The Toronto Maple Leafs will play the Ottawa Senators tonight in Ottawa.
At least, I am assuming that, as of 1 PM, the Toronto Maple Leafs will play the Ottawa Senators tonight. But, who knows ?
The NHL is canceling game due to attendance, but somehow is letting the Montreal / Florida game go ahead today. The provincial government all but gave up, and so, while I can’t say for sure, there will most likely be a game tonight? I think?
If so, hurray! If not, well there is always a chance that Wednesday’s game against the Oilers happens.
The last time the Toronto Maple Leafs played a game, they beat the Oilers 5-1, which was 17 days ago.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs Senators
Tonight’s game will feature just about the whole team’s return from Covid Protocol, and it will also mark the return of Mitch Marner from a shoulder injury and Rasmus Sandin from a knee injury.
Sandin is putting up sick numbers and, along with Timothy Liljegren, is giving the Leafs a third pairing that is bordering on ridiculous. Since Jake Muzzin appears to be out tonight, we won’t get to see the team’s full lineup, but we might see Sandin playing a ton in his return.
Marner is back, and the team is making a bad decision here. The Leafs power-play went on an absolute heater without Marner, and while that is probably a coincidence, why mess with a good thing ? Especially when you can add Marner to the second unit where he can destroy team’s secondary defensive players.
The one thing I don’t get about the Leafs power-play – if you’re not keeping the first unit out for the entire time, why not have more balance?
Assuming the Leafs forwards all play, I’ve got to question why the Leafs just gift the left-wing job on the third line to Ilya Mikheyev, the guy who asked for a trade and has been constantly injured?
Normally, I wouldn’t care too much, but Pierre Engvall has played so well, and the line of Engvall-Kampf-Kase (when healthy) has been amazing. Engvall has a 55% expected-goals rating. (Stats naturalstattrick.com).
David Kampf has a 56% expected-goals rating with Engvall, and a 44% one without him. Engvall has been key to what has been on of the best lines in hockey, when you account for their crazy usage. There is absolutely no reason to demote Engvall, let alone think Mikheyev can be better than him in this role.
Ultimately, it’s a minor complaint and I think the Leafs will eventually give Mikheyev his wish and trade him to a different team anyways.
Tonight’s game should be interesting because, it’s been so long since they played, who knows how they’ll do? They should destroy the Senators on any given night, but given the circumstances of the game, it could be a crazy one.