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LGD: Leafs face a Pettersson-less Canucks while goaltending treads water

It’s that time of year when the goaltending injury bug hits – and for Toronto, it seems to have hit particularly hard.

Frederik Andersen is doing better after sitting out half a month with a groin injury, but won’t play for yet another game. Garret Sparks is out with a concussion, suffered when he took a puck to the head in practice. Michael Hutchinson, who hasn’t had regular playing time in two years, is getting used to another new team as the latest to wear the Leafs sweater in net instead.

For Toronto, this could be bad news – especially after allowing four goals against the Minnesota Wild two days ago.

Luckily, the Canucks are dealing with some turmoil of their own. But for Toronto, this is the time of year that’s really going to test them.

TORONTO

LW C RW Forwards
Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 70.3#110 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 83.0#8 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 80.5#8 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.93#13 FL1
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 74.7#33 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 85.2#6 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 74.8#38 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 78.26#2 FL2
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 72.6#71 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 77.2#35 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 73.7#49 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 74.50#5 FL3
Par Lindholm
PAR LINDHOLM

Rating: 71.5#89 LW

Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER

Rating: 69.9#168 C

Trevor Moore
TREVOR MOORE

Rating: 73.7#48 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.70#7 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 80.8#3 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 72.4#46 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.60#10 DL1
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 77.4#10 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 70.9#83 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.11#10 DL2
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 73.7#40 LD

Igor Ozhiganov
IGOR OZHIGANOV

Rating: 71.6#64 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.65#8 DL3

 

A 4-0 shutout loss to the New York Islanders and a tough 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild make up Toronto’s last two games, so the team needs to desperately hope that Michael Hutchinson has started to settle in more between the pipes for Toronto.

Kasimir Kaskisuo, who has seemed far from NHL-ready, has already been sent back down to the Marlies to help them out with upcoming games, but it appears that Andersen isn’t ready to go just yet. So now, they’ve brought Kaskisuo back up on an emergency basis, and they’ll have to hope he’s not needed.

No Zach Hyman yet, who’s out with injury as well, but the real question will be whether or not we finally see that offensive breakout from Nylander that everyone is waiting around for.

VANCOUVER

LW C RW Forwards
Antoine Roussel
ANTOINE ROUSSEL

Rating: 72.0#79 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 75.8#44 C

Loui Eriksson
LOUI ERIKSSON

Rating: 70.9#103 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 72.87#31 FL1
Sven Baertschi
SVEN BAERTSCHI

Rating: 74.8#32 LW

Markus Granlund
MARKUS GRANLUND

Rating: 70.4#158 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 71.3#83 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 72.18#25 FL2
Nikolay Goldobin
NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

Rating: 70.2#105 LW

Brandon Sutter
BRANDON SUTTER

Rating: 71.3#135 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 83.2#3 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 74.88#2 FL3
Tim Schaller
TIM SCHALLER

Rating: 69.6#120 LW

Jay Beagle
JAY BEAGLE

Rating: 67.7#194 C

Tyler Motte
TYLER MOTTE

Rating: 69.0#121 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 68.79#31 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 76.0#21 LD

Chris Tanev
CHRIS TANEV

Rating: 72.1#53 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.03#20 DL1
Derrick Pouliot
DERRICK POULIOT

Rating: 70.3#112 LD

Troy Stecher
TROY STECHER

Rating: 72.1#51 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 71.20#24 DL2
Ben Hutton
BEN HUTTON

Rating: 70.8#100 LD

Erik Gudbranson
ERIK GUDBRANSON

Rating: 69.2#104 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 70.00#28 DL3

Jacob Markstrom is the ‘likely’ starter for tonight’s game, although they’ve brought up Thatcher Demko from the AHL’s Utica Comets following his successful return from an early-season concussion.

The bigger question for Vancouver, obviously, is going to be how well they survive for a second time this year without Elias Pettersson. The young forward has been running away with the Calder votes, but he’s now missed enough time that we’ve gotten to see just how far the Canucks still have to go to become legitimate contenders again.

Travis Green is making a case for the Jack Adams this year, and the defensive structure in Vancouver has done a complete one-eighty this year. But without Pettersson and with a possibly tired Markstrom – who has been shouldering the load in a big way – the scoring-strong Leafs may be too much for the Canucks to handle.



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