LGD: The Leafs actually have a game

This might seem like a dream, but I assure you it’s real. The Toronto Maple Leafs have a game to play tonight. Like, in the NHL. 

It’s starting to seem like Toronto’s schedule has followed a pattern something like back-back-to-back then about three weeks off, which is no doubt tough on fans and likely the team itself. It’s been difficult getting into any kind of groove. 

Anyway, the team is back home tonight and facing the Wild, a club whose most notable quality is being part of the answer to that trivia question “Which pro sports team names do not end in “S”?“. 

Still, while it isn’t a big divisional match-up, these are points the Leafs really need, as this pivotal month could go a long way in either proving #TheLeafsAreActuallyGood or being their undoing. As things sit in the current standings, it’s a bit alarming to see Toronto now six points back of a wildcard spot, but keep in mind they’ve played the fewest games in the entire league (along with Washington, Columbus, and Minnesota) at 24. But they obviously need to turn these potential points into real-life ones, because heading into the new year 8-10 points back or so will likely be their end, even if they are a relatively strong possession club. 

THE LEAFS

Good lord. TSN Radio spends all morning complaining about Nylander for no reason, when they could be using their time more wisely and going after Mike Babcock for continuing to put together this nightmare of a third pairing. I guess “Hunlack” would actually be a decent name for a horror movie. 

Ugh. Should have hired Boucher. (Kidding. Sort of.)

THE WILD

To quote our ol’ buddy Randy, this roster is “Okay. Just okay.”

STARTING GOALTENDERS

Without looking, you’d probably assume Carey Price is the runaway favourite for the Vezina and leading the main statistical categories for goaltenders, right? Well, you’d be wrong, because Devan Dubnyk has a 0.946 save-percentage, which is entirely absurd. He was the difference the last time the Leafs played the Wild, and I’m not going to lie, I’m truly afraid of him. 

Andersen goes for the Leafs, and he’s been solid recently in his own right – now up to 0.913 on the season, which is nearly league average (0.915). Hopefully he can keep the climb going. 

NUMBERS

TOR MIN
Wins 10 12
Points Per Game 1.04 1.17
Power Play 19.4%    17.1%  
Penalty Kill 85.3% 83.3%
Score-Adjusted Corsi     51.3%   50.3%

Game goes at 7:00pm at the ACC, and will be aired nationally on Sportsnet. 

  • LukeDaDrifter

    I will just throw this in here. Jeff Marek top thirty for next year’s draft has 21 forwards, 1 goalie, and 8 defencemen. I mentioned this because everyone is screaming for D. No one wants to spend a high draft pick on one. Only one D-man was in the top ten. Cal Foote was ranked 22.

  • Stan Smith

    The Hunlak horror show you talk about. Are you referring to the two dmen that have the lowest goals against per 60 minutes of any of the Leafs dmen? Those two guys?

    • LukeDaDrifter

      Yes those are the ones Ryan, Jeff etc. are referring to. The same two guys who also play the PK. The analytic programs tell us it is immaterial how many goals are scored against us when certain players are on the ice. All that counts is how many goals we score, shots on net, scoring chances we get.