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Toronto Maple Leafs game preview: The Devils you know...

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ARE GONNA GET BEAT

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

What a game we had last night! We beat the Columbus Blue Jackets! The third best team in the standings! In a clean, decisive victory! And now we play the worst team in the conference? YES! GO LEAFS GO!

New Jersey Devils @ Toronto Maple Leafs
7:30PM - Air Canada Centre
TV: Sportsnet Ontario / Radio: Sportsnet590
SBN: In Lou We Trusted Until He Jumped to Greener Pastures.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are now a very good team, unlike the one that I recapped last Tuesday and was very dramatic about. Since that terrible Florida game the Maple Leafs shutout Lightning, took the Blackhawks to overtime, and then beat the Bruins and the Blue Jackets cleanly.

Well not cleanly in the penalty sense...

Nikita Soshnikov is fine to play against the Devils, there’s no discipline coming for this hit on Patrice Bergeron:

Although Bruins fans would have liked something...

Roman Polak, however, is having a hearing with Player “Safety” about this hit on Oliver Bjorkstrand:

UPDATE: Polak has been suspended two games.

So we keep Sosh, and may lose Polak, but that’s okay Alexey Marchenko is there and ready to play. On the forward line there’s also some bad news. Ish. Depending on who you ask.

Yes, after making his Maple Leafs debut Eric Fehr may miss the rest of the season with a broken hand. This is okay, because there’s been a playing many have been wanting to see back in the line up for a while now:

Josh Leivo come on down! Freed from the press box, he’ll benefit from Eric Fehr’s injury (sorry Eric) and take a spot in tonight’s game.

With the confidence boost of beating a top team in the league, the Maple Leafs should be able to take down the bottom of the east Devils no problem.

Speaking of the Devils: They’re bad. Yeah that about sums it up. They’ve recently lost to Columbus Pittsburgh and....Arizona?! Yeah, you’re bad.

This is a table

- Toronto New Jersey
- Toronto New Jersey
Record 34-23-15 27-33-12
Division 3rd 8th
Conference 7th 16th
League 15th 28th
Goal Differential 221 / 212 = +9 167 / 211 = -44
Power Play 23.8% - 2nd 18.6% - 18th
Penalty Kill 83.4% - 9th 80.5% - 18th
Most Goals Auston Matthews - 33 Kyle Palmieri - 25
Most Points Auston Matthews - 58 Kyle Palmieri - 49
Top Goalie Frederik Andersen - .919sv% Corey Schneider - .911sv%

Here are your potential lines for tonight.

Toronto:
Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - Connor Brown
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitchell Marner
Matt Martin - Brian Boyle - Josh Leivo

Morgan Rielly - Connor Carrick
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Matt Hunwick - Roman Polak?

Curtis McElhinney
Frederik Andersen

New Jersey:
Taylor Hall - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri
Joseph Blandisi - Adam Henrique - Beau Bennett
John Quenneville - Pavel Zacha - Stefan Noesen
Miles Wood - Blake Coleman - Nick Lappin

Andy Greene - Ben Lovejoy
Jon Merrill - Steven Santini
John Moore - Damon Severson

Keith Kinkaid
Corey Schneider

From the Devils blog preview:

That Terrifying Leafs Offense: OK, a 2.67 5-on-5 GF/60 rate isn’t the most terrifying. Washington, Columbus, and Pittsburgh have them beat. But it’s better than most teams in the NHL. They also boast the second best scoring chance per sixty minute rate, which is quite terrifying. Especially given that we’re likely going to see Ben Lovejoy and Andy Greene struggle against their best players. What is most terrifying is that the offense will likely become better naturally. Toronto has players with ridiculous upside.

From 50 MissionCap:

I'm a little scared because this all screams "easy ass win that translates into a loss somehow"

Both are good points.

The Maple Leafs will be coming on strong, and adding two more points to the lead over the Bruins for the Atlantic spot is the goal.

Watch the main page for updates on Roman Polak.

Go Leafs Go!