For the second and last time this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs will take on the Chicago Blackhawks, this time in an afternoon affair on Friday.
This will be the Toronto Maple Leafs first game since Sunday as they return from their Global Series in Sweden where they were victorious in both contests.
Chicago Blackhawks beat reporter Ben Pope confirmed Friday morning through Luke Richardson’s morning press conference that Corey Perry will not be playing for the team. Richardson would not provide any details and the whole scenario seems quite suspicious.
Perry was believed to have signed with the Hawks as a mentor and veteran prescience for rookie Connor Bedard after the former Hart Trophy winner signed a one-year deal worth $4 Million, which was about $3 Million more than most thought that the winger would earn in free agency.
The Hawks will also be without another former Hart Trophy winner as Taylor Hall has been shutdown for the season with an apparent knee injury. Hall was acquired from the Boston Bruins in the off-season and sustained the injury last week against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Need to Bounce Back
The Toronto Maple Leafs who are winners of four straight and five of their last six will need to capitalize better on their opportunities than when the two teams met back October 16.
The loss was actually one of the teams better efforts this season as they outshot Chicago 36 to 31, but goaltender Arvid Söderblom had the best game of his career turning away 35 shots for his only victory of the season. In his other seven games, the Swedish netminder is 0-6-0 with a 4.38 GAA and and .862 Save Percentage.
The Blackhawks are in the midst of a five game losing streak where they have allowed 22 goals during that span. Bedard has been everything promised for Chicago fans as the first year player has ten goals and 16 points through 17 games, while 24-year old Philipp Kurashev has been the only other bright spot with 11 points in 11 games.
William Nylander will look to keep his scoring streak to start the season going after being the King of the Global Series.
Nylander registered five points, including an overtime winning goal and earned the Player of the Game award in the Maple Leafs first game in Sweden. For his efforts overseas, Nylander was also name one of the NHL three stars of the week.
Ilya Samsonov will be getting the start, with Joseph Woll getting the second game of the back-to-back when the Maple Leafs visit Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The game is an early one as it starts at 2PM Eastern on TSN.