and three points in the early going. Lack of depth killed the Pens last season. Is that going to be a problem again in 2014-15? It might help that the Penguins are playing against a Philly defense that's been nothing more than a rumor during the Flyers' past couple of games. They coughed up 43 shots in a non-compete performance against the Blackhawks on Tuesday night, an ugly effort after a series of blown coverages in Dallas allowed the Stars to score five on netminders Steve Mason and Ray Emery on Saturday. GM Ron Hextall is beating the bushes for a veteran defenseman with some shutdown potential but he's stuck with this easily exploitable group for now.
Sabres at Ducks (10:30 p.m. EDT; MSG-B, BELL TV, PRIME)
The league's top team against the worst. This should be fun. Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said the Sabres “looked like a pee wee team” in their 5-1 loss to Anaheim last week, which may have been more insulting to pee wees than his own players. You have to think the sting of that no-compete loss will provide some motivation, but will that be enough? Probably not. The Sabres have scored just seven goals in six games, with four players—Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno, Zemgus Girgensons and Torrey Mitchell—accounting for all the scoring. It's about time for newcomers Matt Moulson and Brian Gionta to get off the schneid, right? The two veterans, who were brought in specifically to add scoring depth, have combined for two assists during their sluggish starts. If this team has any hope of being competitive, it's on those guys to not just set an example in the room, but to start lighting the lamp with some frequency.
The rest of the schedule: Capitals vs. Oilers (9:30 p.m. EDT; SN360, SN1, CSN-DC)
• Columbus winger Nathan Horton has been diagnosed with “degeneration” of the entire lumbar region of his spine—his lower back. I'm no doctor, but that doesn't sound good.
• I'm with Kevin Kurz. Despite his solid point production, Brent Burns has been a disaster on defense for the San Jose Sharks. It's only a matter of time before this experiment is shelved.
• The L.A. Kings are rallying around each other as they try to compensate for the loss of top-four defenseman Slava Voynov.
• Terrific piece here from Chris Johnston on the salary cap implications of Voynov's suspension. For a team that's less than a million bucks under the ceiling, the impact of a prolonged suspension on the Kings could be substantial.