Can the Leafs make it a 5-game win streak tonight against the Canadiens?

At 7:30pm tonight our beloved Maple Leafs will take on the storied rival Montreal Canadiens. Having won their last 4 games out in Alberta and Manitoba, they return home tonight to face Montreal at the start of a short 2-game home stand.
The Canadiens have held their own this year, but haven’t been the second-best team in Canada as seemingly everyone had projected. Instead, they sit in 4th in the division, but with a healthy lead over the faltering Canucks and Flames. The Leafs have cleared their way through the division so far, as expected, but a fair set of challenges still remain, including a race for the President’s Trophy, where they currently sit tied for 3rd with the Carolina Hurricanes behind the Florida Panthers and the Colorado Avalanche.
Tale of the Tape
Let’s see how Toronto and Montreal stack up against each other, using our own Mark Norman’s “Tale of the Tape” visualization:

The Habs are boasting a pretty solid set of 5-on-5 stats, but haven’t found that success translate to the winning column as much as Toronto has.
Toronto’s Lines
Here’s how Toronto’s team will look tonight:

LW
C
RW
Forwards



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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Jack Campbell looks to potentially take the starter’s reigns vs. Flames

Tonight may be the most important game of Jack Campbell’s career.
The Leafs go into tonight’s game against the Flames having lost six of their last seven, with five of them seeing Frederik Andersen play in net (although he didn’t start against Ottawa). This has come while the Leafs have a 54.58% 5v5 CF% and a 56.39% 5v5 xGF%, which is fifth and fourth in the league during that span. The Leafs are clearly losing games because of Frederik Andersen, and unlike past seasons where this has been the case, it hasn’t been backed up by otherwise good to elite goaltending.
Campbell hasn’t gotten the crease much in his Leafs tenure, but when he has, he’s impressed. He has a .920 save percentage in 9 games with the Leafs, and a .951 in 3 games this season. It’s an incredibly small sample size, but his .918 career save percentage has at least earned him the benefit of the doubt, especially with Freddie playing as poorly as he has. If he plays well, there’s a good chance he at least gets to split the starts, although there’s reason to believe that that was the plan all along.
Of course, …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Matthews extends point streak to 14 games, Maple Leafs defeat Senators 2-1

Exhale Leafs Nation, there was no deja vu tonight. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Wednesday night, putting in a much more complete effort after blowing a four-goal lead to this same Senators team on Monday night.
Auston Matthews and Alexander Kerfoot scored for the Leafs, while Brady Tkachuk responded for the Senators. Matthews’ goal extended his point scoring streak to 14 games, tying him with Lorne Carr. Matthews is now four games back from tying Eddie Olczyk and Darryl Sittler for longest point scoring streak by a Maple Leaf (18 games).
In the first period, it was clear both teams did not want a repeat of Monday night. The Leafs played a little hesitant to start, trying to be cautious and smart with the puck. The Senators on the other hand, pushed hard right out of the gate, not wanting to repeat a slow start from Monday night. Joe Thornton had a goal waived off late in the first period, but other than that, the Leafs didn’t really have much going.

Nice effort by Thornton but that’s a good save pic.twitter.com/VkjvW6sFe6
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 18, 2021

The Maple Leafs struck first in the second …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to make it three for three against floundering Canucks

Tonight is the third and final game of the three game series between the Leafs and Canucks, with the Leafs dominating play and winning both of the two prior games comfortably. While the Canucks have struggled at both ends of the ice, that doesn’t mean the Leafs should approach tonight’s game as an easy win – sometimes teams with something to prove surprise us, and if the Leafs get complacent they could end up chasing the game.
The storyline for the Leafs right now is of course the injuries piling up, with both Travis Dermott and Wayne Simmonds as new additions to the list that includes Jack Campbell, Joe Thornton, and Nicholas Robertson.

Sheldon Keefe said Wayne Simmonds broke his wrist. Out six weeks.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 8, 2021

Jack Campbell hasn’t begun skating yet, so he is not anywhere close to a return
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 8, 2021

Travis Dermott could be available Wednesday, but Keefe hasn’t received a full update on him after this morning’s sessions
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 8, 2021

While the Leafs depth is meant to be enough to weather these types of losses, it’s never fun to see the injured list grow. Simmonds …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs take on the Canucks – and try to avoid a trap game

The Canucks have landed on the east coast, and tonight they play the Leafs for their first of three in a row and nine this season. The Leafs are coming off four days of rest after an overtime loss to Edmonton, and though their last game was a loss, they are on a five game point streak. Meanwhile, the Canucks are struggling this season, and just lost two in a row to Montreal.
While most agree that a matchup against the Canucks should be a fairly easy win for the Leafs, the concern for Toronto is to avoid a trap game. Additionally, four days of rest should have them feeling fresh, but it could also mean that they struggle to start on time and get their legs going. The Leafs need to approach this game as though it’s going to be a tough matchup no matter what if they want to get back on a winning streak.
Sheldon Keefe continues to tinker with player rotations, adding Nic Petan to the lineup for tonight’s game. The Leafs are still without Joe Thornton, Nicholas Robertson, and Jack Campbell. While Alexander Kerfoot seemed to be dealing with something earlier in the …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs and Jets meet for the first time this season

