Toronto Maple Leafs Looking For Revenge Against the Islanders

Scott Mayfield #24 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Scott Mayfield #24 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs (28-11-8) face off against the New York Islanders (23-20-5) tonight at the Scotiabank Arena, in Toronto.

The last time these two teams met was the 21st of November, a game the Toronto Maple Leafs lost 2-3 in overtime.

The Leafs are 5-3-2 their last ten games and currently sit in second place in the Atlantic, tied with New Jersey for third overall in the league, with 64 points.

The New York Islanders are coming in cold with a 2-5-3 record their last ten games, and have 51 points total on the season, putting them 6th in the Metropolitan where they are fighting for one of the wild card playoff spots.

The Islanders aren’t too good, but they do have an elite goalie, meaning any game against them is a tough one.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs NY Islanders 

The Islanders will be without Kyle Palmeiri, Adam Pelech, Cal Clutterbuck, and Oliver Wahlstrom, who are all on injury reserve with assorted ailments of varying degree.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be missing Jake Muzzin, Nick Robertson and TJ Brodie, who is day to day nursing a rib injury sustained January 7th in a game against the Detroit Red Wings.

This is the second time the erstwhile Brodie has been injured this year, after missing almost a month of action earlier in the season with an oblique injury.

The good news for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs is that Brodie is near returning to action and has resumed practicing with the team.

Fans should look forward to a goaltending battle tonight, with the starting goaltenders expected to be Ilya Sorokin (15-15-4) for the New York Islanders, and Ilya Samsonov (14-4-2) expected to get his third straight start for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With a 12-0-1 record at home Samsonov remains undefeated in regulation this season so far at the Scotiabank Arena and will be looking to extend this streak to 14 games.

Wayne Simmonds will remain in the lineup for the Leafs in place of Dryden Hunt, who has been placed on waivers.

Simmonds will be playing on the fourth line with his most likely linemates being Alexander Kerfoot and Zach Aston-Reese.

Expect the New York Islanders to come out playing a strong defense, limiting Toronto’s high octane offense, and taking the body hard. Expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to come out fast, looking to make plays off the rush, while drawing the Islanders into taking bad penalties against. Fans should be looking for John Tavares to score career goal number 412 against his former team, and Auston Matthews, who was absent from the score sheet against Montreal on Sunday, to be lighting it up with a few goals himself.

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I expect Matthews will score a hat trick, with linemate super stud William Nylander scoring a goal of his own. William if you are reading this I’m not single but I can be. Game time is 7:00 and can be found on Sportsnet.