The Toronto Maple Leafs are still undefeated in regulation. I am sure everyone has heard by now, as it’s being shoved down the throats of all Eastern Conference enthusiasts outside of Leafs Nation.
The New York faithful, or unfaithful as the case may be, are starting to point fingers after a disappointing start to the season.
Whether the onus is on goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the young defensive core, the lack of grit, or the league's court jester Sean "The Schmuck" Avery, things are rotten in the Big Apple.
Rangers head coach John "Torts" Tortorella probably wishes he were back in front of a television camera rather than behind the Rangers bench.
On the other hand, our beloved blue and white have begun the season in fine fashion and look to continue their success tonight against a banged-up Rangers team.
The fact that the Rangers are missing captain Chris Drury and their No. 1 sniper Marion Gaborik (who was put on the shelf by Colby Armstrongin the first meeting between these two) plays right into Toronto's hands.
Toronto maintaining its stellar record through six games is very feasible, especially taking into account the questionable play of the Rangers' defensive core and lack of firepower up front.
The side story of this game is the NHL's No. 1 pest—Avery. From the slash that he put on Mike Komisarek in their last meeting to his scuffle with Dion Phaneuf over shared girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert, Avery continues his foolish antics.
A number of Maple Leafs will be trying to goad Avery during what should be a one-sided affair tonight at the ACC in Toronto.
The Rangers' addition of Derek "Bogeyman" Boogaard, who didn’t have much to say in the first meeting but may be called upon by coach Torts to set a tone, sets up a possible heavyweight matchup with Colton Orr.
Phil Kessel and Clarke MacArthur have been bulging the twine for the Leafs at a goal-a-game pace and were key in the last meeting; Kessel scored twice, including the OT game-winner.
Kris Versteeg should get a few good looks at the net as Kessel could be the target of two defenders in the Rangers zone.
The goaltending matchup will be different for both teams in this one as Jonas Gustavsson will get his second start of the season and veteran Martin Biron will tend goal in his first start of the season for the Rangers.
Biron has seen some success against the Leafs in the past, going 2-3 in his last three starts in Toronto while with the Flyers and Sabres.
But the past is history. It’s irrelevant when talking about this Leafs team, which is a whole new animal this season and should stop being compared to teams of the past.
"With that being said," as my illustrious compatriot Mark "The Hard Hitter" Ritter likes to say, I am confidant that the Leafs will dominate tonight's game and hopefully leave the Rangers with a few more bumps, bruises, and questions to be answered.
GO LEAFS GO!