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Photo Credit: Robert Mayer / USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Smelly Cats

Good morning, and welcome back to yet another installment of the “How Many Days Until The Playoffs?” show.

Tonight, the Toronto Maple Leafs (45-24-7) play yet another essentially meaningless game as they pay visit to the Florida Panthers (39-28-7).

When I say meaningless, I mean for the Leafs, who have all but punched their ticket to a first-round date with the Boston Bruins in a couple weeks’ time. The Panthers, meanwhile, are still very much in the hunt for a Wild Card berth, but need to keep up with the Metropolitan Division teams all vying for that same last spot.

That being said, the Leafs *can* formally clinch tonight with a win over the Panthers and a Flyers regulation loss.

Leafs Lines

LW C RW
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 72.4#108 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 82.2#8 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 77.5#15 RW

Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 73.7#42 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 77.6#34 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 75.7#49 RW

James van Riemsdyk
JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK

Rating: 79.5#6 LW

Tyler Bozak
TYLER BOZAK

Rating: 73.8#74 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 71.2#67 RW

Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 73.2#49 LW

Tomas Plekanec
TOMAS PLEKANEC

Rating: 71.4#139 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 71.8#59 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 77.1#32 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 72.3#120 RD

Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 76.4#39 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 72.9#102 RD

Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 73.9#69 LD

Roman Polak
ROMAN POLAK

Rating: 70.0#222 RD

Once again, no Leo Komarov in the Leafs lineup. While it’s true that he’s a valuable member of the PK, his absence still means the Leafs are rolling their optimal lines.

Panthers Lines

LW C RW
Evgeny Dadonov
EVGENY DADONOV

Rating: 75.8#25 LW

Aleksander Barkov
ALEKSANDER BARKOV

Rating: 81.7#10 C

Nick Bjugstad
NICK BJUGSTAD

Rating: 74.8#62 RW

Jonathan Huberdeau
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU

Rating: 78.0#30 LW

Vincent Trocheck
VINCENT TROCHECK

Rating: 80.2#14 C

Jamie McGinn
JAMIE MCGINN

Rating: 71.4#81 RW

Maxim Mamin
MAXIM MAMIN

Rating: 71.8#125 LW

Denis Malgin
DENIS MALGIN

Rating: 72.6#100 C

Colton Sceviour
COLTON SCEVIOUR

Rating: 71.1#151 RW

Micheal Haley
MICHEAL HALEY

Rating: 68.7#210 LW

Derek MacKenzie
DEREK MACKENZIE

Rating: 69.2#199 C

Frank Vatrano
FRANK VATRANO

Rating: 72.7#97 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Keith Yandle
KEITH YANDLE

Rating: 77.3#30 LD

Aaron Ekblad
AARON EKBLAD

Rating: 75.0#52 RD

Michael Matheson
MICHAEL MATHESON

Rating: 73.9#68 LD

Mark Pysyk
MARK PYSYK

Rating: 72.5#114 RD

MacKenzie Weegar
MACKENZIE WEEGAR

Rating: 71.3#175 LD

Alex Petrovic
ALEX PETROVIC

Rating: 71.3#179 RD

Wouldn’t it be nice to have Jonathan Marchessault and Rielly Smith with this group? I’m sure the Panthers think so; especially if they just miss a playoff berth by a hair.

Luckily for them, the group they have is fully healthy and ready to fight ’til the end.

Starting Goalies

For the Panthers, a Poop Boy:

For the Leafs, a Handsome Boy:

Notes

  • The Leafs are 1-0-2 against the Panthers this season, most recently dropping a game 3-2 in OT on February 27th.
  • Auston Matthews is still looking for #30 on the season to join certified elite boys Nazem Kadri and James van Riemsdyk.
  • Six games to go; the Leafs need two more wins to make it a franchise-best season. They can get halfway there tonight.

Puck Drop is at 7:30pm on Sportsnet.

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