LGD – Get Wild

The Leafs have travelled to the far and frigid North i.e. Minnesota to take on the Wild tonight, and they’ll be doing it with as many as three regulars out of the lineup. 

Joffrey Lupul is on the IR, Peter Holland is banged up, and Nazem Kadri is a gametime decision. To patch together their forward lines Toronto has called up Greg McKegg, pictured above looking all sexy and/or lazy.

Still, the Wild will have to work for a win tonight. They’re an average team offensively and defensively, and pretty terrible on the powerplay (26th in the league with a 14.3% efficiency rating). While Toronto may have some serious flaws, Minnesota pretty aggressively matches them in that regard. 

The Leafs

Woof. That lineup. I didn’t realize it until now, since we always talk about the Leafs’ improved depth this season, but taking Lupul out of the lineup really hurts that top six. And if you take Holland and Kadri out of that mix too? I don’t even want to think about it, but alas, here we are.

Lineups Provided by DailyFaceoff.com

James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel

Daniel Winnik – Nazem Kadri – David Clarkson

Leo Komarov – Greg McKegg – Mike Santorelli

David Booth – Trevor Smith – Carter Ashton

Dion Phaneuf – Cody Franson

Jake Gardiner – Roman Polak

Morgan Rielly – Stephane Robidas

The Wild

Oh my God, what is this? It’s almost as bad as the Leafs’ lineup. Toronto catches a break with Mikael Granlund being out with a wrist injury, but not much past that skilled first line is all that scary.

Hey, did you know that Thomas Vanek is being paid $6.5M by Minnesota for three more seasons? He’s on pace to barely, barely crack 50 points this season, which would be a career low.

Lineups Provided by DailyFaceoff.com

Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Jason Pominville

Thomas Vanek – Kyle Brodziak – Justin Fontaine

Nino Niederreiter – Erik Haula – Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker – Ryan Carter – Matt Cooke

Ryan Suter – Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella – Jared Spurgeon

Nate Prosser – Stu Bickel

Starting Goaltenders

What To Watch For

  • Hockey fans here in the East probably don’t know much about Jonas Brodin. That’s a mistake. Have fun watching him.
  • Toronto is only four points behind Detroit for one of the top three seeds in the East, but only three points up on 9th place Boston. 
  • This will be Greg McKegg’s second career NHL game. He’s got seven goals and 15 points in 23 games with the Marlies this season.