Leafs Hope To Do It Again For Burke Family
Monday, 02.8.2010 / 11:06 AM ET / News
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SHARKS (38-11-9) at MAPLE LEAFS (19-29-11)
Last 10: San Jose 8-1-1; Toronto 3-5-2.
Season Series: This is the lone meeting between the teams. They last met on Dec. 2, 2008, when the Sharks cruised to a 5-2 victory at HP Pavilion. Joe Thornton had a goal and three assists.
Big Story: The entire League is mourning the loss of Brendan Burke, the son of Leafs GM Brian Burke. The 21-year-old passed away on Friday due to injuries suffered in a car accident in Indiana. Toronto won one for the Burke family on Saturday night with a convincing 5-0 victory against Ottawa at the Air Canada Centre.
"I think our goal here is to make sure that Burkie and his family don't have to worry about us,'' Leafs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said after recording his second straight shutout. "They have enough on their plate right now. It's hard enough as it is to lose somebody you love like this, and I can't even imagine a kid.''
Sharks: San Jose continues to roll, as the Western Conference's top team enters Monday's action with wins in eight of its last 10 games. The Sharks increased their lead in the West to four points with a 4-3 win at Nashville on Saturday night. Dany Heatley scored twice for San Jose.
"I thought we settled down a little bit in the third period, and we were good enough at that point to win," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "The way it was going, you didn't know if a one-goal lead was going to be enough."
Maple Leafs: Not only did Toronto pull out the aforementioned emotional victory on Saturday, but it snapped the Senators' 11-game winning streak in the process. Phil Kessel and Luke Schenn each scored twice and added an assist in the victory, while Giguere, recently acquired from Anaheim, was perfect again in a 30-save effort.
"Having lost my dad and my mom when they were fairly young, I have a sense of what grief's all about,'' Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "The way you go through this, you can't believe it until you get closer to the funeral. Then it hits you, then you're kind of numb. And then, after a few numb days, then it all comes piling on.
"So we're going to be really strong for Brian. I'm really proud of our team.''
Who's Hot: Both of Heatley's goals against the Predators came via the power play. He has 32 tallies this season. Thornton had two more assists, increasing his League-high to 58. … Giguere is the first goalie in Leafs history to record shutouts in his first two games with the club.
Injury Report: Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. … Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski (wrist) hopes to return before the Olympic break, while defensemen Mike Komisarek (shoulder) and Mike Van Ryn (knee) are done for the season.
Stat Pack: Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle is averaging 26:03 of ice time per game, roughly four minutes more than the next-closest teammate (Vlasic).
Puck Drop: "I've known Brendan almost since the day he was born. He was a special kid. It's just the worst thing that any parent could possibly imagine. It's been so hard. You're trying to prepare for a game. There's a lot on your plate right now -- for both Brian and myself, because we have not only the Leafs, but the Olympics.'' -- Leafs coach Ron Wilson