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Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton

Leafs look to keep up hot streak against slumping Flames

If there was ever a game with two teams going in different directions, this is it.

The Toronto Maple Leafs currently find themselves on a 5-0-1 stretch, or as Pierre LeBrun would call it, a “lossless” streak. In fact, the last time the Leafs lost in regulation was against the Flames, and also Frederik Andersen’s last game before his injury. And they haven’t just been getting by during this stretch, they’ve been outright dominating their opponents, with a 62.61% xGF% in that span. The last time the Leafs had a game with less than a 58% xGF% was March 14th against the Ottawa Senators.

The Calgary Flames have not been doing that. After a solid 3-1-1 start after hiring Darryl Sutter, the Flames have gone 2-7 and made it highly unlikely that they get into the playoffs, and extremely disappointing result for a team that was, on paper, the second best in the division. During that nine game stretch, they have a 46.85% xGF%, which definitely won’t cut it. They’ve struggled to find their consistency all season, and it’s a big reason why they’re 16-19-3 on the season.

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Will that decide the outcome of tonight’s game? Of course not. Hockey is a random sport that any team could win on any given night with some luck, and Michael Hutchinson starting for the Leafs probably will only add to the randomness, but the Leafs likely won’t even make that an easy situation for the Flames tonight.

Tale of the Tape

Lineups

Toronto Maple Leafs

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

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Rating: 74.6#33 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 82.3#6 C

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Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 76.6#18 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.83#5 FL1
Alex Galchenyuk
ALEX GALCHENYUK

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Rating: 70.8#115 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 77.6#15 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 76.1#23 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 74.83#11 FL2
Joe Thornton
JOE THORNTON

Rating: 72.3#74 LW

Alexander Kerfoot
ALEXANDER KERFOOT

Rating: 70.8#113 C

Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA

Rating: 69.4#126 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.83#22 FL3
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

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.76#8 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#17 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 75.1#17 LD

Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Rating: 72.0#61 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.56#13 DL2
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 71.7#83 LD

Zach Bogosian
ZACH BOGOSIAN

Rating: 71.4#76 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.56#24 DL3

Calgary Flames

LW C RW Forwards
Matthew Tkachuk
MATTHEW TKACHUK

Rating: 78.0#9 LW

Elias Lindholm
ELIAS LINDHOLM

Rating: 76.5#19 C

Dillon Dube
DILLON DUBE

Rating: 70.3#108 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 74.95#15 FL1
Johnny Gaudreau
JOHNNY GAUDREAU

Rating: 76.0#19 LW

Sean Monahan
SEAN MONAHAN

Rating: 74.4#42 C

Brett Ritchie
BRETT RITCHIE
FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.23#16 FL2
Milan Lucic
MILAN LUCIC

Rating: 70.7#103 LW

Sam Bennett
SAM BENNETT

Rating: 69.6#127 C

Andrew Mangiapane
ANDREW MANGIAPANE

Rating: 74.2#36 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.49#17 FL3
Joakim Nordstrom
JOAKIM NORDSTROM

Rating: 67.9#150 LW

Derek Ryan
DEREK RYAN

Rating: 72.0#83 C

Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 71.7#85 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.51#23 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#22 DL2
Juuso Valimaki
JUUSO VALIMAKI

Rating: 72.6#6 LD

Michael Stone
MICHAEL STONE

Rating: 71.0#91 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.78#18 DL3

Leafs Starting Goalie: Michael Hutchinson

The Leafs play the Flames on back-to-back nights, so Hutchinson was going to get one of the games this weekend since Freddie doesn’t look to be returning in the next few days. Hutchinson has been solid when called upon, with a 3-2-1 record and a .915 save percentage, but he also hasn’t been too hot of late so he will probably be the biggest factor for if the Leafs win or lose tonight. He’s already got in two games against the Flames with a 1-1 record and .927 save percentage.

Flames Starting Goalie: Jacob Markstrom

This one isn’t confirmed, so the back-to-back could mean it’s anyone’s crease tonight, but Sutter has been pretty reliant on Markstrom since taking over, so it’s safe to assume he gets the first start. He’s been pretty sub-par this season with a 12-13-2 record and a .901 save percentage, and the Leafs haven’t helped him there too much, as he has a 1-2 record and a .875 save percentage against the Leafs.

Where to tune in

You can catch the game on TSN tonight, and even though it’s a Sunday, the game is at 9:00pm for some reason, so it’ll be another late night for Leafs Nation.