Tonight the Leafs face off against a team that was, until rather recently, in the hunt for the final playoff spot. Since the All-Star break, however, the New Jersey Devils have gone 8-1-1, and now stand 8 points above the Leafs in the standings (and have a game in hand). The Leafs, as we know all too well, are not doing so well these days, with a 4-5-1 record in their last 10, and have lost 5 of their last 6.
With the Winnipeg Jets on their heels, this is the kind of home game that is of the "must win" variety for the Leafs.
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Jonas Gustavsson will get the start tonight, after James Reimer (along with the rest of his team), had a rather unfortunate evening against the Canucks. The Leafs have received .867 goaltending in their last 6 games.
Martin Brodeur, who has been on fire for the last 10 games, will start in goal for the Devils.
Mikhail Grabovski will look to snap his 9-game goal drought, his longest since a 12-game stretch that started off the season. Thankfully, his possession numbers still look strong enough to inspire a certain amount of confidence that the goal-scoring touch will find him again.
Here is Toronto's projected lineup as per James Mirtle:
Lupul - Bozak - Kessel
MacArthur - Grabovski - Kulemin
Lombardi - Connolly - Crabb
Brown - Steckel - Boyce
Gunnarsson - Phaneuf
Gardiner - Schenn
Liles - Franson