Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Nashville Predators: Game 42
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Scotiabank Arena
Broadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet Ontario
Opponent SBNation Site: On The Forecheck
The Leafs kick off the second half of the season tonight, taking on the Nashville Predators. This might be the best forward group against the best defence group in the NHL, though of course Tampa has a claim to both titles. Let’s roll.
Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Patrick Marleau - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Connor Brown - Nazem Kadri - Kasperi Kapanen
Par Lindholm - Frederik Gauthier - Trevor Moore
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Igor Ozhiganov
The backup goalie is frequent flyer between the AHL and NHL: Kasimir Kaskisuo, who had a rough outing for the Marlies yesterday, but he’ll just be on clipboard duty again. Hutchinson will get the start to follow up his shutout performance against the popgun Canucks offence.
Ryan Hartman - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson
Kevin Fiala - Calle Jarnkrok - Craig Smith
Miikka Salomaki - Nick Bonino - Austin Watson
Phillip Di Giuseppe - Frederick Gaudreau - Rocco Grimaldi
Coach Laviolette says Filip Forsberg is “really close” to returning and says it’s possible he plays tonight. #Preds— Brooks Bratten (@brooksbratten) January 7, 2019
Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis
Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban
Dan Hamhuis - Anthony Bitetto
The Predators are a bit short-staffed at forward right now, as key forwards Filip Forsberg, Kyle Turris, and, er, Colton Sissons are all listed as injured, though the latter played Saturday. Despite these absences, the Preds are pulling out of a spin, having gone 3-0-1 in their last four following a six-game losing streak. They still generally count on their elite defence and quality goaltending (they have the best GA in the league) to cover for their merely good offence, especially with Forsberg and Turris out. Now that I’ve jinxed it, I assume Dan Hamhuis will score on us eight times.
As you’re well aware, the Preds’ top four is the envy of the NHL, with each player being a plausible top-pair defenceman in his own right. On the upside, the Leafs centre depth outclasses the Preds as it stands, so this should be an interesting contrast of strengths between two teams that are both top five quality.
Go Leafs Go!