The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to play a stronger defense in their first game back from the 2014 Winter Olympics, while the New York Islanders will just be looking to stay afloat without captain John Tavares.
The Islanders lost their best player during the Winter Games, and barring some sort of miracle recovery, he won’t be playing any more hockey during the 2013-14 season. That’s a tough break for New York, but it could give youngsters like Ryan Strome a chance to get valuable experience at the professional level.
The “there’s always next year” mantra isn’t going to cut it for the Maple Leafs this season. They made the playoffs during their last campaign, and failing to do so again would only be seen as a step backwards. The team used the Olympic break to hold a mini-camp, and have been working on their overall team defense.
If they can improve in front of Jonathan Bernier—who has recently started to put a strangle hold on the No. 1 goalie job—then there’s no reason to believe that the Leafs won’t be back in the postseason for the second consecutive year.
Looking to catch the game online? Here’s how:
Date: February 27
Start Time: 7:00 P.M. ET
Location: Long Island
TV Info: SNET-O, MSG Plus
Live Stream: NHL GameCenter