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Game Preview: Blackhawks are in town; Kapanen out with concussion

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After getting the flu and losing big to Tampa, it’s time to turn things around with a win over a team that used to be good.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Chicago Blackhawks

Time: 7:00PM (will still feel like 6PM)

Location: Scotiabank Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NBC Sports

Opponent SBNation Site: Second City Hockey

You know how in Men in Black they have that little flashy doodle that erases peoples memories? Man, I could have used a good dose of flashy thing after Monday’s game. I never need to remember a 6-1 loss. The players do, but not me.

So, now the Chicago Blackhawks come to town. A team from the bottom ten of the league, and at 69 points, they’re eight away from a playoff spot. This could be an easier game from a team that knows they’re done and are playing out the season, or it could be one that still thinks a big win streak and playing hard will get them to the post season where anything can happen!

Over their past five games, the Blackhawks have lost to the Kings, Sharks, needed a shootout to beat Buffalo (LOL), barely beat the Stars, and then stomped on the Coyotes. Not a recent record that inspires me full of dread.

The Maple Leafs recent record has its ups and downs, the downs were way bigger than the ups, but we’ll move on. They may have lost to the best team in the Lightning, but they also beat one of the top teams in the Calgary Flames by a similar score so I think we’re alright.

Someone who’s not alright is Kasperi Kapanen, who is sidelined with a concussion. The Maple Leafs announced he would be out of tonight’s game, after missing the last game due to ‘illness’. It hasn’t been said where or when Kapanen got the concussion, they can sneak up on you when you’re least suspecting it, but he’s out now and that’s all we know.

Who’s in for him? Well lucky for you that’s out next section.

Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Connor Brown
Tyler Ennis - Frederik Gauthier - Trevor Moore

Nic Petan is out of the lineup again, and Trevor Moore fills in on the wing as everyone bumps up a slot to cover Kapanen. Nylander and Matthews should be fun tonight, hopefully they do well and stick together.

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Muzzin - Nikita Zaitsev
Martin Marincin - Igor Ozhiganov

That is the defence, yes indeed.

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen
Garret Sparks

It’s not game two of a back to back, so barring a shitshow in the first period, the game should be Freddie’s.

Chicago Blackhawks

Forward Lines

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Dylan Sikura
Dominik Kahun - Artem Anisimov - Patrick Kane
Alex DeBrincat - Dylan Strome - Brendan Perlini
Chris Kunitz - David Kampf - Marcus Kruger

Other teams coming to town is fun, since you are reminded of free agent signings you forgot about. Chris Kunitz! Look at that.

Defence Pairings

Duncan Keith - Erik Gustafsson
Carl Dahlstrom - Connor Murphy
Gustav Forsling - Brent Seabrook

I know two of these names...

Goaltenders

Corey Crawford
Collin Delia

Aw, no Cam Ward tonight, boo.


Round one vs Boston Bruins

Toronto Team Boston
Toronto Team Boston
3-2 Record 2-3
14GF - 14GA Goal Differential 14GF - 14GA
27.3% - 5th Power Play 35.7% - 2nd
64.3% - 15th Penalty Kill 72.7% - 12th
Auston Matthews - 4 Most Goals Bergeron, Krejci, Pastrnak, Marchand, Coyle - 2
Morgan Rielly - 4 Most Assists Brad Marchand - 4
Auston Matthews - 5 Most Points Brad Marchand - 6
Nazem Kadri - 19 Most PM Charlie McAvoy - 6
Morgan Rielly - 24:34/G TOI Leader Charlie McAvoy - 16
Frederik Andersen - .925sv% Starting Goalie Tuukka Rask - .922sv%

Draw those penalties boys! The worst penalty kill is coming to town so let’s light the lamp and make everyone's dreams come true!

With everyone rested and recuperated from the time change and jet lag of being out west, this should be a game we’ll enjoy. It may not be beating Buffalo 5-2 on home ice awesome, but it should be a win.