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Leafs look to build on Thursday’s win tonight vs. Jets

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Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Maxwell
1 year ago
To say this series hasn’t made Leafs Nation collectively age several decades this week would be an understatement. After falling short on Tuesday, it looked like the Winnipeg Hellebuyck’s… er, I mean Jets, had the Leafs on the ropes again until goals from William Nylander and Ilya Mikheyev got the Leafs ahead before the Jets tied it late, and Auston Matthews got the Leafs the win in overtime.
Despite the fact that the Jets have three of a possible four points in this series, the Leafs have been the better team in this series by far. Through the first two games, they’ve had 60.95% of the shot attempts, and 62.4% of the expected goals at even strength, clearly dictating the play. They just struggled to beat Connor Hellebuyck until that final 15 minutes of the third and overtime.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Leafs are doing this good in these games. Not only have the Leafs cemented themselves as the best team in this division, the Jets are also one of the worst despite their record. They have the second worst 5v5 CF% in the division (only 0.2% better than the Canucks), and they have the worst xGF% in the division. They really aren’t that good despite having the second best points percentage.
Will the Leafs find themselves getting goalied again, or will their dominance finally pay off?

Lineups

Toronto Maple Leafs
LWCRWForwards

ZACH HYMAN
Rating: 74.6#33 LW

AUSTON MATTHEWS
Rating: 82.3#6 C

MITCH MARNER
Rating: 76.6#18 RW
FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.83#6 FL1

JOE THORNTON
Rating: 72.3#74 LW

JOHN TAVARES
Rating: 77.6#15 C

WILLIAM NYLANDER
Rating: 76.1#23 RW
FL2 Rating
Rating: 75.31#7 FL2

ILYA MIKHEYEV
Rating: 74.0#42 LW

ALEXANDER KERFOOT
Rating: 70.8#113 C

PIERRE ENGVALL
Rating: 71.0#98 RW
FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.95#14 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#22 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGSDefense

MORGAN RIELLY
Rating: 75.3#14 LD

T.J. BRODIE
Rating: 74.2#27 RD
DL1 Rating
Rating: 74.76#15 DL1

JAKE MUZZIN
Rating: 75.1#17 LD

JUSTIN HOLL
Rating: 72.0#61 RD
DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.56#12 DL2

TRAVIS DERMOTT
Rating: 71.7#83 LD

ZACH BOGOSIAN
Rating: 71.4#76 RD
DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.56#20 DL3
Winnipeg Jets
LWCRWForwards

PAUL STASTNY
Rating: 74.8#36 LW

MARK SCHEIFELE
Rating: 76.8#19 C

BLAKE WHEELER
Rating: 76.3#22 RW
FL1 Rating
Rating: 75.98#10 FL1

KYLE CONNOR
Rating: 79.5#5 LW

PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS
Rating: 74.6#38 C

NIKOLAJ EHLERS
Rating: 75.7#20 RW
FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.61#2 FL2

ANDREW COPP
Rating: 72.5#60 LW

ADAM LOWRY
Rating: 69.2#149 C

MASON APPLETON
Rating: 69.5#123 RW
FL3 Rating
Rating: 70.44#26 FL3

MATHIEU PERREAULT
Rating: 71.1#96 LW

NATE THOMPSON
Rating: 69.4#145 C

TREVOR LEWIS
Rating: 70.1#114 RW
FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.20#20 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGSDefense

JOSH MORRISSEY
Rating: 74.1#29 LD

TUCKER POOLMAN
Rating: 71.6#74 RD
DL1 Rating
Rating: 72.82#29 DL1

DEREK FORBORT
Rating: 70.5#109 LD

NEAL PIONK
Rating: 75.3#20 RD
DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.92#16 DL2

LOGAN STANLEY

DYLAN DEMELO
Rating: 71.8#69 RD
DL3 Rating
Rating: 71.76#14 DL3

Leafs Player to Watch: William Nylander

You could argue that Nylander probably should have had five or six goals on Thursday the way he was playing, but I’m sure he’s more than just happy with the one he got. Still, he’s been all over the puck in this series, and if he keeps it up, he could get a lot more tonight. I’m feeling a hat trick, even though that probably doesn’t happen.

Jets Player to Watch: Nikolaj Ehlers

Like the player drafted right before him, Ehlers has been all over the puck for the Jets, and probably one of the few Jets that has actually been noticeable. On a team with a relatively overrated forward group (hey Mark Scheifele), Ehlers is one of the few that actually lives up to the hype.

Leafs Starting Goalie: Frederik Andersen

Despite his struggles this series, Andersen is back in the crease tonight, most likely because Campbell is still dealing with his injury. Freddie was better on Thursday, but there were still moments where he could’ve been better, especially in a game where the other goalie gave the Leafs nothing. Still, he has the third most wins in the NHL for a reason, and that’s because most nights he’s just good enough to give the amazing Leafs team in front of the win.

Jets Starting Goalie: Laurent Brossoit

You may be seeing this and be happy that Connor Hellebuyck isn’t in net, but in the six games he’s played so far this season, Brossoit has been just as good as Hellebuyck. It’s obviously a much smaller sample size, but don’t think this is going to be an easy game just because the Leafs don’t have to face the guy who had their number all series.
You can catch the game at 7pm tonight on Sportsnet.

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