Jones returns to the crease, Lajoie enters lineup as Maple Leafs look to sweep homestand vs. Ducks

Photo credit:© John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
1 month ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs head into their Saturday night matchup against the Anaheim Ducks 2-0 on their current homestand and winners in seven of their last 10 games. However, similarly to their game against the St. Louis Blues to open their homestand, they will be without a couple more regulars.
The team is still without forward Calle Jarnkrok and defenceman Conor Timmins, and they do get goalie Martin Jones back from injury, who will get the starting nod tonight. But now Toronto is without John Tavares for the second time in the last three games and Mark Giordano.
Tavares didn’t take the morning skate today, leaving questions to be answered. Sheldon Keefe spoke to the media and confirmed the forward is dealing with a minor injury and won’t be in the lineup tonight against the Ducks.
For Giordano, sadly, the team announced yesterday evening that his father, Paul Giordano, had passed away Thursday night.
With Tavares and Giordano both unavailable for tonight’s game, the Maple Leafs’ lineup had a little more tinkering. Given Morgan Rielly’s suspension, Conor Timmins’ illness, and Mark Giordano away for personal reasons, the Maple Leafs announced earlier this morning that they had called Max Lajoie up from the Toronto Marlies (AHL), setting up the 26-year-old for his fifth game with the big club this season.
Max Domi also slides up in the lineup to play alongside Tyler Bertuzzi and William Nylander as the team’s second-line centre in the absence of Tavares, allowing Pontus Holmberg and David Kampf to centre the bottom two lines.
For Lajoie, he’s projected to slot in on the third pair alongside William Lagesson and will play in his first NHL game since December 12th against the New York Rangers.

Pregame details:

Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup:
Matthew Knies – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – Max Domi – William Nylander
Bobby McMann – Pontus Holmberg – Nick Robertson
Noah Gregor – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves
TJ Brodie – Timothy Liljegren
Simon Benoit – Jake McCabe
Max Lajoie – William Lagesson
Anaheim Ducks’ lineup:
Adam Henrique – Leo Carlsson – Ryan Strome
Frank Vatrano – Mason McTavish – Troy Terry
Max Jones – Isac Lundestrom – Jakob Silfverberg
Ross Johnston – Sam Carrick – Bo Groulx
Gustav Lindstrom – Cam Fowler
Urho Vaakanainen – Radko Gudas
Pavel Mintyukov – Ilya Lyubushkin
One lineup note: Forward Alex Killorn has been activated off IR and is set to return to the Ducks’ lineup tonight, so it is unknown where he’ll slot in.

Projected goalies:

Martin Jones (TOR) vs Lukas Dostal (ANA)
Jones was dealing with an undisclosed injury after his start against the Ottawa Senators last weekend but has since been able to return. However, the 34-year-old netminder has faltered since his impressive start to his Toronto Maple Leafs tenure. In his last six starts, he has a record of 1-4-1 with 4.09 goals against average and a .860 save percentage, lowering his season numbers to 2.73 goals against average and a .908 save percentage with a 9-7-1 record.
Five of his last six games have come on the road, where he has been much worse this season. According to Statmuse.com, here are his season splits at home and on the road:
Home: 2-4-0 – 2.38 GAA – .924 SV% – 1 SO
Away: 7-3-1 – 2.92 GAA – .899 SV% – 1 SO
It’s a smaller sample size at home compared to his road numbers, but there is still optimism for Jones to have a bounce-back performance on home ice.


Sportsnet, 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT
(Stats from hockey-reference.com)
(Projected lineups from dailyfaceoff.com)

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