Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs
Time: 7:00pm ET
Watch on: TSN 4, NBCSN
Opponent’s site: Die By The Blade
With a day off on Sunday and a practice on Monday, the Maple Leafs have left their successful 3-1-0 Western road trip and returned home for a third date of four with the Buffalo Sabres.
The Sabres have found a way to stay ahead of the Leafs during their 6-4-0 record in their last 10 games with a 5-1-4 record of their own. That’s points in seven one-goal games for the Sabres.
Jack Eichel, and his line with Victor Olofsson and Sam Reinhart, have been running hot this season and have been one of the best lines in the league offensively. They’ve combined for 49 goals while shooting 17.9%. The trio will come down eventually, what with a 50% shot share and a 10% gap between their 57% goals for and 47% expected goals, but it won’t necessarily come tonight. Someone light the Justin Holl signal!
Casey “Middling-Stats” Mittelstadt won’t be playing against the Leafs, as he’s been sent to the AHL for the first time in his career. After pulling out of college hockey three years early and jumping right into the NHL as a 19 year old, it’s pretty clear the 2017, 8th-overall pick was rushed and is in project mode with the Rochester Americans.
Speaking of 2017 first-round picks, Timothy Liljegren was called up to the Leafs on Monday to take part in practice on an emergency recall with Martin Marincin. While it would be very exciting to see the 20-year-old right-shot defenseman who has developed broadly and consistently in his three years in the AHL, it’s not likely the Leafs keep him for the game. Here’s hoping the updated lines from the morning skate contradict me.
And for the love of god, take Kasperi Kapanen off the first line, please!
Maple Leafs Lines
Based on yesterday’s lines at practice
Kasperi Kapanen - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Pierre Engvall - Alexander Kerfoot - Ilya Mikheyev
Trevor Moore - Frederik Gauthier - Jason Spezza
Jake Muzzin - Justin Holl
Morgan Rielly - Tyson Barrie
Travis Dermott - Cody Ceci
Based on their last game
Krueger says Ullmark will start. They’ll go 12/6 tonight too but lineup and lines will wait until tonight.— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdon) December 17, 2019
Victor Olofsson - Jack Eichel - Sam Reinhart
Jimmy Vesey - Marcus Johansson - Rasmus Asplund
Jeff Skinner - Evan Rodrigues - Conor Sheary
Zemgus Girgensons - Johan Larsson - Kyle Okposo
Jake McCabe - Rasmus Ristolainen
Brandon Montour - Rasmus Dahlin
Marco Scandella - Henri Jokiharju