0

LGD: Jaws-ton Matthews.

What a way to start the day!

The Leafs welcome back Auston Matthews to the lineup tonight after a 14 game absence. They also welcome the San Jose Sharks to Scotiabank Arena for the first and only time this season.

Record: 17-8-0 (4th)

5v5 CF%: 48.92 (19th)

PDO: 1.035 (1st)

Goal Differential: +24 (1st)

Record: 12-8-5 (11th)

5v5 CF%: 55.43 (3rd)

PDO: .965 (31st)

Goal Differential: 0 (16th)

Statistically speaking, it’s the luckiest team in the NHL (the Leafs), versus the least lucky (the Sharks) tonight, if you buy into PDO. The Leafs can’t stop scoring, and Frederik Andersen continues to backstop the team to wins.

The Sharks, meanwhile, enter tonight’s game with just one win in their last four games, and with Martin Jones continuing to struggle in net.

Leafs Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 73.0#59 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 81.5#12 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 78.5#15 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.68#18 FL1
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 74.1#42 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 85.0#5 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 73.8#45 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.65#4 FL2
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 73.7#45 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 77.2#34 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 69.9#101 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.60#3 FL3
Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS

Rating: 70.4#113 LW

Par Lindholm
PAR LINDHOLM

Rating: 72.4#106 C

Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 72.5#67 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.78#5 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 79.4#5 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 73.5#38 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.46#9 DL1
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 76.5#16 LD

Martin Marincin
MARTIN MARINCIN

Rating: 70.9#82 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.72#15 DL2
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 74.0#36 LD

Igor Ozhiganov
IGOR OZHIGANOV

Rating: 72.8#45 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 73.37#2 DL3

What a glorious sight to see Auston Matthews back in the lineup. With his return, Nazem Kadri also slides back down to the third line, between Johnsson and Brown. It’ll be fascinating to see what Andreas Johnsson can accomplish alongside the more offensively-minded Kadri, now that he’s breaking out.

Zaitsev (illness) is also likely to play.

No Nylander yet.

Sharks Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Evander Kane
EVANDER KANE

Rating: 76.4#26 LW

Joe Pavelski
JOE PAVELSKI

Rating: 79.0#28 C

Joonas Donskoi
JOONAS DONSKOI

Rating: 73.5#50 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 76.29#23 FL1
Tomas Hertl
TOMAS HERTL

Rating: 75.1#51 LW

Logan Couture
LOGAN COUTURE

Rating: 79.7#22 C

Timo Meier
TIMO MEIER

Rating: 75.5#28 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.77#5 FL2
Marcus Sorensen
MARCUS SORENSEN

Rating: 73.1#57 LW

Joe Thornton
JOE THORNTON

Rating: 75.1#50 C

Kevin Labanc
KEVIN LABANC

Rating: 73.8#46 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 74.01#2 FL3
Barclay Goodrow
BARCLAY GOODROW

Rating: 69.3#130 LW

Lukas Radil
LUKAS RADIL
Melker Karlsson
MELKER KARLSSON

Rating: 68.7#112 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.04#31 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Joakim Ryan
JOAKIM RYAN

Rating: 72.2#65 LD

Brent Burns
BRENT BURNS

Rating: 82.7#1 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 77.45#8 DL1
Brenden Dillon
BRENDEN DILLON

Rating: 72.2#64 LD

Erik Karlsson
ERIK KARLSSON

Rating: 82.5#2 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 77.34#2 DL2
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
MARC-EDOUARD VLASIC

Rating: 74.6#30 LD

Justin Braun
JUSTIN BRAUN

Rating: 71.8#62 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 73.21#4 DL3

The Sharks are fully healthy, and despite their struggles and the fact that they’re aging, they continue to look like a pretty threatening team on paper. This is a team that’s likely still better than their record indicates.

Who’s Hot

  • Joe Pavelski and Timo Meier are carrying the bulk of the offensive load for the Sharks, with 28 of their 77 goals this season.
  • For the Leafs, Mitch Marner continues to play out of his mind. Hope everybody is enjoying watching the straw that stirs the drink.

Starting Goalies

Expect Andersen (13-7-0, .932) vs. Aaron Dell (3-3-2, .914) tonight. A bit more of a challenge than the struggling Martin Jones, Dell will be an interesting opponent in net. Let’s see if the Leafs can crack him.

Puck Drop is at 7:30pm ET on Sportsnet.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.