Tonight is the opening match for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets in a season where the two teams will battle more times than ever before. The Jets had a fairly quiet off-season, not making many moves. But the move they did make was a big one, acquiring Paul Stastny from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Carl Dahlstrom and a 2022 fourth-round selection.
More recently, the Jets have made some internal moves between their taxi squad and their roster, as well as claiming Anton Forsberg off waivers last week to strengthen their goalie depth.
But the big story with the Jets has been the team’s apparent COVID exposure, as first Nikolaj Ehlers missed practice due to COVID protocol, and then the team canceled practice entirely on Saturday “out of an abundance of caution” following COVID exposure. The canceled practice thankfully was an isolated incident, and the Jets headed east yesterday to make it to tonight’s match-up.
However, it now seems the Jets have been bitten by the injury bug, as well, as after leaving morning skate early it was announced that Patrik Laine will be out tonight with an upper-body injury.

Patrik Laine is out tonight …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

The Battle of Ontario resumes tonight as the Maple Leafs take on the Senators

The Toronto Maple Leafs are back in action tonight as they take on the Ottawa Senators in their home opener of the 2021 season. Last game, the Maple Leafs defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 in Overtime thanks to Morgan Rielly’s OT winner.
Youth Movement
Tonight is the highly anticipated NHL debut for 2020 second overall pick Tim Stutzle. Along with Stutzle, the Senators will also have Josh Norris and Drake Batherson in the lineup tonight, two players who lit the AHL on fire with Belleville last season. Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot are also a year older, giving Ottawa a nice core of young players (unfortunately).
A year removed from finishing second last in the NHL, this season looks like a transition year for the Sens, as they try to build a contending team. The Sens added vets such as Derek Stepan, Evgenii Dadonov, Erik Gudbranson and Matt Murray to help ease the burden on the youngsters on the team.
The Senators are still a work in progress, but I wouldn’t be proclaiming a season sweep by the Leafs this season. I would expect the Leafs to have to really earn every two points against the Sens this season. DJ …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

The Beginner’s Guide to the 2020-21 Toronto Maple Leafs: The Defense

Hockey is upon us tonight, and for all the new hockey fans, it’s time I give you the last lesson of your Toronto Maple Leafs tutorial. I’ve already covered the team itself and the players up front, but today, we’re looking at the players and roles tasked with keeping the puck out of the net.
The defense/goaltending
For many, many years, the Leafs have been absolutely horrendous at defense. I became a fan in 2011-12, and I don’t think I’ve seen a single year where the Leafs were very good at keeping the puck out of the net that wasn’t propped up by stellar goaltending. But this year, that might finally change.
For the first time in a while, the Leafs have the potential to actually ice a complete lineup of NHL calibre players without a single bad defenseman on the team. There are a couple question marks for that, but for now, we remain hopeful. Not just that, but the addition of TJ Brodie gives Morgan Rielly a good defense partner, and the Leafs a good top pair. With Jake Muzzin being able to carry whoever plays with him on the second …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Rodion Amirov has been picked, what’s next for the Leafs?

Tonight was a little straight forward. The Leafs showed up. Picked when they were supposed to. They continued to prioritize skill above all else and selected a talented young player who already has 5 points in 10 games in the KHL this season, and then literally nothing else happened Leafs related for the rest of the draft. Of course, we might start getting more out of the insiders tonight and we’ll wake up to a whole new set of rumours tomorrow.
The post draft media availability
Kyle Dubas met with members of the Toronto media following the draft. Here are a few of the highlights of that conversation.

Dubas says Leafs aren’t planning to qualify Evan Rodrigues “at this point in time”
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 7, 2020

Since this is the biggest piece of news out of the press conference we’ll start with that. Unfortunately a cheap deal couldn’t be found for Rodrigues and he’ll hit free agency. Not really a loss for the Leafs, and potentially they can come back around and get something done, but Rodrigues’ will join the elite company of Nathan Horton as players who will be unrestricted free agents for the Leafs this offseason …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors can clinch second seed with win over Boston Celtics

Tonight the Toronto Raptors can secure the second seed in the Eastern Conference against a hungry Boston Celtics Team. The second seed means a lot more this year than in past years. The drop off in competition between the 6th and 7th seed is enormous — currently the Sixers are 6th and Brooklyn Nets are […]
Toronto Raptors can clinch second seed with win over Boston Celtics – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