Photo Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Maple Leafs Pre-Game #6: 5 things to watch against Detroit

Dan DeKeyser
Filip Hronek
Patrik Nemeth
Mike Green
Dennis Cholowski
Madison Bowey

Jimmy Howard takes the starter’s net.

1) The Leafs’ top pair having a statement game

Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci have worked out uh…. poorly, to say the least. While Ceci has been on for five goals for and five against together at 5v5, he’s seen 42 of the 43 shots they’ve allowed been registered as a scoring chance. (via Natural Stat Trick)

Rielly in particular hasn’t looked as freewheeling as usual, but he has gotten off to a strong start offensively regardless with five assists so far. Perhaps in an role against lesser competition, the pair can develop some chemistry.

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2) Dylan Larkin playing like half the game

Averaging 21:37 ice time per night this season, Larkin plays more than nearly any forward in the league. Larkin played the 17th most minutes out of any forward last season, despite missing six games with an injury. All in all, he finished 9th in average ice time amongst forwards.

Four games into the season, Larkin has once again been the Red Wings’ best player, picking up a goal and five assists. While he might not always be surrounded by the best weapons around him, look for Larkin to be leading the Red Wings in scoring for at least the foreseeable future.

3) Bounce back from Fred

Playing four of the Leafs’ five games so far, Frederik Andersen has had a real rough go, putting up just an .876 save percentage. There aren’t many words to describe it, but we’ll try: yuck.

4) Battle of the AMs

Six goals for Anthony Mantha. Six goals for Auston Matthews.

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Choose your poison. Expect some dumb chirps online. Let’s roll!

5)  Kapanen-Tavares-Marner slump-busting

The Leafs’ top (second? who knows?) unit has scored exactly one goal at even strength. While Marner has picked up six points at all strengths, the line as a whole has yet to really click so far. Call it early season jitters, call it chemistry problems, call it whatever you want, but if there’s any cure for a rough go, it could be the Red Wings’ ragtag defence.