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Toronto Maple Leafs game preview: Travis Dermott to make his NHL debut

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The Leafs look to build off a shootout win over the Sharks with a proper win over the Canucks

NHL: SEP 18 Preseason - Maple Leafs at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Vancouver Canucks at Toronto Maple Leafs: Game 43

Time: 7:00PM

Location: Air Canada Centre

Broadcast/Streaming: CBC, TVA Sports, NHL Network, NHL Live, Sportsnet Now, CBC Sports

Opponent SBNation Site: Nucks Misconduct

The Maple Leafs take on the Canucks for the second and final time this season. The last time these two teams met the Canucks eaked out a 2-1 victory despite the horrors of having to start their game at 4PM local time. Well guess what, they’re doing it again this time!

Toronto Maple Leafs

(via leftwinglock.com)

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitchell Marner
Matt Martin - Frederik Gauthier - Connor Brown

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Connor Carrick
Travis Dermott - Roman Polak

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen
Curtis McElhinney

The Leafs should be mostly the same as the last game against the Sharks, with Gauthier in as 4C over Dominic Moore. Kadri skipped optional practice yesterday but is believed to be able to play tonight.

The big news for the Leafs is the NHL debut of 2015 2nd round pick Travis Dermott. Dermott spent his first pro season last year with the Marlies, and played 26 games for them this season so far. He’s making the jump from the Marlies third defensive pair to the Maple Leafs third pair, replacing Andreas Borgman. Coach Babcock said today that there’s nothing wrong with Borgman, but it’s just his turn to sit.

This is the biggest game yet for the GTA native, and after growing up just north of Toronto in Newmarket we should expect lots of close ups of the proud and nervous parents throughout the game.

We shouldn’t expect much from Dermott, especially with all the tire pumping that’s been done for him by some blogs this season. It’s just his first NHL game and he won’t be getting huge minutes, plus his partner will most likely be Roman Polak.

Dermott will be a good NHL player one day, but we shouldn’t expect it right off the hop.

Vancouver Canucks

(via leftwinglock.com)

Forward Lines

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Nikolay Goldobin
Thomas Vanek - Sam Gagner - Brock Boeser
Markus Granlund - Nic Dowd - Loui Eriksson
Brendan Gaunce - Michael Chaput - Jake Virtanen

Defence Pairings

Alexander Edler - Troy Stecher
Michael Del Zotto - Christopher Tanev
Derrick Poulit - Erik Gudbranson

Goaltenders

Jacob Markstrom
Anders Nilsson

I don’t know a damn thing about the Canucks so I went over to Nucks Misconduct to find out how the season is going.

Ummmm.....Okay, enough with the selective quoting, here’s the whole thing.

The Canucks are bad, and the Leafs should feel bad for having lost to them once before this season.

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%

On paper this should be an easy win for the Maple Leafs. The Canucks are terrible and bad and awful and bottom feeders. They have a couple of offensive players, but for the most part they;re just chugging along collecting their paycheques and waiting for a new, smarter GM to come along and save them.

Should be a good game tonight!