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Photo Credit: © John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: We’re Halfway There

Okay, so maybe we’re only half way there for this series, but one time ACC banner haver Jon Bon Jovi never wrote any songs about being being 1/8th there. If he did I’m sure it would be a banger.

Anyways, there’s more Bruins and Leafs tonight and damned if the series hasn’t run the gambit of being entertaining, tense, rage inducing, but also peppered with joy and hope. Tonight the Leafs have the chance to really push for more of that joy and hope with a win that would give them a truly dominate position in the series.

So how do the Leafs get there? I guess we can start with the keep on keepin’ on approach. What they are doing has worked 2/3rds of the time, every time. And as long as Mitch Marner keeps on blocking shots with his face and the Bruins aren’t interested in adapting, the Leafs should be successful.

Lineups

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 74.6#39 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 82.5#7 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 79.2#11 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.77#13 FL1
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 73.9#49 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 82.1#9 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 72.9#58 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.30#7 FL2
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 72.5#71 LW

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 75.7#47 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 69.8#117 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.68#15 FL3
Trevor Moore
TREVOR MOORE

Rating: 72.3#79 LW

Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER

Rating: 68.8#189 C

Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS

Rating: 71.9#74 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.01#14 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 76.3#19 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 71.0#85 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.66#20 DL1
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 78.8#6 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 72.9#56 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 75.83#9 DL2
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 76.7#16 LD

Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 73.9#41 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 75.30#1 DL3

Yeah, no surprises here. I have the same concerns about the third line as the rest of you, but we can at least move on from the second line not performing, and Nylander centering the third line instead of moving up now seems justified. I’ve got plenty of time for any mention of swapping out Marleau though, because there really isn’t any reason for him being on the 3rd line. Ideally, I’d keep him on the fourth line and keep him fresh for running spirits in overtime a la Petr Klima in 1990.

I also want to make arguments for opportunities to see more of Moore, because I’m only human and I have fallen in love with Trevor Moore.

Looks like Marcus Johansson is back and David Backes is out. It’s a shame because David Backes is truly terrible, but his departure means that there isn’t a player on the third line who’s only job is to injure Leafs, so it’s a mixed bag.

Goaltenders

Same story as its been all series. Andersen and Rask have both been outstanding and in Andersen’s case you can safely say he’s been the biggest difference maker for the Leafs (with all due respect to Nikita Zaitsev).

Start time is still in the viewer friendly 7pm ET range and the Leafs will be preempting Just for Laughs Gags on CBC.