Joseph Woll gets the call as the Leafs host the Blue Jackets: Leafs Tailgate
Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
By Nick Alberga1 month ago
Believe it or not, we’re just two weeks away from the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Six games remaining.
In the penultimate home game of the regular season, the Leafs (45-21-10) will entertain the Columbus Blue Jackets (24-44-8) tonight at Scotiabank Arena. Toronto and Columbus have split their previous two meetings.
Of course, the Leafs are coming off that eventful 5-2 loss to Detroit on Sunday night. Mitch Marner, Jake McCabe, and Mark Giordano were all rested. As for Columbus, they’ve had a nightmare season. That said, the silver lining could come in the form of Connor Bedard in 11 days from now at the NHL Draft Lottery.
TIME: 7 PM ET (TSN)
CBJ Michael Hutchinson – LIKELY(1-4-2, 4.37, 0.875)
TOR Joseph Woll – CONFIRMED (3-1-0, 2.03, 0.934)
MICHAEL HUTCHINSON’S RETURN?
Admittedly, I’m preparing myself for the seemingly inevitable possibility that Michael Hutchinson somehow stands on his head tonight. In two separate tours of duty with Toronto, the 33-year-old Barrie native acted as insurance in the event of injuries above him in the depth chart. Unbelievably, regardless of the situation, he always seemed to find his way back into the NHL despite putting up some pedestrian numbers. Furthermore, he was the fourth string goalie in 2020-21, and still managed to appear in eight games. Memories, I tell you. We all know what’s going to happen here, right? Hutchinson’s going to stand on his head, isn’t he?
DON’T PLAY DOWN TO YOUR OPPONENT
With that in mind, I’d classify this one as another trap game for the Maple Leafs. Coming into tonight’s action, Columbus ranks 30th in the NHL and are in fantastic position to potentially land Connor Bedard with June’s No. 1 pick. In addition to that, they’re missing some marquee names such as Patrik Laine, Zach Werenski and Erik Gudbranson, among others, due to injury. On paper, it shapes up to be a cake walk, but we all know how the Leafs tend to fair against some of the league’s worst teams. Buckle up; this should be interesting.
Lots of news from the morning skate. Firstly, as expected, no signs of Matt Murray.
Meantime, Mitch Marner, Noel Acciari, Mark Giordano and Jake McCabe will return to the lineup. On the back end, it looks like Conor Timmins and Luke Schenn are coming out.
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