TORONTO – Even though they spent most of their media availability after today’s morning skate denying it, the Maple Leafs want blood.
It's painfully obvious. You need to look no further than their transactions yesterday to know that.
They were clearly embarrassed when they were outworked, outhit and outmuscled by the Flyers in a 6-2 loss last week. It probably didn't help that they were beaten by the NHL's worst team, Carolina, on Tuesday.
Enter: Jay Rosehill from the minors. The 6-3, 210 pound goon racked up 275 penalty minutes last year in the AHL.
The Leafs didn’t call upon Rosehill for his scoring prowess, right? He has two points and 122 penalty minutes this season for the Toronto Marlies.
“Jay was brought up here to provide energy and help along the boards,” Leafs coach Ron Wilson said after he was given a public vote of confidence by GM Brian Burke. “Often when these things are built up like this, nothing happens.”
Rosehill, too, said “if something happens, it happens.”
Dan Carcillo – who answered a long string of silly questions from Toronto reporters today – wouldn’t dignify Rosehill’s call-up.
“We probably don’t need to fight guys who play three minutes a game,” Carcillo said.
Carcillo was fined $2,500 for making a throat-slitting motion at Leafs assistant coach Keith Acton when the Flyers pummeled Toronto, 6-2, just 8 days ago. He was asked things like "are you an angry person?" and "what happens, do you flip a switch?"
The two teams combined for four fights and 80 penalty minutes last time.
That’s why I have a feeling Flyers coach Peter Laviolette will insert Riley Cote into the lineup tonight. Cote, who shaved off his long locks over the weekend, hasn’t played since Dec. 21 against Florida. In that game, he played just 64 seconds. He has only dressed in 12 games all season.
Laviolette wouldn’t confirm or deny an addition for Cote.
“We’re still making up our minds on the lineup decisions for tonight, so I’m not going to comment on any changes right now,” Laviolette said at the Air Canada Centre.
I’m getting the notion that if Cote was not going to dress, Laviolette probably would have just said “no” when asked. The question - if that's true - is who would sit out? The Flyers' four lines have been clicking, scoring 44 goals in the last 10 games.
“We’re here to play hard, compete like crazy and make sure we come out with the two points,” Laviolette said. “We’re going to battle, hit, skate and hopefully score some goals.”
- The Leafs are just 3-8-2 in their last 13 games. Prized acquisition Phil Kessel has just one goal in that span.
- Ole-Kristian Tollefsen is definitely back in the lineup tonight but Laviolette hasn’t said who he will be paired with.
- Scott Hartnell said he had a “24-hour virus” and is feeling much better now.
- Mike Richards, Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter did not take part in the morning skate but will play tonight.
Follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DNFlyers for the latest updates.