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LGD: Cannon Fodder

The Leafs are back home from sweeping the California road trip and look to continue that success against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.

Their first sweep in California since 1995, the Leafs look red hot and ready to face a surging Columbus Blue Jackets team. This Tortorella-led team have earned twelve of their last fourteen possible points in the standings, so they have certainly bounced back from what looked like to be a rough start.

Thanks to Artemi Panarin and the puck luck of Cam Atkinson, the Blue Jackets are right where most preseason predictions had them.

Unfortunately for them, so are the Leafs. After a few unfortunate games and the mainstream media panic, the Leafs are back on their bullshit. Winning games and scoring some damn goals.

The Blue Jackets are a very top-heavy team, relying on their stars to really get the job done and do not have a ton of offensive depth. So, I wonder what Tortorella will yell about after the Leafs beat them.

Leafs Lines

LW C RW
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN
John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES
Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU
Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI
Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON
Par Lindholm
PAR LINDHOLM
Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN
Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS
Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER
Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO
LD RD
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY
Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER
Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT
Igor Ozhiganov
IGOR OZHIGANOV

The lines stay the same, but probably the most notable piece of news to come out on gameday is that Auston Matthews is now practicing without a non-contact jersey. Just one small step closer to being back and most of our worries will go away.

The Hyman-Tavares-Marner line has no doubt been their best line as of late. On the season, they have scored a total of 15 goals at 5v5, while their opposition has only scored 6. Those 15 goals for places them third among all lines in the NHL.

On the backend, the Leafs stay solid as well. The Rielly-Hainsey pairing has been considerably better than expected from the year’s start. At even-strength, the Leafs have scored a total of 16 goals while they are on the ice, tied for second among all defensive pairs in the league.

Blue Jackets Lines

LW C RW
Artemi Panarin
ARTEMI PANARIN
Pierre-Luc Dubois
PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS
Cam Atkinson
CAM ATKINSON
Nick Foligno
NICK FOLIGNO
Boone Jenner
BOONE JENNER
Josh Anderson
JOSH ANDERSON
Brandon Dubinsky
BRANDON DUBINSKY
Brandon Dubinsky
BRANDON DUBINSKY
Anthony Duclair
ANTHONY DUCLAIR
Lukas Sedlak
LUKAS SEDLAK
Riley Nash
RILEY NASH
Markus Hannikainen
MARKUS HANNIKAINEN
LD RD
Ryan Murray
RYAN MURRAY
Seth Jones
SETH JONES
Markus Nutivaara
MARKUS NUTIVAARA
David Savard
DAVID SAVARD
Zach Werenski
ZACH WERENSKI
Scott Harrington
SCOTT HARRINGTON

For some strange reason, Scott Harrington is still playing in the NHL. The once-Leaf has been absolutely atrocious this season – a sub-40% 5v5 CF% is tough to come across at this stage of the season, but he has one.

The top line of Panarin-Dubois-Atkinson has been incredible to start the season. As stated before, they are really a primary reason that the Blue Jackets are even in the top-10 of the NHL right now. In just 19 games, Panarin has 15 5v5 points, and that line is just below the Leafs first line in the amount of 5v5 goals they have scored.

As predicted, Seth Jones is great now that he’s back. Also, Markus Nutivaara leads the league in best names to say out loud – he’s also good too and leads the Blue Jackets in GAR.

Starting Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen

Andersen has been absolutely incredible the past few games. He has not had a single-game save percentage dip below .933 since the game against the Stars more than two weeks ago. He will look to continue his hot streak against a pretty hot team.

Sergei Bobrovsky

One of the best goalies in the league for a few years now, Bobrovsky is coming into Toronto against a team he has generally had success against. For his career, he is 9-3 against the Leafs but has only faced them once in the last three seasons.

How to Watch

Puck drop is at 7:00pm ET and will be on Sportsnet and Fox Sports-Ohio. Also follow us on twitter for the best god damn content you will ever see.

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