Jackets getting off ice here at Nation Wide Arena - not sure if their dressing room has been this full of reporters and cameras in a while - lotsa leaf beat folks here for game and to chronicle David Clarkson's regular season debut (after his ten gamer) - Marion Gaborik, now with the Jax, faced Clarkson for several seasons when he was with the Rangers, and Clarkson was with rival New Jersey. Here's Gaborik's take on Clarkson: "He was more of an agitator early in his carer but he can score goals as well. He plays hard and he plays tough ... playing in New Jersey, he started scoring goals and playing on the powerplay, I think two or three years ago now. This is gonna be his first game so there will be a lot of emotion for the Leafs. We have to focus on our game and match their emotion."
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 2:55:18 PM
Leafs all time vs Jax: 6-1-1-2, 3-0-0-1 in Columbus. Haven't met since November 3, 2011, a 4-1 Leafs win. But they will meet tonight and again on Nov. 25 in Toronto
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 2:57:08 PM
Jay McClement has faced Columbus 40 times in his career, and leads all Leafs there. McClement has five goals and 11 assists in those games. Dave Bolland has nine career goals in 25 games vs Blue Jackets. Interestingly, those 9 goals are the most Bolland has scored against any one NHL team - and Dion Phaneuf has registered more career penalty minutes (54) against Columbus than any other team
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:01:20 PM
one Jax roster note: Jared Boll missed the morning skate with a stomach bug, but he's expected to play tonight vs Leafs
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:17:19 PM
no sign of lupul yet at leafs morning skate - but not everyone out on ice yet either
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:27:44 PM
entire team out for morning skate, but no lupul - doesn't mean he won't play tonight but you wonder now ???
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:31:28 PM
clarkson doing regular drills with raymond and bolland - that's how it looks at the skate anyways
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:32:45 PM
fourth line is trevor smith orr, mclaren - top line is as always, bozak, kessel, jvr - third line has kadri, leivo and mcclement
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:34:26 PM
bernier in home net - or what would be home net if leafs were in TO - here at nation wide arena - that usually suggests starter for tonight??
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:35:42 PM
not sure, but we think it's wendel clarke's birthday - and after a quick check, yup, it is - clarkson ranks clarke as his hero, as we know - clarkson makes his leafs debut tonight - talk about fate ??
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:41:12 PM
He Dog - good question - they are working breakout so far here at morning skate, so no indication yet - I wouldn't be surprised if Clarkson is part of second unit - top unit stays same, I'd have to believe, but Clarkson has a lot of experience from Jersey days on pp - he should see some special teams here; he plays the front of the net very well, according to marion gaborik, who faced him as a Ranger the past few years
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:45:57 PM
trevor smith and josh leivo taking regular turns on third and fourth lines - they're up here in part because of question mark with lupul
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:47:03 PM
leafs now working on cycle game - forwards doin it as a group - defense doing point shot drill
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:49:54 PM
key matchup? Ryan Johansen, who is really coming into his own in his fourth season in Columbus now, has been drawing all the assignments against the top forwards on opposing teams; he should get a steady dose of kessel, bozak, jvr - johansen is 6-foot-3, 223 pounds - he obviously has size so it will be worth a watch to see how the leafs go up against him, and how they defend against him when columbus has the puck
by Mark Zwolinski 10/25/2013 3:53:49 PM