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Game Preview: Maple Leafs vs. Blues

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The Leafs hope to keep their point streak alive tonight against the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

Toronto Maple Leafs v St Louis Blues Getty Images

St. Louis Blues @ Toronto Maple Leafs: 7:00pm
Watch on: TSN4 (blackouts in effect)
Opponent’s site: St. Louis Game Time

After a crazy game on Saturday night I’m sure we would all like to have some solid low event hockey, right? The trouble is the Leafs seem to need high event hockey where they shoot and shoot and score and score.

They certainly don’t yet have anything to prove with a start to the season of five points out of six in the first three games, but the masses still want wins. Clean two point regulation wins. And you can’t get a more PR friendly win than defeating the reigning Stanley Cup Champions.

Maple Leafs Lines

(reported by Mark Masters at Leafs practice)

Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Kasperi Kapanen - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Ilya Mikheyev - Alexander Kerfoot - Trevor Moore
Nic Petan - Jason Spezza - Frederik Gauthier

Morgan Rielly - Cody Ceci
Jake Muzzin - Tyson Barrie
Rasmus Sandin - Justin Holl

Frederik Andersen
Michael Hutchinson

These are the same lines that were used in the game against the Blue Jackets. If you don’t like those lines you shouldn’t raise expectations for any reinforcements to arrive in the near future.

Blues Lines

(projection from NHL.com)

Jaden Schwartz - Brayden Schenn - Vladimir Tarasenko
Sammy Blais - Ryan O’Reilly - David Perron
Zach Sanford - Tyler Bozak - Robby Fabbri
Ivan Barbashev - Oskar Sundqvist - Alex Steen

Carl Gunnarsson - Alex Pietrangelo
Jay Bouwmeester - Colton Parayko
Vince Dunn - Justin Faulk

Jordan Binnington
Jake Allen
(Binnington assumed as starter since he didn’t play in the last game)

The Game

We all want to see the Leafs shooting way more in the high danger spots and not way out in d-man territory. Even with Auston Matthews proving he can simply score on pretty much any shot no matter what defence is thrown in front of him, we need more plays setup to go in those danger spots. We don’t want this again like Katya noted we had in Saturday’s game.

HockeyViz

The Leafs have lost both regular season games against the Blues for the last three seasons, though they did salvage an OT loser point in one of each of those season’s games. Hey, maybe we can buck that trend tonight! In the 2015-16 season’s games the Leafs beat the Blues 4-1 in both games. The goals for the Leafs in those games were scored by:

Nazem Kadri (x3)
James van Riemsdyk
Michael Grabner
Peter Holland
P.A. Parenteau
Brad Boyes

Rielly is the only member of the Leafs playing today to have actually seen the team defeat the Blues. Nylander did not play in the games against the Blues that season. Marincin was in the games that season, but he’s not playing tonight!

So what could go wrong, then?

Oh. Tyler Bozak has yet to score a goal this season, so you can count on him getting his first tonight. At least Freddy is in net (but is he properly rested?!)