Toronto Maple Leafs Game Preview Number 44: New York Islanders

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled Team Canada discussion to talk about a hockey game between the Toronto Maple Leafs (21-17-5) and New York Islanders (15-22-7).

The Islanders are having a tough year after a surprise appearance in the playoffs last year (sound familiar?), but have been playing much better hockey as of late. They pounded the Dallas Stars 7-3 on the strength of five points from captain John Tavares last night.

Tavares was born in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, went to high school in Oakville and played in the OHL for the Oshawa Generals. I’m sure he’ll have plenty of family and friends watching at the ACC, so maybe he plays with some extra motivation tonight.

At any rate, the Leafs will need to make a point of shutting down Tavares and his running mate Thomas Vanek. Will Dion Phaneuf and Tim Gleason be up to the task?

Lineups (via Daily Faceoff):

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