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Photo Credit: © Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs look to rebound from Habs loss against the Flames – with David Rittich in net?

Listen, Jack Campbell was not going to win every game he started this season. A loss was bound to happen sooner or later, and I don’t know about you, but Leafs losses just don’t faze me as much this season. They’re good, their record is good, they have what it takes to pull out wins even when they might not deserve it. Yes, last night’s game was not exactly a great example of what they can do, but I can’t be too mad at a stinker every 9 or 10 games.

Onward. The Leafs play again tonight against the Flames – and on Sunday evening they traded for former Flames goalie David Rittich  (who has historically played very well against the Leafs) – it’s like a soap opera and I love it. Will he start tonight? If so, is that a good thing? Obviously having some extra goalie insurance is a plus, because with Frederik Andersen sidelined indefinitely the Leafs goalie options are Campbell, who is clearly not yet used to handling the starter’s workload, and Michael Hutchinson, who is Michael Hutchinson. It’ll be interesting to see what Rittich can do behind this Leafs team.

The Flames are coming off a shutout against the Oilers, which was probably a relief for them following a multi-game losing streak (including two losses to the Leafs.) Meanwhile, of course, the Leafs lost last night to the Habs, traveled, and are playing the second night of a back to back. Should be fun.

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And of course there’s the question on everyone’s mind: will the Leafs ever score a power play goal again?

Tale of the Tape

Lineups

Toronto Maple Leafs

LW C RW
Alex Galchenyuk
ALEX GALCHENYUK

Rating: 70.8#115 LW

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Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 82.3#6 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

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Rating: 76.6#18 RW

Ilya Mikheyev
ILYA MIKHEYEV

Rating: 74.0#42 LW

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John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 77.6#15 C

Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 74.6#33 RW

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

Nicholas Robertson
NICHOLAS ROBERTSON
Pierre Engvall
PIERRE ENGVALL

Rating: 71.0#98 C

Wayne Simmonds
WAYNE SIMMONDS

Rating: 70.2#112 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 75.3#14 LD

T.J. Brodie
T.J. BRODIE

Rating: 74.2#27 RD

Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 75.1#17 LD

Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Rating: 72.0#61 RD

Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 71.7#83 LD

Zach Bogosian
ZACH BOGOSIAN

Rating: 71.4#76 RD

Calgary Flames

LW C RW
Johnny Gaudreau
JOHNNY GAUDREAU

Rating: 76.0#19 LW

Elias Lindholm
ELIAS LINDHOLM

Rating: 76.5#19 C

Matthew Tkachuk
MATTHEW TKACHUK

Rating: 78.0#9 RW

Andrew Mangiapane
ANDREW MANGIAPANE

Rating: 74.2#36 LW

Sean Monahan
SEAN MONAHAN

Rating: 74.4#42 C

Dillon Dube
DILLON DUBE

Rating: 70.3#108 RW

Milan Lucic
MILAN LUCIC

Rating: 70.7#103 LW

Mikael Backlund
MIKAEL BACKLUND

Rating: 75.5#30 C

Joakim Nordstrom
JOAKIM NORDSTROM

Rating: 67.9#150 RW

Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 71.7#85 LW

Derek Ryan
DEREK RYAN

Rating: 72.0#83 C

Brett Ritchie
BRETT RITCHIE
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Mark Giordano
MARK GIORDANO

Rating: 77.9#6 LD

Chris Tanev
CHRIS TANEV

Rating: 71.0#90 RD

Noah Hanifin
NOAH HANIFIN

Rating: 73.3#49 LD

Rasmus Andersson
RASMUS ANDERSSON

Rating: 73.5#36 RD

Juuso Valimaki
JUUSO VALIMAKI

Rating: 72.6#6 LD

Michael Stone
MICHAEL STONE

Rating: 71.0#91 RD

Starting Goalies

Though unconfirmed, it appears that it will be @Jacob Markstrom versus David Rittich in net tonight, which is hilarious and fun no matter what! I wonder what that Flames plane ride was like…Anyways, Markstrom is coming off a strong showing where he shutout the Oilers, and Rittich will likely be playing his very first game as a Toronto Maple Leaf. This could really go so many ways, especially considering that Rittich has never even practiced with the Leafs. The Leafs of last season had a tendency to let their backups down, but the Leafs of this season have mostly come out strong when playing in front of goalies not named Freddie, so who’s to say what version we see? At the other end of the ice, can Markstrom make magic happen twice in a row? That shutout helped his save percentage get to .901, so he’s inconsistent at best. This one feels a bit like a circus, so buckle up!

Puck drop is at 7:30pm EST on Sportsnet.