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Photo Credit: ohn E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Return of the Matt

Yeah, yeah, the Leafs are taking on the Buffalo Sabres in the first of what will inevitably become the most depressing four-game regular season stretch in NHL history. But, that’s not what matters.

Matt Martin’s back tonight, babyyyyy.

Are you excited to watch him play 9 even strength minutes, throw precisely one hit on a Sabres 4th liner behind the play, and make Kasperi Kapanen look like he’s travelling at lightspeed by comparison?

I know I am!

The funniest thing about Martin’s first game back since being a healthy scratch for the previous 18 is that he’s still a better hockey player than 3/4 of Buffalo’s lineup.

And with that said, let’s tee up tonight’s “game”.

Leafs Lines

I……..don’t hate these.

LW C RW
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU
Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI
Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN
William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER
Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN
James van Riemsdyk
JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK
Tyler Bozak
TYLER BOZAK
Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN
Matt Martin
MATT MARTIN
Tomas Plekanec
TOMAS PLEKANEC
Leo Komarov

 

Leafs Pairings

No Polak? Ok, I REALLY don’t hate these.

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY
Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER
Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT
Connor Carrick
CONNOR CARRICK

The sheer disrespect.

By icing this lineup, the Leafs are essentially telling Buffalo that they aren’t worthy of their best efforts.

“This is the perfect game to slide Martin back in. I mean, it’s only Buffalo!”

Sabres’ Lines

LW C RW
Zemgus Girgensons
ZEMGUS GIRGENSONS
Ryan O'Reilly
RYAN O’REILLY
Sam Reinhart
SAM REINHART
Scott Wilson
SCOTT WILSON
Johan Larsson
JOHAN LARSSON
Jason Pominville
JASON POMINVILLE
Benoit Pouliot
BENOIT POULIOT
Kyle Criscuolo
KYLE CRISCUOLO
Nick Baptiste
NICK BAPTISTE
Jordan Nolan
JORDAN NOLAN
Jacob Josefson
JACOB JOSEFSON
Kyle Okposo
KYLE OKPOSO

This lineup should be illegal. Those are all made up names. There’s no way an NHL team should be legally allowed to ice a combination of forwards that barren of talent.

And yet, in the midst of Buffalo’s offensive black hole, Kyle Okposo finds himself on the 4th line. Yes, that’s the same Kyle Okposo who’s locked in to make $6 million a year until 2023.

God, I love Buffalo.

Sabres’ Pairings

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Marco Scandella
MARCO SCANDELLA
Rasmus Ristolainen
RASMUS RISTOLAINEN
Brendan Guhle
BRENDAN GUHLE
Casey Nelson
CASEY NELSON
Nathan Beaulieu
NATHAN BEAULIEU
Viktor Antipin
VIKTOR ANTIPIN

Brendan Guhle sounds like the nickname a Simpsons writer gave himself for the credits of a Treehouse of Horror episode.

Again, no way that’s a real person.

Starting Goalies

As expected, Freddie Andersen gets the nod for the Leafs, hoping to rebound from getting the hook for the first time all season on Saturday. And there’s no better team to face for a redemption game than the Sabres.

At the other end, Chad Johnson and his .896 save percentage is set to perform his best “Milhouse strapped to the net” impression for Buffalo tonight.

Every Sabres goalie of the last five years could successfully sue the team for emotional damages. I mean, just look at the blueline.

Thoughts

In all seriousness, tonight is shaping up to become the perfect encapsulation of a trap game. The Leafs are a whopping 37(!) points up on Buffalo in the standings, and they’re taking on an already putrid Sabres squad that’s missing Jack Eichel.

You better believe Johnson is due for a 50-save overtime shutout, giving half the GTA an aneurysm. I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.

The good news is, after tonight, we get to do this dance all over again 3 more times. Way to go, schedule makers! Keep killin’ it.

The puck drops at 7:30.

LGD BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE PINT

Pint LGD

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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