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Preview: The NHL plays an April Fools’ Day joke on the Leafs and the Islanders

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Let’s see if we can be the ones who exit laughing.

Toronto Maple Leafs v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs at New York Islanders:

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Nassau Coliseum

Broadcast/Streaming: MSG+ 2, Sportsnet Ontario

Opponent SB Nation Site: The always chill and rational Lighthouse Hockey

If you couldn’t take a joke, you should have never entered the draft, I guess. And the NHL schedule has set someone up for a prank, but who will it be?

We know how the last meeting of these two teams went in Long Island, but this won’t be another Sparks game. And the Leafs have turned around a lot of what was wrong with them when that game happened. Anything can happen, though, and either team could win.

The truly exciting thing is that Calle Rosen is joining the Leafs after playing a couple of games on the Marlies as he came back off of a layoff with a foot injury. Given the rapid rise of Travis Dermott’s ice time in his first game back, we might see Rosen rise up in minutes played too if he starts out well. The goal now is to have everyone rested and healthy going into the playoffs.

To that end, we don’t know who is actually in this game. Jake Muzzin and Andreas Johnsson missed practice with illnesses and are game-time decisions. Jake Gardiner was there and in a regular jersey, but by the line there, it seems like he’s not yet ready to return.

Maple Leafs

Lines as of the practice this morning, subject to revision later.

Forward Lines

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

Nic Petan

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Travis Dermott - Nikita Zaitsev
Calle Rosen - Martin Marincin

Jake Gardiner - Igor Ozhiganov
Justin Holl

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen
Garret Sparks

New York Islanders

Lines as of Daily Faceoff

Forward Lines

Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Jordan Eberle
Josh Bailey - Brock Nelson - Michael Dal Colle
Anthony Beauvillier - Tom Kuhnhackl - Leo Komarov
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Defence Pairings

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Devon Toews - Scott Mayfield

Goaltenders

Thomas Greiss
Robin Lehner


There’s nothing to say about this game that we don’t already know. The whole thing is a re-run. The signs, the fans, the booing, the general carrying on, will be what it was last time. The Leafs just need to power through that, no matter the lineup

And for the love of all that is holy, JT, get a hat trick, would ya?

Go Leafs Go!