Toronto Maple Leafs: Andreas Johnsson Making NHL Debut

LAVAL, QC - NOVEMBER 01: Andreas Johnsson
LAVAL, QC - NOVEMBER 01: Andreas Johnsson /

Andreas Johnsson will make his NHL debut tonight for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they face the Dallas Stars at the Air Canada Centre.

Johnsson has been nothing but stellar this season for the Toronto Marlies. In 54 games, he’s tallied 26 goals and 28 assists. Eight of his goals have come on the power-play and he’s netted 4 game winning goals this season. He’s been pivotal to the Marlies success this season and will look to showcase his offensive skill-set tonight at the ACC.

Per a report from TSN’s Kristen Shilton, Johnsson will play alongside Tomas Plekanec and fellow Scandinavian, Kasperi Kapanen. Both, Kapanen and Johnsson have been sensation for the Marlies this season and could rejuvenate the Toronto Maple Leafs’ fourth line.

Another, Maple Leafs’ beat writer for TSN, Mark Masters sent out a tweet indicating that Johnsson will also be featured on the Toronto Maple Leafs second power-play unit. He’ll join Patrick Marleau, William Nylander, Leo Komarov and Jake Gardiner. Hopefully, the addition of Johnsson will bring life to the second unit, as the unit hasn’t been solid this season.

Matthews-Less Against Dallas

Unfortunately, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be without Auston Matthews as they welcome the Dallas Stars to town. Shilton reported yesterday that Matthews has been a participant in practice but has a downed a red non-contact jersey.

The Toronto Maple Leafs still are in third place in the Eastern Conference. So, Mike Babcock shouldn’t feel the urge to push Matthews back into the lineup too early.

Matthews is considered day-to-day, but as long as he is wearing the red uniform in practice it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll jump into the lineup. It’d be excellent if Matthews could return to the lineup for next Tuesday’s affair in Tampa.

More from Editor In Leaf

The Editor in Leaf crew will continue to monitor his status.

Dallas Stars

Good news for the Toronto Maple Leafs is that the Dallas Stars don’t score a lot. The Stars have a 2.80 GF/GP. It’s puzzling because the Stars aren’t shy about taking shots. They average 31.6 Shots/GP. It just seems that goaltenders across the NHL are reading their shots well and stopping them consistently. Hopefully, Frederik Andersen will be able to read their shots as well.

Unfortunately for Stars fans, they are also without Martin Hanzal. Hanzal will have season-ending back surgery. Even without Hanzal, the Stars offense poses a threat. Their top line of Jamie Benn, Alexander Radulov and Tyler Seguin is no joke. The trio should be named the three musketeers as they have been nothing but spectacular for the Stars. Morgan Rielly and Ron Hainsey will likely see a lot of time facing the three musketeers tonight.

In terms of special teams, Dallas’ power-play unit is abysmal. They can’t seem to find the back of the net on the power-play, but they have a lethal penalty kill. Their penalty kill is ninth in the league with a percentage of 82.4. The Toronto Maple Leafs power-play units will likely have some difficulty tonight facing their tough PK units.

Next: 5 Prospects Fighting to Earn a Pro Contract with the Leafs

Prediction & Notes

If the Toronto Maple Leafs defense can shut down the Stars top line, then they should grab a victory on home ice. My prediction is that the Toronto Maple Leafs will beat Dallas 4-2 tonight.

Puck drop will be at approximately 7:05 pm EST and you can catch the game on Sportsnet.

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