Geographically, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks are a continent apart -- the Leafs are north of the border, while the Ducks are less than a hundred miles from the Pacific Ocean.
But as far as recent performances are concerned, they cannot be too far apart. While the Leafs are 2nd in the Atlantic Division, they are running a two-game losing streak, falling to the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-3, and the Chicago Blackhawks, 1-3. They also lost to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, breaking their three-game opening streak.
Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson yells at officials on Tuesday night in what would be his penultimate game behind the bench.
The Ducks, on the other hand, are the hottest team in the league. They may have dropped a 1-6 loss to the Avalanche in their season opener, but have steamrolled through the rest of their schedule so far. Their seven-game winning streak has tied the longest streak in club history.
The Maple Leafs want to avoid a third straight loss, especially at home, as they are afraid that it might set the tone for the rest of the season. To win, the focal point of their offense, James van Riemsdyk, must be healthy. The number 2 overall pick in the 2007 draft has breached the 20-goal mark only once, in 2010-11, and has been a disappointment so far. He might be on track to breach or even double that record, scoring five goals in the first six Leafs games, but missed two games with back spasms.
The Ducks have no shortage of scorers, with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf scoring two goals and one goal against Dallas, respectively, and Teemu Selanne with a three-game scoring streak. The Ducks are also loaded at the goal, even with Viktor Fasth out with a lower body injury. Jonas Hiller is unbeaten so far in 2013-14. They will need all the talent at their disposal if they want to continue their long East Coast trip on a bright note.
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