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Photo Credit: © Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Stand back there’s a Hurricane coming through

The Leafs are at home for the final time in 2017 this afternoon, as they host the Carolina Hurricanes at the ACC.

This game holds significant importance to the NHL, as it marks 100 years since the league was formed. Why they marked this with a game against the Hurricanes is weird – surely an original six matchup would have been more fitting? That being said Carolina has won a Stanley Cup more recently than Toronto, so who am I to judge?

Hopefully this week will start better than last week, where the Buds were pretty awful and dropped all three games on the road to Philly, Minnesota and Detroit.

But home-comforts are calling, and the Leafs welcome a pretty decent Carolina team that has already defeated them this season on home ice 6-3.

The Canes currently sit in 7th position in the Metro division which may sound bad, but they are actually just four points outside of a wild card spot so they will be desperate to get two points today against a conference rival.

A three game winning streak for the Canes this past week was just the tonic after they had dropped seven in a row at the end of November and start of December. So expect a confident road team tonight.

Projected Leaf lines

Projected Hurricane lines

It sorta feels like Carolina are the opposite to the Leafs as they have a tonne of good young defenseman but not much going on upfront. Toronto currently boasts four players with more than 10 goals this season while the Canes currently have just one in Jeff Skinner who has 11.

Starting goalies

GOALIES
Frederik Andersen
FREDERIK ANDERSEN
Curtis McElhinney
CURTIS MCELHINNEY

 

GOALIES
Scott Darling
SCOTT DARLING
Cam Ward
CAM WARD

No shock that the Leafs are lining up with Freddie tonight who is currently one of the hottest goalies in the NHL. He has only posted three games since November where he has saved less than .915 shots.

Freddie did not play against Detroit on Thursday night which means he has had one of his longest spells of rest this season.

In net for the Canes is former Blackhawk back up Scott Darling who has struggled this season, posting a .903 save percentage. He had a bounce back game last time out against Columbus where he saved 35 of 36 but prior to that he was posting some putrid numbers, all below .875.

Notes:

  • The Leafs recalled Martin Marincin to the big leagues after Nikita Zaitsev went down with an injury. Though he will be watching from the press box tonight.
  • Auston Matthews will miss his ninth game of the season against the Canes – the Leafs are currently at 5-3-0 without their star centerman.
  • William Nylander looks like he will play center tonight which is exciting as a lot of fans believe he will eventually be moved their permanently. If the Leafs eventually line up with Matthews-Nylander-Kadri as their top three centers then we will be in for a very exciting few years!
  • Carolina boasts the fourth worst powerplay in the NHL as they have netted on just 14.7% of their extra man opportunities. Their penalty kill is not great either as they sit sixth from last in that regard.

LGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PINT

Make the Pint your home for all things game day. We give away a free pound of wings during every game either home or away. 4.40$ mugs of Bud and Bud Lights.

 



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  • jimithy

    The Leafs aren’t going anywhere with Nylander and Kadri leading the team astray.
    Along with Zaitsev and Rielly and JVR and Bozak and don’t forget Marner the team is painted into a corner. Which is where they will stay until H E double hockey sticks freezes over.
    Anyone still waiting for the parade in Toronto in 2067 will be declared a dream waster and an irritant to the climate. The same year as the introduction of the smart puck to the game. The ipuck ®.