Welcome Matt: Leafs vs. Sens preview

Photo credit:Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Steitzer
1 year ago
It’s time for the second half of a back-to-back and despite the fact that the Maple Leafs are highly skilled, highly trained professional athletes at the peak ages of their physical performance, the fact that the Senators have had a bit more rest covers the gap between a 91 point team and a 70 point team.
Of course, that’s not everything that is at play here. The Senators are not an easy out for the Leafs. Most Canadian teams circle the games against the Leafs on their calendar, but for the Senators and the Battle of Ontario, it seems important they are at their best. The Leafs on the other hand, have had the tendency to treat games like this as a typical regular season game against a non-playoff team and play down to their opponents level far too often. We’ll see if that narrative gets to continue.
Matt Murray is also slated to make his first start in Ottawa since his unceremonious departure from the Senators organization. It would seem almost sarcastic if the Senators do anything to recognize Murray’s return tonight, but as is the case with returning goaltenders, the Senators are going to want to light him up and Murray will be begging for some defensive support tonight. If Toronto can get a solid game out of Murray that might be huge in getting him back on track for the year.


Brady Tkachuk – Tim Stutzle – Drake Batherson
Alex DeBrincat- Ridly Grieg – Claude Giroux
Derick Brassard – Shane Pinto – Patrick Brown
Julien Gauthier – Dylan Campbell – Auston Watson
Jake Sanderson – Artem Zub
Thomas Chabot – Erik Brannstrom
Jakob Chychrun – Travis Hamonic
Calle Jarnkrok – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Michael Bunting – John Tavares – William Nylander
Zach Aston-Reese – David Kampf – Wayne Simmonds
Alex Kerfoot – Sam Lafferty – Alex Steeves
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie
Jake McCabe – Luke Schenn
Mark Giordano – Justin Holl
It is possible we also see Erik Gustafsson come into the Leafs lineup tonight as Keefe does like to go with rested players on the second game of a back-to-back, but who comes out for him remains to be seen, if it happens at all.
And of course, there are also the recent recalls that are potentially going to factor in:
It’s very likely that McMann comes in for someone, but Woll is far more of a mystery.
As it sits right now the starters will be Matt Murray and Mads Sogaard, but as always I guess that is subject to change.
Tonight’s game can be found right where you expect to find it, 7 pm ET on Hockey Night in Canada.

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