The Tornto Maple Leafs are back after a two day break to play the Arizona Coyotes.
Who: Arizona Coyotes (27-23-7) @ Toronto Maple Leafs (29-19-8)
When: February 11, 2020 @ 7:00 pm
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario
The Toronto Maple Leafs look for a win as they face off against one of the historically worst teams in the NHL, the Arizona Coyotes. The Sun Belt kid, Auston Matthews, hopes to continue to his career-best season by potting a few goals against his home town team.
With Jack Campbell as the starter (although Andersen is nearing a return he is not yet ready to go), the Leafs hope to clinch an easy two points after their overtime loss to Montreal a few days prior.
They will also need to accomplish this with a ragged lineup; Tavares is out of the lineup due to an illness on top of the already absent Morgan Rielly, Kyle Clifford, and Justin Holl (per Kristen Shilton)
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Coyotes
Sheldon Keefe has repeatedly had to call time outs when the Leafs are leading a game to calm the team down and make sure they clinch a win. In recent games, the Leafs have given up the lead and were lucky to even grab one point. They will need to stay solid against the Coyotes to win this game.
Another key to the game is starting off right. The Coyotes will have just finished playing against Montreal the night before and are likely to be tired. It is up to the rested Leafs on home ice to start off with a bang. This includes scoring the ever important first goal and watching turnovers.
Lastly, staying out of the box and drawing penalties. The Coyotes’ power play ranks 14th in the NHL, lower than Toronto’s 8th place (stats from foxsports). However, even the bottom ranked Ducks made it tough on the Leafs special team a few days prior (per Kristen Shilton). As key components of the special teams will be missing, it is even more vital the Leafs play a clean game.
Players to watch
Unsurprisingly, Auston Matthews is one of the key players to watch on the ice. He is having a career season and is likely to pot a few goals this game. However, much of his success is related to playing alongside Mitch Marner whose already reached 57 points (mostly assists).
While Arizona has typically been a poorly performing team, they have a few studs including Phil Kessel, Taylor Hall, Conor Garland, and Christian Dvorak. Garland is having a career best season with 19 goals and 13 points for 32 points.
Overall, do not underestimate the Coyotes. The Devils downed Boston (Leafs boogeyman) 3–1 yesterday and in this crazy league, anything can happen.