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Leafs look to avoid first series loss this season against Canucks

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Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Maxwell
1 year ago
Since the season started almost two months ago, the Leafs have played 13 different “series'” this season, also counting just a single game against an opponent as one. Going into tonight’s game, they have yet to lose one, but that may be in jeopardy tonight, as the Leafs look to rebound from Thursday night’s 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
Of course, it’s not like the Leafs played bad in that game. They actually played quite well for the first two periods, but once the third period rolled around, it was fairly obvious that fatigue was getting to them, as they were playing their 4th game in 6 nights, and the second half of a back to back. That fatigue may still be there for tonight’s game, but it probably shouldn’t be as big of a factor as Thursday’s game.
For the Canucks, they had lost five of their last six going into the game, so it might have been a big boost in team morale, especially without Elias Pettersson. But, since a 6-5-0 start to the season, they have gone 4-10-2, so those wins have come few and far between these days. However, the win did end a five game losing streak against the Leafs, and it was also their first regulation win against the Leafs since 2017.

Lineups

Toronto Maple Leafs
LWCRWForwards

JOE THORNTON
Rating: 72.3#74 LW

AUSTON MATTHEWS
Rating: 82.3#6 C

MITCH MARNER
Rating: 76.6#18 RW
FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.06#11 FL1

ALEXANDER KERFOOT
Rating: 70.8#113 LW

JOHN TAVARES
Rating: 77.6#15 C

WILLIAM NYLANDER
Rating: 76.1#23 RW
FL2 Rating
Rating: 74.83#8 FL2

ILYA MIKHEYEV
Rating: 74.0#42 LW

PIERRE ENGVALL
Rating: 71.0#98 C

ZACH HYMAN
Rating: 74.6#33 RW
FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.20#9 FL3

JIMMY VESEY
Rating: 70.6#107 LW

TRAVIS BOYD
Rating: 70.4#124 C

JASON SPEZZA
Rating: 69.4#126 RW
FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.15#25 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGSDefense

MORGAN RIELLY
Rating: 75.3#14 LD

T.J. BRODIE
Rating: 74.2#27 RD
DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.76#16 DL1

JAKE MUZZIN
Rating: 75.1#17 LD

JUSTIN HOLL
Rating: 72.0#61 RD
DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.56#13 DL2

TRAVIS DERMOTT
Rating: 71.7#83 LD

ZACH BOGOSIAN
Rating: 71.4#76 RD
DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.56#22 DL3
Vancouver Canucks
LWCRWForwards

TANNER PEARSON
Rating: 73.7#38 LW

BO HORVAT
Rating: 74.8#34 C

JAKE VIRTANEN
Rating: 72.0#78 RW
FL1 Rating
Rating: 73.52#25 FL1

NILS HOGLANDER

J.T. MILLER
Rating: 78.5#7 C

BROCK BOESER
Rating: 74.1#41 RW
FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.29#6 FL2

MARC MICHAELIS

BRANDON SUTTER
Rating: 70.1#131 C

ADAM GAUDETTE
Rating: 70.2#130 RW
FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.15#26 FL3

ANTOINE ROUSSEL
Rating: 71.0#97 LW

JAY BEAGLE
Rating: 68.4#163 C

JAYCE HAWRYLUK
Rating: 71.0#99 RW
FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.13#26 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGSDefense

ALEXANDER EDLER
Rating: 74.3#26 LD

NATE SCHMIDT
Rating: 75.5#18 RD
DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.89#15 DL1

QUINN HUGHES
Rating: 75.2#15 LD

TRAVIS HAMONIC
Rating: 72.8#45 RD
DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.99#8 DL2

JORDIE BENN
Rating: 70.9#101 LD

TYLER MYERS
Rating: 72.6#50 RD
DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.71#19 DL3
Travis Boyd draws back into the lineup for the Leafs in place of Nic Petan, while Elias Pettersson’s status is still up in the air for tonight’s game.

Who to watch for the Leafs: Auston Matthews

It’s hard to believe since he’s been so good all year and still has a four goal lead as the best goal scorer, but it’s been two weeks since Matthews last scored a goal. Not just that, but he’s also been held off the scoresheet in three of the last four. Part of that has been because he’s been dealing with a wrist injury, but it seems like the signs might point to him breaking out again and having a big game. All that said, it’s crazy that the Leafs have gone 4-2 during that stretch.

Who to watch for the Canucks: Elias Pettersson?

If he plays, it’ll be interesting to see how he responds to whatever he was dealing with. He’s also just a really good player and a lot of fun to watch, even if it’s sometimes at the expense of your own team.

Leafs Starting Goalie: Frederik Andersen?

We haven’t gotten a confirmation yet, but considering Campbell’s health is still up in the air, I’m assuming Keefe will probably go to Andersen for the start. He has the second most wins among goalies with 12 and a .909 save percentage on the year. Against the Canucks, he has a 3-0 record with a .937 save percentage.

Canucks Starting Goalie: Thatcher Demko?

No confirmation on the Canucks end either, but it’s likely the Canucks will go back to Demko considering how well he played on Thursday. He has a 6-9-1 record this season with a .911 save percentage, and a 1-1 record against the Leafs with an .884 save percentage in those games.

Canucks Starting Goalie

The game will start at a much more reasonable 7pm start time, and you can catch the game on Sportsnet.

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