0
Photo Credit: © Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Maple Leafs Pregame #30: 5 Things to watch for as the Leafs try to hit CTRL+Z

Anyone else want to pretend that last night didn’t happen? Cool. Never did. The Leafs lost a hard fought goaltending battle and that’s the way I choose to remember it, as that is what it was when I went to go pick my wife up some Klondike Bars at Sobeys.

Tonight might not be a fun one either. Michael Hutchinson is in net and that’s the opposite of fun. Kadri is back. We love Kadri, but I kinda wish we were doing a bit better when running into an ex, especially one we wouldn’t mind getting back together with.

From our friends at OddsShark.com – Toronto are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games this season.

Lineups

LW C RW Forwards
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 74.2#41 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 80.6#6 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 75.3#22 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 76.68#8 FL1
Ilya Mikheyev
ILYA MIKHEYEV

Rating: 74.4#38 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 79.3#13 C

Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA

Rating: 71.7#126 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.15#8 FL2
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 73.1#78 LW

Alexander Kerfoot
ALEXANDER KERFOOT

Rating: 71.3#140 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 73.5#50 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.61#10 FL3
Pierre Engvall
PIERRE ENGVALL

Rating: 74.0#44 LW

Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER

Rating: 70.3#164 C

Dmytro Timashov
DMYTRO TIMASHOV

Rating: 74.0#37 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 72.75#1 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 76.3#10 LD

Cody Ceci
CODY CECI

Rating: 71.8#78 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.02#20 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 75.6#15 LD

Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Rating: 73.6#37 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.62#9 DL2
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 73.2#54 LD

Tyson Barrie
TYSON BARRIE

Rating: 76.8#11 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 75.01#1 DL3
LW C RW Forwards
Joonas Donskoi
JOONAS DONSKOI

Rating: 73.2#60 LW

Nathan Mackinnon
NATHAN MACKINNON

Rating: 85.4#1 C

Mikko Rantanen
MIKKO RANTANEN

Rating: 80.9#3 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 79.86#2 FL1
Matt Calvert
MATT CALVERT

Rating: 71.9#84 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 75.3#38 C

JT Compher
JT COMPHER

Rating: 73.3#56 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.53#20 FL2
Valeri Nichushkin
VALERI NICHUSHKIN

Rating: 71.3#94 LW

Pierre-Édouard Bellemare
PIERRE-ÉDOUARD BELLEMARE

Rating: 71.3#95 C

Logan O'Connor
LOGAN O’CONNOR

Rating: 73.6#45 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.04#18 FL3
Vladislav Kamenev
VLADISLAV KAMENEV

Rating: 70.9#106 LW

Tyson Jost
TYSON JOST

Rating: 71.7#130 C

T.J. Tynan
T.J. TYNAN

Rating: 72.9#59 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.84#8 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Cale Makar
CALE MAKAR

Rating: 76.5#8 LD

Nikita Zadorov
NIKITA ZADOROV

Rating: 72.1#68 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.32#18 DL1
Samuel Girard
SAMUEL GIRARD

Rating: 73.7#47 LD

Calle Rosen
CALLE ROSEN

Rating: 73.2#44 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.45#19 DL2
Ian Cole
IAN COLE

Rating: 72.9#65 LD

Ryan Graves
RYAN GRAVES

Rating: 74.0#3 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 73.49#5 DL3

Calle Rosen playing on the right side in the top four. Nazem Kadri as the second line center. Goodness, maybe I need to rethink my desire to have Kyle Dubas make more trades to try and fix the Leafs.

Here are five things to watch for…

1. Kadri Tribute

There better be one, and it better tug at my heart strings. Kadri was an incredible Leaf and it’s a shame he isn’t with the team anymore. I might understand it, but I don’t like it. Considering there would have been a decent market for players like Johnsson and Kapanen, it kills me that Kadri and his unique skillset and centering ways were the casualty. That doesn’t change that his suspension in the playoffs was a tad selfish, but it seems like the Leafs hurt themselves significantly by the overreaction.

2. Cody Ceci…

You know what, I’m just going to do a whole separate thing later on how bad Cody Ceci has been, but last night was one of his worst performances of a career full of worst performances. It will be interesting to see what his ice time looks like and who he is partnering with for it.

3. Michael Hutchinson

Much like Cody Ceci I spend a lot of time beating the dead horse which is Michael Hutchinson’s stat line. He hasn’t been good. I would love for him to prove me wrong tonight and turn things around, but I have my doubts. I don’t think it’s the way the team plays in front of him, it’s the fact that he’s not really capable of working with that team. I have my doubts that his season saving performance is coming against Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, but I welcome him to prove me wrong.

4. Will Matthews respond to the criticism?

Eventually the shine wears off everyone in Toronto sports, unless you are Kawhi Leonard and have the good sense to get out before that happens. Matthews hasn’t been scoring and when his neutral zone/defensive zone game has been leaving a lot to be desired this year, lack of scoring is going to draw some feedback.

It will be interesting to see if we get more of a two way game out of Matthews, but admittedly I’d settle for some points.

5. Does Marincin draw in?

Hahaha, I’m just kidding. Wouldn’t that just set you all off even more? Anyways, hopefully the Leafs are rested for the game because it looks like they took last night off. On a much more realistic note, I wouldn’t doubt that Nic Petan replaces, unless Marner is ready for his triumphant return, which we could probably use right now.

Game time is 7PM ET and can it can be seen on Sportsnet.