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Game Preview: Calgary Flames vs Toronto Maple Leafs

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After a three-day break, the Leafs look for another win

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Calgary Flames Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames vs Toronto Maple Leafs: Game 29

Time: 7:30 P.M

Location: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

Broadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet

Opponent SBNation Site: Matchsticks & Gasoline

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

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

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev

Andreas Borgman - Roman Polak


Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Calgary Flames (via DailyFaceoff)

Forward Lines

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Michael Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett - Mark Jankowski - Jaromir Jagr

Troy Brouwer - Curtis Lazar - Garnet Hathaway

Defence Pairings

Mark Giordano - Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie - Travis Hamonic

Brett Kulak - Michael Stone


Mike Smith

David Rittich

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.