The Toronto Maple Leafs will face the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight, after beating the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday.
The Toronto Maple Leafs made a trade ahead of the game to upgrade their defensive depth earlier today when they sent Kurtis Gabriel to the Chicago Blackhawks for Chad Krys.
Tonight’s goalies will be Jack Campbell vs Andrei Vasilevskiy, which is basically the premier goaltending matchup you could have in the NHL today.
So of course, expect a high scoring affair!
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning are 7-1-1 in their last nine games, despite losing Braydon Point and already playing without Nikita Kucherov. They keep on winning because Victor Hedman is unbelievable and Steven Stamkos doesn’t seem to age.
The Leafs are hot as well, with only two regulation losses in their last 14 games. They convincingly pounded on Columbus despite a depleted lineup, and they had a better weekend last weekend than the results showed.
Toronto will be without Mitch Marner again tonight as the superstar forward is out with a shoulder injury. Spezza will miss the game because he is suspended, Mikheyev and Mrazek remain injured as well.
Besides Marner, the player the Leafs will miss most is Rasmus Sandin. He is having a great year and he is a much better player than you normally see on a third pairing, giving the Leafs a huge advantage against most teams.
Kristians Rubins will once again line up on the left side of Timothy Liljegren on the team’s third defensive pairing.
The Leafs had Simmonds up on the top line in practice this morning and he will start there according to dailyfaceoff.com.
Engvall will once again centre an interesting fourth line that features Alex Steeves and Kyle Clifford. The other two lines are (mostly) normal (Ritchie is in for Engvall on the third line) though I think we could see Ondrej Kase up on the top line at any time.
The guy is a maniac and he can score, so I’d love to see him with Matthews for an extended time.
The Leafs beat Tampa the last time these two teams played, and so the odds are probably in Tampa’s favor here, but the Leafs are tough at home and Campbell always comes up huge in big games.
I think we’ll see Jack once again outduel his current biggest obstacle for the championship belt of goaltending. Matthews “only” scored twice last game, and he’s on fire, so I think this one is going to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs.