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Leafs face off against Canucks in their first game since Covid variant outbreak

I’m not going to lie, I’m very surprised that this game is happening tonight. Whether they gave them an extra week or just straight up ended their season, it still feels too soon for the Canucks to be coming into action considering everything we’ve heard about what they were dealing with, and what JT Miller said about the team’s status a few days ago.

It’s one thing if the team was in that typical hockey team mindset, just pumped up and ready to go to play some more games. But, they’ve made it very clear they don’t want to, and even some players family members have gotten the variant because of it. When players on the team like Travis Hamonic opted out of the bubble last year because his child was more vulnerable, this becomes an issue beyond more than just the game.

Even from a Leafs perspective, this must be a really weird situation to be in. You’re up against a team playing their first game in 24 days, and is probably not in the right conditioning to play a full 60 minute game against the best team in the division. If you run up the score in this game, it’s a bad look, but if you lose, then it’s embarrassing. Auston Matthews could hit 50 goals in his remaining games against the Canucks if he really wanted to.

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Needless to say, this will be a very interesting game to watch.

Tale of the Tape

Lineups

Toronto Maple Leafs

LW C RW Forwards
Alex Galchenyuk
ALEX GALCHENYUK

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Rating: 70.8#115 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: 76.57#12 FL1
Nicholas Robertson
NICHOLAS ROBERTSON
John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

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Rating: 77.6#15 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 76.1#23 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.84#1 FL2
Ilya Mikheyev
ILYA MIKHEYEV

Rating: 74.0#42 LW

Alexander Kerfoot
ALEXANDER KERFOOT

Rating: 70.8#113 C

Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 74.6#33 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.14#7 FL3
Joe Thornton
JOE THORNTON

Rating: 72.3#74 LW

Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA

Rating: 69.4#126 C

Wayne Simmonds
WAYNE SIMMONDS

Rating: 70.2#112 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.64#22 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#16 DL1
Jake Muzzin
JAKE MUZZIN

Rating: 75.1#17 LD

Justin Holl
JUSTIN HOLL

Rating: 72.0#61 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.56#15 DL2
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 71.7#83 LD

Zach Bogosian
ZACH BOGOSIAN

Rating: 71.4#76 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.56#21 DL3

Vancouver Canucks

LW C RW Forwards
Nils Hoglander
NILS HOGLANDER
J.T. Miller
J.T. MILLER

Rating: 78.5#7 C

Jimmy Vesey
JIMMY VESEY

Rating: 70.6#107 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 74.57#20 FL1
Tanner Pearson
TANNER PEARSON

Rating: 73.7#38 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 74.8#34 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 74.1#41 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 74.20#10 FL2
Marc Michaelis
MARC MICHAELIS
Brandon Sutter
BRANDON SUTTER

Rating: 70.1#131 C

Travis Boyd
TRAVIS BOYD

Rating: 70.4#124 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.25#26 FL3
Antoine Roussel
ANTOINE ROUSSEL

Rating: 71.0#97 LW

Tyler Graovac
TYLER GRAOVAC
Jayce Hawryluk
JAYCE HAWRYLUK

Rating: 71.0#99 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.48#12 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 74.3#26 LD

Tyler Myers
TYLER MYERS

Rating: 72.6#50 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.43#23 DL1
Quinn Hughes
QUINN HUGHES

Rating: 75.2#15 LD

Travis Hamonic
TRAVIS HAMONIC

Rating: 72.8#45 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.99#9 DL2
Ashton Sautner
ASHTON SAUTNER
Brogan Rafferty
BROGAN RAFFERTY
DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.67#6 DL3

Leafs Starting Goalie: Jack Campbell

Campbell appears to be coming down to earth a little bit in his recent stretch, so tonight might be a good opportunity for him to rebound a little bit. After an 11-0-0 start, he’s lost his last two, and even got pulled on Thursday after the Leafs went into a 3-1 hole early in the game. The Canucks are also the only team in the division he hasn’t played this season, so all that is to say it’ll be an interesting game for him for sure.

Canucks Starting Goalie: Braden Holtby

There’s no confirmation up to this point as to who the starter is, the likely candidate will be Holtby since Demko isn’t quite ready to play yet coming off the COVID protocol list. Holtby has mostly found himself in a backup role this season in Vancouver, with a 4-6-2 record and an .894 save percentage. Those numbers get even worse when he plays the Leafs, as he’s 0-2 against them with an .840 save percentage.

You can catch the game on Sportsnet at 7:00pm. *insert Canucks fans getting mad at a 4pm start time because it’s against the Leafs*