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Preview: From the OC to the Bay, Leafs take on the Sharks

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The Leafs have mostly been saps at the SAP Centre.

Sharks v Maple Leafs Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images/NHLI

Toronto Maple Leafs @ San Jose Sharks

Time: 10:30 p.m.

Location: The SAP Center (This is one of the worst arena names, right?)

Broadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet Ontario, NBC Sports California, NHL Live

Opponent SBNation Site: Jewels from the Crown

The Maple Leafs are 1/1 so far in California games after dominating the Los Angeles Kings 5-1. They beat the Kings so bad that Los Angeles immediately made a panic trade, sending Tanner Pearson to the Penguins for Carl Hagelin.

Tonight they have game two, and can’t go as hard since game three is tomorrow night.

Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Kasperi Kapanen
Andreas Johnsson - Par Lindholm - Connor Brown
Josh Leivo - Frederik Gauthier - Tyler Ennis

Trevor Moore is out west with the Leafs, and back-to-back games are his best chance to suit up and play. If I was a betting man (and not writing this at 6AM, well before morning skates) I would say Moore plays in game two. [no Moore in this game]

The forwards were rocking the power play against LA, and with John Tavares playing so well, who needs Auston Matthews? [Matthews participated in the skate today for the first time]

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Igor Ozhiganov

Morgan Rielly is rising up the Art Ross odds list in Vegas, which is silly, but he’s the top scoring defender and only seven points out of the top spot for all skaters.

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen
Garret Sparks

It’s game one of a back-to-back, and Andersen starts against San Jose, despite him probably wanting to get the start against his former platoon partner John Gibson in Anaheim.

Sharks, totally the Sharks

Forwards

Evander Kane - Joe Pavelski - Joonas Donskoi
Tomas Hertl - Logan Couture - Timo Meier
Marcus Sorensen - Joe Thornton - Kevin Lebanc
Barclay Goodrow - Antti Suomela - Melker Karlsson

Joe Thornton recently hit the 400 goal mark, and sits 16th all time in NHL scoring. He’s 26 points away from jumping past former Shark Teemu Selanne for 15th.

Defence Pairings

Jaokim Ryan -Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Brendan Dillon - Erik Karlsson

Erik Karlsson - bottom pair defender?

Starting Goalies

Martin Jones
Aaron Dell

Martin Jones is one of my favourite NHL goalies simply because of how the Sharks used the Bruins to trick the Kings into trading Jones to them.

Leafs vs Bruins

Maple Leafs Team Bruins
Maple Leafs Team Bruins
20-8-0-1 Record 14-10-0-4
106GF - 78GA - +28 Goal Differential 72GF - 72GA
26.7% - 6th Power Play 27% - 4th
80.3% - 15th Penalty Kill 77% - 24th
John Tavares - 18 Most Goals David Pastrnak - 20
Mitch Marner - 34 Most Assists Krejci / Marchand / Bergeron - 17
Mitch Marner - 40 Most Points David Pastrnak - 32
Hyman / Kadri - 16 Most PM Brad Marchand - 72
Morgan Rielly - 22:18/G TOI Leader Torey Krug - 22:35
Frederik Andersen - .931sv% Starting Goalie Jaroslav Halak - .932sv%

Historically the Maple Leafs have had a rough ride in San Jose. Going 5-11-3 all time in the SAP Center/HP Pavilion. If we add in their record against the Oakland Seals/California Golden Seals, it goes to 15-21-8. The Bay area is not the Maple Leafs friend.

These are two relatively evenly matched teams, with the Sharks having the edge on the blue line, but I’d give the Leafs the advantage in scoring and goal tending.

If anything changes, we’ll update the preview, but for now, take a nap. You need to rest up for the late start.