Toronto Maple Leafs at Los Angeles Kings: Game 14
Location: Staples Centre, Los Angeles, CA
Broadcast/Streaming: TSN4, FS-W
Opponent SBNation Site: Jewels From The Crown
I am Leaf winger Connor Brown/My Corsi smiles and never frowns
That is the best song ever written about California, y’all.
Coming off a heartening victory against half an NHL team in Anaheim, the Leafs now head into the final game of their California swing with the prospect of winning two out of three. Toronto has already played the Los Angeles Kings once at home, on October 23, and they bagged a solidly played 3-2 win.
That win was an achievement; the only teams to beat LA in regulation this year are Toronto and St. Louis. The Kings’ underlying numbers are actually not as impressive as historically, when they rode long shots and elite defence to routinely high-end Corsi results. They’re still a lower-event team than Toronto, though, and Jonathan Quick is playing like it’s the 2012 playoffs (save percentage currently sitting at .942.) Oh, and we’re starting our backup.
Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - Kasperi Kapanen
James van Riemsdyk - Patrick Marleau- Connor Brown
Matt Martin - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Andreas Borgman - Roman Polak
He’s a restless soul, that Mike Babcock. Despite an impressive win, for the most part, with Josh Leivo and Connor Carrick in the lineup, he’s making changes, cycling in Kasperi Kapanen and Roman Polak. In fairness to the chief, though, Josh Leivo’s line struggled mightily in the first two periods, and it is a back-to-back.
We aren’t yet certain who exactly will cycle out for Kapanen and Polak, although the smart betting is indeed Leivo and Carrick. We will update when we’re sure. (Update: again we are right in our analysis.)
The Leafs weren’t keen on Patrick Marleau at centre, and it was only one game against a depleted foe, but that line of JvR - Marleau - Brown looked extremely fine in Anaheim.
As stated above, McE gets the start.
Kings lines are via Daily Faceoff and will be updated as we learn more.
Los Angeles Kings
Alex Iafallo - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson - Adrian Kempe - Tyler Toffoli
Michael Cammaleri - Brooks Laich - Trevor Lewis
Andy Andreoff - Mike Amadio - Nic Dowd
Derek Forbot - Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin - Alec Martinez
Kurtis Macdermid - Christian Folin
I wouldn’t exactly say they’re deep at centre—Brooks Laich? Jesus—but the Kings are still a tough team with quality high-end talent. Adrian Kempe was particularly impressive in the first Toronto-LA game, as a very quick and dangerous forward.
Also, don’t look now, but Dustin “Worst Contract In The NHL” Brown is point per game this season. Hm.
It’s going to be a tough one, no question. But we’ve beat these guys before. Go Leafs Go.