Calgary Flames vs Toronto Maple Leafs: Game 29
Time: 7:30 P.M
Location: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON
Opponent SBNation Site: Matchsticks & Gasoline
Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - Connor Brown
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner
Matt Martin - Dominic Moore - William Nylander
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Andreas Borgman - Roman Polak
Calgary Flames (via DailyFaceoff)
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Michael Ferland
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik
Sam Bennett - Mark Jankowski - Jaromir Jagr
Troy Brouwer - Curtis Lazar - Garnet Hathaway
Mark Giordano - Dougie Hamilton
TJ Brodie - Travis Hamonic
Brett Kulak - Michael Stone
On their Western Canada road trip, the Leafs turned in perhaps their finest performance of the season in dispatching the Flames. They’ll look to do it again, this time at home. In their last game, a suboptimal start had the Leafs in a hole that a strong effort in periods 2 and 3 couldn’t undo. It’s been a point of emphasis for Mike Babcock all year to get the team to ‘start on time’ and you can bet that he has doubled down on that over the last few days.
There was some discussion over whether Tyler Bozak would play. He was suffering from food poisoning in Vancouver and didn’t play in that game, and also missed practice the day after. If he didn’t play, it was expected that William Nylander would make his (much-anticipated) debut at centre this season. However all that appears to be for naught. Bozak took part in the morning skate, and appears to be healthy enough to play.
This leads to the (still-perplexing) decision to play Nylander on the fourth line. That line has dominated with Nylander on it, but at the cost of the first line becoming far less dangerous. Calgary’s depth is poor, while their top two lines and first pairing are elite, so I’d expect to see a strong performance from the Leafs fourth line today.
As always, only Babcock really knows what he has in mind here. We’ll see how it all plays out.