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Toronto Maple Leafs game preview: Game 77 versus the Florida Panthers

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Just end already, you stupid season.

Panthers v Leafs X Tucker

Two weeks ago we were discussing the NHL playoffs at Sunday dinner and I said that the Maple Leafs were essentially locked into 3rd in the Atlantic Division.

“Hang on,” my brother in law said, “The Panthers could catch them.”

“No, they won’t.”

“They could.”

“No.”

So, without further adieu, I would like to point out to you, Stephen, that the Panthers are 12 points back of the Maple Leafs with two weeks left in the season.

Suck it.

Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:30PM - Air Canada Centre
Watch: Sportsnet, TVA Sports, Sportsnet Now, NHL Live
Listen: TSN1050, Sportsnet 590
SBN: Litter Box Cats

So, here we are. Game 77 of an 82 game season, the end of March with two more weeks of hockey to go. The Leafs are set in their position, and they could perform an act of mercy tonight and beat the Panthers into remembering they aren’t a playoff team.

So, what should we expect tonight? Well, previously in the season the Leafs beat the Panthers 1-0, and lost to the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout twice. If we’re following the other games It will be a close, low scoring game. A real treat.

Here are your projected lines.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Mitchell Marner
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Connor Brown
Andreas Johnsson - Tomas Plekanec - Kasperi Kapanen

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen
Curtis McElhinney

Florida Panthers

Evgeni Dadonov - Aleksander Barkov - Nick Bjugstad
Jonathan Huberdeau - Vincent Trochek - Jamie McGinn
Maxim Mamin - Denis Malgin - Colton Sceviour
Michael Haley - Derek MacKenzie - Frank Vatrano

Keith Yandle - Aaron Ekblad
Michael Matheson - Mark Pysyk
MacKenzie Weegar - Alex Petrovic

Roberto Luongo
James Reimer

Here’s my simple, yet effective table:

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%

Here’s my take on the game:

The season is too damn long.

Go Leafs Go!