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Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton / USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Down To Business

Good morning!  It’s a Game Day.

The Leafs are back in action tonight against the Florida Panthers at Scotiabank Arena. The Leafs have put together three consecutive strong games, but have only mustered a 1-1-1 record over that span, for reasons only the Hockey Gods can likely explain.

The Panthers, meanwhile, may not be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention yet, but their story of the season has been all but written. They’ll look to play spoilers tonight against the Leafs as our boys in blue in closer to punching their ticket to the 2018-19 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Leafs Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 74.1#42 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 82.6#10 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 79.2#16 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.64#12 FL1
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 76.3#30 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 85.0#5 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 76.1#31 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 79.11#2 FL2
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 72.8#67 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 77.1#36 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 74.1#43 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 74.70#2 FL3
Trevor Moore
TREVOR MOORE

Rating: 73.0#64 LW

Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER

Rating: 68.8#190 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 70.5#101 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.75#17 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 79.8#6 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 73.2#46 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.47#14 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 76.8#19 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 71.7#76 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.22#14 DL2
Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Rating: 72.9#61 LD

Igor Ozhiganov
IGOR OZHIGANOV

Rating: 71.4#81 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.18#12 DL3

No changes for the Leafs tonight, which means that Tyler Ennis continues to sit while Connor Brown keeps playing, which is just laughable at this point.

In better news:

The blue line inches closer and closer to being fully optimized!

Panthers Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Jonathan Huberdeau
JONATHAN HUBERDEAU

Rating: 80.9#8 LW

Aleksander Barkov
ALEKSANDER BARKOV

Rating: 84.4#6 C

Evgenii Dadonov
EVGENII DADONOV

Rating: 78.6#18 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 81.32#2 FL1
Mike Hoffman
MIKE HOFFMAN

Rating: 76.6#28 LW

Vincent Trocheck
VINCENT TROCHECK

Rating: 75.5#50 C

Jayce Hawryluk
JAYCE HAWRYLUK

Rating: 71.5#83 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 74.52#18 FL2
Frank Vatrano
FRANK VATRANO

Rating: 73.4#76 LW

Riley Sheahan
RILEY SHEAHAN

Rating: 69.3#181 C

Troy Brouwer
TROY BROUWER

Rating: 69.1#120 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.59#31 FL3
Jamie McGinn
JAMIE MCGINN

Rating: 70.5#120 LW

Henrik Borgstrom
HENRIK BORGSTROM

Rating: 71.9#114 C

Colton Sceviour
COLTON SCEVIOUR

Rating: 71.1#141 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.13#13 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Michael Matheson
MICHAEL MATHESON

Rating: 73.5#54 LD

Aaron Ekblad
AARON EKBLAD

Rating: 75.4#27 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.46#19 DL1
Keith Yandle
KEITH YANDLE

Rating: 77.7#10 LD

MacKenzie Weegar
MACKENZIE WEEGAR

Rating: 72.3#61 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.99#10 DL2
Mark Pysyk
MARK PYSYK

Rating: 71.4#82 LD

Josh Brown
JOSH BROWN
DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.37#18 DL3

The Leafs and Panthers are no strangers at this point. Tonight, they’ll meet for the fourth and final time this season.

The Leafs trounced the Panthers 6-1 back in December, but looked terrible in their other two games down in Sunrise. They’re 1-1-1 against the Panthers on the season.

Who’s Hot

  • Auston Matthews has finally “found his groove”, i.e. he’s having just a wonderful time playing with William Nylander. Look out for him tonight.
  • For the Panthers, Sasha Barkov is no longer the NHL’s best-kept secret. He’s been unreal for the Panthers this season, with 35 goals and 87 points through 75 games, including four in his last 3 GP.

Starting Goalies

  • For the Leafs, Frederik Andersen (.918) gets the nod.
  • For the Panthers, it’s… Sam Montembault? He’s got an .893 through 8 career games played, so he’s guaranteed to get a shutout tonight.

Puck Drop is at 7pm on TSN4.