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Photo Credit: © Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Matthews’ status still up in the air as Leafs play afternoon game against Flames

After a surprising win against the Edmonton Oilers without Auston Matthews in the lineup, the Leafs go on their first big road trip of the season, kicking it off with back-to-back games against Calgary. Today is the first of the two, and the Leafs look to keep the winning ways going in a division that’s already starting to show it’s true contenders and pretenders.

The Flames enter the game having not played in six days, but with only three games played, they are currently undefeated in regulation, thanks to back-to-back wins against the Vancouver Canucks. The usual suspects have been leading the way for them, as Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Sean Monahan lead the team in scoring with 4 points, while players like Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund have been the usual possession monsters that they always are.

We still have no word as to whether or not Auston Matthews will play this afternoon, but I’m sure Friday’s win makes Keefe feel a little bit more confident about giving him more rest if it’s needed. That said, Calgary is a much tougher and deeper team than Edmonton, so he will still be very much needed.

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If you need a more in-depth look at the Flames roster, check out the Flames Nation’s preview as well!

Lineups

Toronto Maple Leafs

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 74.6#33 LW

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John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 77.6#15 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

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Rating: 76.6#18 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 76.25#13 FL1
William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 76.1#23 LW

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Alexander Kerfoot
ALEXANDER KERFOOT

Rating: 70.8#113 C

Jimmy Vesey
JIMMY VESEY

Rating: 70.6#107 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 72.52#26 FL2
Ilya Mikheyev
ILYA MIKHEYEV

Rating: 74.0#42 LW

Pierre Engvall
PIERRE ENGVALL

Rating: 71.0#98 C

Wayne Simmonds
WAYNE SIMMONDS

Rating: 70.2#112 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.76#15 FL3
Alexander Barabanov
ALEXANDER BARABANOV
Adam Brooks
ADAM BROOKS
Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA

Rating: 69.4#126 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.42#28 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 75.3#14 LD

T.J. Brodie
T.J. BRODIE

Rating: 74.2#27 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.76#18 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 75.1#17 LD

Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Rating: 72.0#61 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.56#10 DL2
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 71.7#83 LD

Zach Bogosian
ZACH BOGOSIAN

Rating: 71.4#76 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.56#20 DL3

The line up will be pending on if Matthews is in the lineup, but otherwise I’d expect the Leafs to go with the same lines as Friday.

Calgary Flames

LW C RW Forwards
Andrew Mangiapane
ANDREW MANGIAPANE

Rating: 74.2#36 LW

Elias Lindholm
ELIAS LINDHOLM

Rating: 76.5#19 C

Matthew Tkachuk
MATTHEW TKACHUK

Rating: 78.0#9 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 76.25#14 FL1
Johnny Gaudreau
JOHNNY GAUDREAU

Rating: 76.0#19 LW

Sean Monahan
SEAN MONAHAN

Rating: 74.4#42 C

Dominik Simon
DOMINIK SIMON

Rating: 70.1#132 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.50#17 FL2
Sam Bennett
SAM BENNETT

Rating: 69.6#127 LW

Mikael Backlund
MIKAEL BACKLUND

Rating: 75.5#30 C

Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 71.7#85 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.25#10 FL3
Zac Rinaldo
ZAC RINALDO

Rating: 70.4#126 LW

Derek Ryan
DEREK RYAN

Rating: 72.0#83 C

Milan Lucic
MILAN LUCIC

Rating: 70.7#103 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.01#14 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Mark Giordano
MARK GIORDANO

Rating: 77.9#6 LD

Rasmus Andersson
RASMUS ANDERSSON

Rating: 73.5#36 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 75.67#9 DL1
Noah Hanifin
NOAH HANIFIN

Rating: 73.3#49 LD

Chris Tanev
CHRIS TANEV

Rating: 71.0#90 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.16#26 DL2
Juuso Valimaki
JUUSO VALIMAKI

Rating: 72.6#6 LD

Nikita Nesterov
NIKITA NESTEROV
DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.42#11 DL3

Leafs Player to Watch: TJ Brodie

I mean, this one was fairly obvious. Brodie spent 10 seasons with the Flames before signing with the Leafs this offseason, and in his first game both against the Flames and in Calgary, it will be a big one for him. He’s played well so far this season, let’s see if he steps it up against his old team today.

Flames Player to Watch: Mark Giordano

On the opposite side, Giordano was Brodie’s former defense partner, and in the three games he’s played so far he’s been less stellar than usual, with a 51.2% share of the 5v5 shot attempts, and a 45.11% share of the 5v5 expected goals. Not bad, but considering the Flames have a 53.99% 5v5 CF% (7th), and a 55.36% 5v5 xGF% (9th), it could be better. It’ll be interesting to see which one of this former dynamic pair excels more without the other in this series.

Leafs Starting Goalie: Unconfirmed

While we haven’t gotten any confirmation yet, it’s safe to say that Keefe will probably turn to Andersen again this afternoon. After a rough first two games, he’s been excellent through his last three games, sporting a .938 save percentage against high flying offenses in the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers. That said, it isn’t out of the question that Keefe gives Andersen a break and goes to Jack Campbell either.

Flames Starting Goalie: Jacob Markstrom

Like with Andersen, Markstrom isn’t entirely confirmed as the starter either, but considering the Flames had almost a week off, I’d imagine they’d go with their starter for this game. He’s been as advertised for the Flames so far in the crease, with a 2-0-1 record and a .935 save percentage through his first three games as a Flame.

The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet Ontario and Sportsnet West this afternoon. Puck drop is at 4pm EST!