LGD: Call of the Wild

It may have seemed like the three day break earlier this week was never-ending, but after a rough start to the first road trip of the season in the ‘Peg last night, we’re back at it again. It feels like the season is getting into full swing as the Leafs need to turn around just 24-hours later and play in Minnesota. 

It’ll be our first look at Jhonas Enroth in net, as Andersen gets a somewhat needed break after getting shelled by the Jets, the second time he’s allowed five goals through these opening three games.


THE LEAFS

There hasn’t been any word on the Leafs making changes for tonight’s lineup, so as of now we’ll assume they’ll again go with these lines and pairings (via Daily Faceoff).

THE WILD

Not a whole lot to say about this Wild roster. Minnesota continues to be a team built in “win now” mode around a group of veterans, but it’s hard to imagine them as more than a bubble team. Still, they’re probably a solid bet to be in the playoff picture all season, and should be a decent measuring stick for the Leafs.

STARTING GOALTENDERS

As mentioned at the top, Enroth will get his first game for the Leafs this season, and though it’s probably far too early to go down this road, a quality showing could put him on the track to pushing Andersen for starts. For the Wild we should expect Dubnyk, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

  • I feel like Eric Staal always brings it against the Leafs, feeding into the “good ol’ Ontario boy” narrative. Let’s see if that’s still the case now that he’s another year older, worse at hockey, and plays for a Western Conference team.
  • Toronto has been on the wrong end of two gutting overtime losses, but they’re still yet to lose in regulation. The points streak hopefully rolls on.
  • They chipped in with some powerplay production last night, but the Matthews/Nylander/Hyman line hasn’t looked good at evens in the last two games after they dominated the season opener in Ottawa. I’m expecting a bit of a bounceback in terms of the puck possession battle tonight.
  • Sample sizes are too small to draw anything from this early in the year, but for what it’s worth, Minnesota has been struggling to drive play in their opening three games, a bottom ten team in that regard (45.5% CFat evens).