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Maple Leafs look to end four-game road trip on a high note against the Kraken

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Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
1 month ago
Despite snapping their losing streak in Calgary on Thursday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs dropped their fifth game in their last six to the Vancouver Canucks, 6-4, regardless of overcoming a three-goal deficit after the first period.
Their slow start to the game, mixed with their poor special teams and Martin Jones’ play returning to normality, wasn’t a good recipe against one of the best teams in the NHL this season.
With a record of 1-4-1 in their last six, the Maple Leafs now close out their back-to-back in Seattle against a Kraken team that has dropped three games in a row after winning nine consecutive between December 29th and January 13th. Both teams will be looking to get back in the win column, but for Toronto, they need to end this road trip with a win if they want to continue to fight for a playoff spot.
If you’ve wondered how poor Toronto’s been lately, they have recorded just one win against a playoff team since December 13th (3-0 W vs Los Angeles Kings on January 2nd). Over that time, they have a record of 7-8-3, picking up 17 out of the possible 36 points (.472 points percentage). That is not good enough for a team with Stanley Cup aspirations, no matter how ludicrous that sounds right now, given how they are playing.
This team has many problems. From Brendan Shanahan to Brad Treliving to Sheldon Keefe to some of the unplayable players on this roster – they need to turn things around somehow. I don’t think Keefe is a perfect coach by any means, but Treliving also hasn’t given him much to work with this season with the bulk of his off-season additions. Klingberg was a questionable move upon signing, and although I was willing to let it play out to see how he played, it blew up in their faces. The same can be said for Reaves, which made no sense, especially at the price tag and term.
For Bertuzzi and Domi… although they’re players who help you on the offensive side of the puck, they’ve been inconsistent in finding their way on the scoresheet despite Bertuzzi looking great for most games. But it’s unfortunate because he hasn’t been able to score on half his chances with his career-low shooting percentage of 7.1%.

Pregame details:

Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup:

Pontus Holmberg – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi – John Tavares – William Nylander
Matthew Knies – Max Domi – Calle Jarnkrok
Bobby McMann – David Kampf – Noah Gregor
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Jake McCabe – Timothy Liljegren
Mark Giordano – Simon Benoit
One lineup note: Given this is a back-to-back, I wouldn’t be shocked at all if Mark Giordano takes a seat for William Lagesson or Conor Timmins, although it should be Lagesson coming in for him instead of Timmins, given his performance in his last game. Also, Nick Robertson, who has been scratched recently, may get back in the lineup like the previous back-to-back.

Seattle Kraken’s lineup:

Tomas Tatar – Jared McCann – Jordan Eberle
Jaden Schwartz – Alex Wennberg – Brandon Tanev
Eeli Tolvanen – Tye Kartye – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Andre Burakovsky – John Hayden – Kailer Yamamoto
Ryker Evans – Adam Larsson
Jamie Oleksiak – Will Borgen
Brian Dumolin – Justin Schultz

Projected goalies:

Ilya Samsonov (TOR) vs Joey Daccord (SEA)

Broadcast:

Sportsnet, 9:00 pm ET/6:00 pm PT
(Stats from Hockey-Reference.com)
(Projected lineups from Dailyfaceoff.com)

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