LGD: Flying under the Radar

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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

I don’t think “The Leafs Are Actually Good” is a niche cult anymore, but parts of the league still have some opportunity to take notice. Tonight, hot off the heels of a 4-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, the Leafs will take on the Philadelphia Flyers with hopes of widening the gap between them and the second wildcard spot.

The Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

I mean, they’ve scored eight goals in a row so far. Why would you break them up?

The Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

Man, it’s so great that the Leafs ended up with Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk instead of the Schenn Brothers, isn’t it?

Starting Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen had a great but tiring night last night, so Curtis McEhlinney will stand between the pipes for the Leafs tonight. He had a really solid debut; can he repeat the magic again?

Michael Neuvirth is expected to start for the Flyers. He’s… had a rough year, posting an 0.877 save percentage over 14 games. His last full start was on January 14th, in which he gave up five goals to Boston. On one hand, this means he’s ripe for the picking. on the other, this means he’s probably due. Tread with caution, fire early, fire often.

What To Look Out For

The Flyers are in a weird spot. They were boosted by a huge ten game winning streak in Late November / Early December, but have won just four of their past 14 games. Two of those have come back to back, but one required overtime to beat the New York Islanders. Last night, they defeated the Rangers 2-0, so they’ll be just as tired and slightly overconfident as the Leafs are.

For all intents and purposes, this should be an even match from the awareness perspective, leaving it to who the better team is. Pretty much any data point heads in Toronto’s direction, so there’s reason to be optimistic for this one. Staying aggressive on the Simmonds line and trying to outskate the Couturier line would help significantly. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM and you can catch the game on Sportsnet.

  • LukeDaDrifter

    The Flyers always like to play a heavy physical game. Special teams may end up playing an important role in deciding tonight’s winner. The guys will need to keep their heads up. There are Flyers that will attempt to get away with some cheap shots.