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Toronto Maple Leafs game preview: Philadelphia Fly-ers into town

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Will Matt Martin sit so Kapanaen and Leivo play?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers are coming to the Air Canada Centre tonight, but most of the game day buzz isn’t about the opponents scoring prowess, the first time top draft pick Nolan Patrick comes to town - and he’s injured, or the impressive defensive game of Ivan Provorov.

The focus right now is on the Maple Leafs decision this morning to bring up Kasperi Kapanen and who will play, him or Josh Leivo.

Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00PM - Air Canda Centre
TV: CBC
Radio: TSN1050 / Sportsnet590
Stream: NHL TV (free game), CBC.ca
SBN: Broad Street Hockey

You can take the Leivo vs Kapanen debate over to the call up post, I won’t repeat myself here about it, but if JVR doesn’t play for sure, then who gets to play will be a big source of debate no matter the outcome.

In other notes for the game, tonight is Connor Brown’s 100th NHL game. He’s had an excellent rise since last season and has set himself up as a constant in the line up from here on out. If Brown can put up three points tonight, he’ll make it 50 points in 100 games in his NHL career.

There’s no morning skate for the Maple Leafs this morning, it was called off after yesterdays practice. Lines are....well we won’t really know until the game is played.

The Philadelphia Flyers are an even 5-5 so far this season, and are coming off a 5-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators. Anyone who loses to the Senators will be looking to regain their credibility, so tonight should be a hard fought game on both sides.

Numbers Preview

Maple Leafs Team Devils
Maple Leafs Team Devils
265GF - 226GA - +29 Goal Differential 238GF - 234GA - +4
24.4% - 2nd overall Power Play 21.7 - 10th overall
81.3% - 12th overall Penalty Kill 81.9% - 7th overall
James van Riemsdyk - 36 Most Goals Taylor Hall - 39
Mitch Marner - 47 Most Assists Taylor Hall - 54
Mitch Marner - 69 Most Points Taylor Hall - 93
Matt Martin - 50 Most PM Miles Wood - 84
Jake Gardiner - 22:33/G TOI Leader Sami Vatanen - 22:42
Frederik Andersen - .917sv% Starting Goalie Keith Kincaid - .911sv%

Toronto Maple Leafs lines
(via Daily Faceoff)

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Patrick Marleau - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner
Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - Connor Brown
Josh Leivo - Dominic Moore - Kasperi Kapanen (?)

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Andreas Borgman - Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen
Curtis McElhinney

Philadelphia Flyers
(via Daily Faceoff)

Claude Giroux - Sean Couturier - Jakub Voracek
Jordan Weal - Valtteri Filppula - Wayne Simmonds
Matt Read - Jori Lehtera - Travis Konecny
Taylor Leier - Scott Laughton - Michael Raffl

Ivan Provorov - Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim - Robert Hagg
Brandon Manning - Radko Gudas

Brian Elliot
Michael Neuvirth

Usually the scratches take part in the optional skate, so does this mean Matt Martin sits for the Leafs and both Kappy and Leivo play? [UPDATE: Yes, he is out with an upper body injury] Is this the chance to see what the Leafs look like without Martin in the line up? [UPDATE: Yes] A lot of people have been waiting for this day to come, and will base a lot of the outcome of the game on this single decision.

After the abysmal performance the Maple Leafs put on against the Carolina Hurricanes, we should expect Mike Babcock to have everyone on a short leash, and defensive miscues could lead to benching and line changes.

We’ll see how the short practice and cancelled skate affects the team. If there’s another stinker, there could be more than harsh words coming towards the players.