Toronto Maple Leafs (22-23-3) at New Jersey Devils (17-22-8)
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 28, 2015, 7:30 PM (EST)|
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The Leafs hope that the all-star break will be just what they need to end their six game slide as they head into New Jersey to take on the Devils.
The Maple Leafs are an absolute train wreck at the moment as they have spiraled out of the postseason picture in the Eastern Conference thanks to six straight losses and now sit 10 points back of the Bruins for the final wild card spot which is going to be tough ground to make up. Toronto had such a promising start to the season but a speed bump in December forced them to part ways with Randy Carlyle and now they have dropped six in a row which would suggest big changes could be on the horizon if they can't play their way back into the playoff fold. Phil Kessel has been the target of much scrutiny as the Leafs' best player is in a rut but hopefully the atmosphere around All-Star weekend will have him in a lighter mood which will hopefully translate to on ice success and as Kessel goes the team goes and they have a great shot at getting back in the win column in this one. Jonathan Bernier is expected to get the start as he will go up against Corey Schneider.
The Devils have had a tough go of things this season as well as they sit five points behind Toronto and are 15 points out of a playoff spot but the difference is many expected a struggle this season for the Devils and while they may outside the league basement they are in need of a major overhaul. New Jersey has an aging roster and very few youngsters that are making a difference right now and while Corey Schneider has quietly had a relatively strong season statistically it hasn't been enough as the Devils just aren't there consistently and have a 17-22-8 record this season. New Jersey could move some of their veterans at the trade deadline to a team looking for that leadership presence and the Devils need prospects or draft picks in a big way and while they are slated likely for a top seven selection they need to move up and grab a top end talent that can come in as early as next season. Despite being at home here I think the Leafs are the more desperate team and while they have looked appalling of late I think they get back on track tonight.