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Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Falling Leafs, Flying Jets, meet in contest for 1st in division

As the Leafs prepare to take on their new-division-rival Jets, there’s a lot of moving parts to this game. Toronto has seen a bit of recent poor performance in net, after newly acquired David Rittich hasn’t been great, and as Jack Campbell falls a bit back down to Earth. Certainly one of the main hopes for Sheldon Keefe tonight is that the team gets some quality backstopping.

Another storyline is that as the Leafs fall, the Jets fly, up/down the standings that is. This is the first of three remaining games that Toronto has against the second place team in the North division, that being the Winnipeg Jets.

The last angle is that the Leafs’ highlight trade deadline acquisition in Nick Foligno will play his first game for Toronto tonight, and he’ll be getting quite the opportunity to shine.

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Tale of the Tape

Leafs Lines

As mentioned, Nick Foligno draws into the team tonight and gets to play on the first line with Matthews and Marner. Foligno certainly won’t be able to complain about a lack of opportunity here in Toronto.

Another couple of important line notes: Zach Bogosian left the contest against Vancouver with an injury and is out for a little while, so Travis Dermott draws back in to join the guy who replaced him, Rasmus Sandin, on the bottom pairing.

Lastly, Ilya Mikheyev is a game-time decision due to an undisclosed injury, and if he does have to sit, expect Pierre Engvall to slot into his place.

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LW C RW Forwards
Nick Foligno
NICK FOLIGNO

Rating: 72.5#61 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

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Rating: 82.3#6 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 76.6#18 RW

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FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.14#8 FL1
Alex Galchenyuk
ALEX GALCHENYUK

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#6 FL2
Wayne Simmonds
WAYNE SIMMONDS

Rating: 70.2#112 LW

Alexander Kerfoot
ALEXANDER KERFOOT

Rating: 70.8#113 C

Ilya Mikheyev
ILYA MIKHEYEV

Rating: 74.0#42 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.70#19 FL3
Joe Thornton
JOE THORNTON

Rating: 72.3#74 LW

Adam Brooks
ADAM BROOKS
Jason Spezza
JASON SPEZZA

Rating: 69.4#126 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.84#18 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#13 DL2
Rasmus Sandin
RASMUS SANDIN

Rating: 72.3#69 LD

Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 71.7#83 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.98#16 DL3

Jets Lines

The trade deadline for the Jets was a bit disappointing, as they desperately needed a significant contributor on the back-end to shore up their lineup, but they could only manage to acquire another depth defender in Jordie Benn.

In positive news for Winnipeg, they expect to get Captain Blake Wheeler back into the lineup after he missed a few weeks with a concussion.

Kyle Connor
KYLE CONNOR

Rating: 79.5#5 LW

Mark Scheifele
MARK SCHEIFELE

Rating: 76.8#19 C

Blake Wheeler
BLAKE WHEELER

Rating: 76.3#22 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.55#6 FL1
Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 74.8#36 LW

Pierre-Luc Dubois
PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS

Rating: 74.6#38 C

Nikolaj Ehlers
NIKOLAJ EHLERS

Rating: 75.7#20 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.03#5 FL2
Andrew Copp
ANDREW COPP

Rating: 72.5#60 LW

Adam Lowry
ADAM LOWRY

Rating: 69.2#149 C

Mason Appleton
MASON APPLETON

Rating: 69.5#123 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.44#27 FL3
Mathieu Perreault
MATHIEU PERREAULT

Rating: 71.1#96 LW

Nate Thompson
NATE THOMPSON

Rating: 69.4#145 C

Trevor Lewis
TREVOR LEWIS

Rating: 70.1#114 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.20#24 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Josh Morrissey
JOSH MORRISSEY

Rating: 74.1#29 LD

Tucker Poolman
TUCKER POOLMAN

Rating: 71.6#74 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 72.82#26 DL1
Derek Forbort
DEREK FORBORT

Rating: 70.5#109 LD

Neal Pionk
NEAL PIONK

Rating: 75.3#20 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.92#17 DL2
Jordie Benn
JORDIE BENN

Rating: 70.9#101 LD

Dylan DeMelo
DYLAN DEMELO

Rating: 71.8#69 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.32#24 DL3

Goalies

The Leafs will go with Jack Campbell in their net, while Winnipeg goes with Vezina-candidate Connor Hellebuyck.

Where to Tune In

This contest will be aired on Sportsnet at 7 p.m. Eastern time. I look forward to watching it with you all!