Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski / USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Wild Night at Home

It’s Game Day!

The Leafs (9-7-0) look to make it two wins in a row as they welcome the Minnesota Wild (5-6-2) to town for the first and only time this season.

The Leafs look to put together their first winning streak since October 18th. The Wild have been struggling as of late, losing three of their last four games, so tonight would be a perfect opportunity for the Boys in Blue to snag another W.

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Unfortunately for the Leafs, however, they’ll have to do it without their savior and GOAT, who will miss his first career game as a result of a nagging injury, according to Chris Johnston:

Deep breaths, folks.

Leafs Lines

Josh Leivo is freed once again, and Mitch Marner ends his fourth line exile. I wish it were under better circumstances, but beggars can’t be choosers I guess.

All in all, the Leafs’ top nine is still fairly balanced and dangerous for a team missing their star player. William Nylander and Nazem Kadri are linemates, which is fun, and Patrick Marleau slots back in at centre.

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Absent is Freddie the Goat, who was called up yesterday, though I suppose that replacing the GOAT with the Goat would be the equivalent of replacing two-ply toilet paper with no-ply.

Wild Lines

Chris Stewart is on the first line, and is apparently leading the Wild in goals this season with six. This Wild team are far from offensive dynamos, but have also only played 13 games (tied for the fewest in the league).

On the back end, Jared Spurgeon is on a roll, with ten points thus far on the season. That’s good for tops on the team in that department.

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Noticeably absent for Minnesota is Zach Parise, who is in the midst of recovering from back surgery. Charlie Coyle is out as well.

Starting Goalies

Expect Frederik Andersen to square off against Devan Dubnyk. Andersen is still looking to get his legs under him, still sporting an unsightly .895 save percentage on the season, though he was lights-out for the Leafs after his gaffe on the tying goal on Monday.

For the Wild, Devan Dubnyk has had a bit of a down start as well, with a .907 save percentage and a 4-5-1 record to kick off the season. This is a great goaltender who happens to look mortal right now; the Leafs would be smart to take advantage.

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  • The Leafs’ last win against Minnesota came on October 15, 2013. Trevor Smith had the game-winner and Mason Raymond scored twice, so there’s that.
  • Leaf Legend Alex Stalock was apparently meant to get the start tonight, but has left the team to be with his wife, who is about to give birth, according to Mike Russo.

Puck Drop is at 7:30pm ET. You can catch it on Sportsnet.

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