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LGD: Vegas Valentine

Happy Valentines Day!

The collective loves of our collective lives take to the ice tonight against the Vegas Golden Knights, in Las Vegas. The Leafs are 5-1-0 in their last 6 and 6-1-1 in their last 8. Let’s keep the train rolling!

Leafs Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 74.4#39 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 83.0#8 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 78.7#13 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.68#14 FL1
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 73.4#55 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 83.2#7 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 74.0#53 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.87#5 FL2
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 77.4#18 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 77.4#36 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 75.9#34 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 76.91#1 FL3
Par Lindholm
PAR LINDHOLM

Rating: 70.9#105 LW

Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER

Rating: 70.3#166 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 70.9#96 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.69#20 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 80.3#5 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 73.3#43 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.78#11 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 76.9#14 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 71.6#75 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.28#12 DL2
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 77.0#13 LD

Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 75.7#27 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 76.32#1 DL3

So here we have it. It would seem that the price to pay for Andreas Johnsson rightfully moving up in the lineup is Ron Hainsey back on the top pairing. The optimal lineup remains elusive, I suppose.

No Tyler Ennis yet either, it would seem. He remains on the sidelines despite being healthy and ready to go.

Vegas Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Jonathan Marchessault
JONATHAN MARCHESSAULT

Rating: 79.5#10 LW

William Karlsson
WILLIAM KARLSSON

Rating: 78.9#30 C

Reilly Smith
REILLY SMITH

Rating: 75.9#35 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.10#18 FL1
Max Pacioretty
MAX PACIORETTY

Rating: 76.9#22 LW

Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 76.8#40 C

Alex Tuch
ALEX TUCH

Rating: 76.2#28 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.64#7 FL2
Brandon Pirri
BRANDON PIRRI

Rating: 74.1#66 LW

Cody Eakin
CODY EAKIN

Rating: 72.3#113 C

Valentin Zykov
VALENTIN ZYKOV

Rating: 73.5#56 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.29#8 FL3
Will Carrier
WILL CARRIER

Rating: 71.9#85 LW

Pierre-Édouard Bellemare
PIERRE-ÉDOUARD BELLEMARE

Rating: 70.0#171 C

Ryan Reaves
RYAN REAVES

Rating: 70.6#100 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.85#17 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Brayden McNabb
BRAYDEN MCNABB

Rating: 73.0#58 LD

Nate Schmidt
NATE SCHMIDT

Rating: 77.4#21 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 75.20#17 DL1
Deryk Engelland
DERYK ENGELLAND

Rating: 72.6#50 LD

Shea Theodore
SHEA THEODORE

Rating: 77.9#9 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 75.26#7 DL2
Jon Merrill
JON MERRILL

Rating: 71.7#81 LD

Colin Miller
COLIN MILLER

Rating: 76.7#24 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 74.17#3 DL3

While the Golden Knights initially seemed destined for a sophomore slump, they were far from slumpers – until recently. Vegas sits third in the Pacific Divsion, but has now lost six of its last 8 games.

Vegas’ relative success this season has remained a team effort to this point – with no player hitting the 20-goal mark yet. Jonathan Marchessault is knocking on the door with 19, but this team has been scoring by committee. They’re 14th in league scoring and 8th in goals against – stingy on both ends, but more or less getting the job done.

Starting Goalies

Frederik Andersen (.923) and Marc-Andre Fleury (.909) are the guys tonight. Fleury makes his 51st start of the season in Vegas’ 59th game, while Andersen – a workhorse – makes just start number 40. Some of that is injury-related on Toronto’s end, but you’ve got to be happy with Andersen being more rested as you look to the far end of the spectrum.

Notes

  • Auston Matthews is chasing goal number 100 in his career tonight. Can he find some magic in Vegas?
  • The William Nylander train keeps on chugging. He’s coming off of one of his best games on the season despite missing a gimmie empty-netter, but who’s to doubt his chances of topping that tonight?
  • The Leafs should be looking to gain some ground in the Atlantic Division as the race tightens between them, Montreal and Boston. Home ice is nowhere near a guarantee in the playoffs, but a win tonight would go a long way as all three teams make it to Game 57.

The Late Night Crew can catch this one on Sportsnet Ontario at 10pm ET.