LGD – Leafs Host Blackhawks

The Leafs have played some pretty good lately, picking up two wins in a row against Buffalo and Columbus. Part of that might be due to Buffalo being hilariously terrible, and Columbus being plagued by injury, but nonetheless the Leafs executed their game plans well. Things will be a little different tonight, when Toronto hosts the Chicago Blackhawks, one of the league’s finest teams.

THE LEAFS

As you’ve probably already heard, Joffrey Lupul is injured again. The guy has got to have some of the worst luck in the league, as his injuries (this time, a broken hand) never seem to be the recurring-type. Stuart Percy, who was called up on Thursday, has already been returned to the Marlies in exchange for Sam Carrick. I imagine Carrick will, in his first career NHL game, play on the fourth line and push a few players up the depth chart to cover for Lupul. If you’re looking for more on what Carrick brings to the table, check out Jeffler’s piece from last April.

Projected Lines via DailyFaceoff.com

Winnik – Kadri – Kessel

van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Clarkson

Komarov – Santorelli – Holland

Panik – Carrick – Ashton

Phaneuf – Franson

Rielly – Polak

Gardiner – Robidas

THE BLACKHAWKS

The Blackhawks have a marginally better record than the Leafs, but four of their six wins come at home and they’re 2-2-0 on the road. Chicago is a great team, but they’re not exactly what you’d call road warriors. At the same time, Toronto hasn’t been particularly good at home.

Projected Lines via DailyFaceoff.com

Versteeg – Toews – Hossa

Sharp – Shaw – Kane

Bickell – Richards – Morin

Saad – Kruger – Smith

Keith – Seabrook

Hjalmarsson – Oduya

van Riemsdyk – Rozsival

STARTING GOALTENDERS


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WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • It’s van Riemsdyk vs. van Riemsdyk as James faces off against his brother Trevor for the first time, like, ever.
  • If Phil Kessel (13 points) were a Chicago Blackhawk, he’d be their leading scorer.
  • If Tyler Bozak (10 points) were a Chicago Blackhawk, he’d be their leading scorer.