3
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Storm Chasing

Good afternoon folks. It’s a Game Day!

The Leafs are back home after a 2-0-1 Western Canadian road swing. Their opponents? The powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Leafs have squared off against divisional rival Tampa twice this season, both times in Tampa Bay. They split those games, but looked the better team in both. Tonight will be a massive test, with the Leafs still down two of their better defensemen, but a win would see the Leafs move to within 2 points of reclaiming home ice advantage from the Boston Bruins. It’s gonna be a good one.

Leafs Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 74.6#37 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 82.6#9 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 80.7#8 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 79.28#9 FL1
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 74.9#33 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 83.1#7 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 73.9#51 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.29#6 FL2
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 73.4#60 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 78.3#30 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 74.8#43 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 75.53#1 FL3
Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS

Rating: 73.9#49 LW

Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER

Rating: 70.3#162 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 70.1#107 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.43#9 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 79.9#6 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 73.5#43 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.67#12 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 76.0#19 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 71.3#81 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.67#16 DL2
Martin Marincin
MARTIN MARINCIN

Rating: 71.5#90 LD

Igor Ozhiganov
IGOR OZHIGANOV

Rating: 71.9#71 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.71#17 DL3

As mentioned, no Gardiner or Dermott for the Leafs. Of note, however:

That’s good news for Leafs fans, with the playoffs now just over four weeks away.

Also:

The Leafs might be wise to let Hyman sit and recover if he’s at all banged up, especially with Trevor Moore and Nic Petan waiting in the wings. Alas, I don’t make the rules.

Lightning Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Ondrej Palat
ONDREJ PALAT

Rating: 73.8#50 LW

Steven Stamkos
STEVEN STAMKOS

Rating: 82.7#8 C

J.T. Miller
J.T. MILLER

Rating: 73.4#73 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 76.65#19 FL1
Tyler Johnson
TYLER JOHNSON

Rating: 73.5#58 LW

Brayden Point
BRAYDEN POINT

Rating: 82.5#10 C

Nikita Kucherov
NIKITA KUCHEROV

Rating: 90.2#1 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 82.05#1 FL2
Alex Killorn
ALEX KILLORN

Rating: 73.6#67 LW

Anthony Cirelli
ANTHONY CIRELLI

Rating: 74.5#59 C

Mathieu Joseph
MATHIEU JOSEPH

Rating: 72.3#72 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.46#11 FL3
Adam Erne
ADAM ERNE

Rating: 71.3#106 LW

Cedric Paquette
CEDRIC PAQUETTE

Rating: 69.7#173 C

Yanni Gourde
YANNI GOURDE

Rating: 74.6#36 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.87#3 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Victor Hedman
VICTOR HEDMAN

Rating: 80.7#5 LD

Mikhail Sergachev
MIKHAIL SERGACHEV

Rating: 74.1#42 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 77.38#10 DL1
Ryan McDonagh
RYAN MCDONAGH

Rating: 77.3#13 LD

Erik Cernak
ERIK CERNAK

Rating: 74.0#37 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 75.63#6 DL2
Braydon Coburn
BRAYDON COBURN

Rating: 72.4#70 LD

Jan Rutta
JAN RUTTA

Rating: 71.2#83 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.77#15 DL3

The Lightning, like the Leafs, are down a couple of defensemen. Beyond that, what’s there left to say? The Lightning are crazy deep, crazy good, and have already clinched a playoff spot (as if there was any doubt).

Starting Goalies

It’s a clash of the titans between the pipes tonight. Frederik Andersen (.924) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (.931) will duke it out at either end. The Leafs are going to have to play a tight game if they want to squeak out a win against a team with Vasilevskiy. There’s little room for error.

Notes

  • Auston Matthews is in a rut again. He’s pointless in his last four, goalless in his last six, and has just two points in his last seven games. Methinks he might be missing a certain linemate…

Puck Drop is at 7pm ET on Sportsnet Ontario.



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