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Toronto Maple Leafs game preview: It’s easy win tonight vs Arizona

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Jinx!

Arizona Coyotes v Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs are on a six game win streak, their longest of the season, most recently beating the Montreal Canadiens 6-0. The Arizona Coyotes are on a two game winning streak, also their longest of the season, and beat the Montreal Canadiens as well. With two similar results coming into Monday’s game it must be evenly matched teams right?

Right?

Arizona Coyotes at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00PM - Air Canada Centre
TV: Sportsnet Ontario, NHL Live
Radio: Sportsnet 590
SBN: Five For Howling

Wrong. The Maple Leafs are one of the top teams in the NHL right now, third in the league overall, second in goal differential, and second in goals for. The Coyotes however, are last in the league overall, last in goal differential, and 24th in goals for. The Leafs have their top draft pick in 2016 up in the NHL for his second season (Mitchell Marner, 4th overall) and the Coyotes have theirs....in the AHL (Dylan Strome, 3rd overall)...after being send back to junior last year.

Does the Coyotes two game winning streak mean much? Well, they barely beat the Canadiens in regulation, winning 5-4 with the game-tying goal having been recalled. They needed overtime to beat the Senators 3-2 on Saturday afternoon, and neither team is a powerhouse in the league, let alone the Atlantic division.

This should be an easy win for the Leafs, especially now that everyone is at full health and Auston Matthews is back as the number one centre. On paper our roster is better and in this little chart down there out basic numbers are better too:

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%

The only thing that can take away all of the Maple Leafs advantages is getting cocky and not taking the Coyotes seriously.

Leafs lines

Standard configuration as seen as morning skate.

Forwards:

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander

Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner

Matt Martin - Dominic Moore - Connor Brown

Nikita Soshnikov, Josh Leivo

Defense Pairings:

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev

Andreas Borgman - Connor Carrick

Roman Polak

Goaltenders:

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Arizona Coyotes Lines

From Leftwinglock, subject to change.

Forwards:

Brendan Perlini - Derek Stepan - Tobias Reider

Clayton Keller - Brad Richardson - Christian Fischer

Max Domi - Christian Dvorak - Zac Rinaldo

Jordan Martinook - Mario Kemp - Anthony Duclair

Defense Pairings:

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Kevin Connauton

Alex Goligoski - Jason Demers

Joel Hanley - Luke Schenn

Goaltenders:

Antti Raanta

Scott Wedgewood

The Maple Leafs have a chance to extend their winning streak to seven games tonight. Don’t take it easy on the Coyotes. Play them as you’d play the Lightning. Don’t sit on a lead, don’t play soft in your own end. Win this game or join the list of teams that have lost to the Coyotes. Don’t be the Senators or the Canadiens or the Hurricanes or the Flyers.

Be the best.

Be the Maple Leafs.