LGD: “Don’t mess with the Devil, buddy”

puddy

There’s likely going to be a mishmash of teams from sixth to thirteenth in the eastern conference for a lot of this season. How that range shakes out is probably anyone’s guess from week-to-week. With that in mind, the Leafs again have two points available tonight that could pay major dividends in the later part of the season when they face another bubble team in New Jersey. Toronto let a precious pair get away from them last night against the Canes, so this evening’s tilt is about as important as one can be in November.

The Leafs are on a two-game skid on the heels of a couple 2-1 losses, but their opponents have dropped three straight and also seen themselves bumped from a wildcard spot. 

THE LEAFS

Toronto didn’t have a morning skate after playing last night, so there aren’t any lineup changes to pass along officially. We could see some usual scratches make their way in though, according to Babcock.


THE DEVILS

New Jersey is without Taylor Hall for a month or so, and their forward group is pretty thin otherwise. As of today they’re the lowest-scoring team in the conference with just 41 goals for, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Leafs can open things up against them and beat them with their more-skilled group up front.

NUMBERS


LEAFS DEVILS
Wins 8 9
Points 19 21
Power Play 20.4%    11.9%  
Penalty Kill 82.8% 81.5%
Score-Adjusted Corsi   51.1%   48.9%

STARTING GOALTENDERS

Considering the back-to-back, it looks as though Jhonas Enroth (.866 sv%) will get the start for the Leafs tonight, but that won’t be confirmed until game time. Cory Schneider (0.923 sv%) goes for Jersey.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • Snake-bitten Papi needs to break out of this goal-scoring drought eventually, doesn’t he? I hope he goes off for four.
  • If Enroth goes, it’ll be interesting to see if he can turn in a quality start. So far he’s appeared in four games and looked completely underwhelming. 
  • Toronto followed two 6-goal outings with a couple 1-goal performances this past week. We’ll see how the puck bounces tonight.
  • Again, there wasn’t any official word on lineup changes, but we could see guys like Corrado and/or Holland dressed for the second half of a back-to-back where the Leafs had to travel. 

Puck drops 7:00 PM on Sportsnet.