Panic at the ice rink -- Lightning vs. Toronto preview

WHERE: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
MEDIA: 620 WDAE (radio)

Danger, Bolts Fans, danger!

Last night, and Saturday...  Well, two pathetic outcomes and the alarms are sounding.  Just what is going on here?  You have one line playing sensationally and then everything else is muck.  A rebuilt defense is suddenly playing just as well as the makeshift, minor-league caliber defense from late last season (read: not well at all).

I don't have answers, I don't have a clue.  The Bolts are going to have to figure this out for themselves or Brian Lawton's hand will be forced to make changes to an under-performing team that could be so-much-more.  They're absolutely .500...  But if you take into account they lost games in the shootout. they're 4-8.

The Bolts head into Toronto to face the storied, historic, and horrid (1-7-4, 6 points in 12 games) Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs are rallying around Phil Kessel's debut tonight -- the Toronto media has been stoked for days on end. Phil starts tonight for the Leafs and of course the fans may look at this as a turning point for the team.

Hope's arrived in Toronto.  A rallying point, no matter how temporary it is.

The Leafs are allowing their opponents 4 goals a game on average to their own 2.50.  They're 2nd in the league on the power play with a just-over 28 percent conversion rate (and with how the Lightning have been fairing on the penalty kill, 78% , that's something to be wary of).

Tonight's lines for the Leafs:

Blake - Stajan - Kessel
Ponikarovsky - Grabovski - Kulemin
Hagman - Mitchell - Stempniak
Primeau - Wallin - Orr

Kaberle - Komisarek
Beauchemin - White
Exelby - Schenn


And for the Bolts -- we'll update this if and when official changes are presented:

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lines

Other Previews:

Tampa Bay Lightning official team preview

Pension Plan Puppets preview -- highly recommended.

TSN's Lightning at Leafs preview