Toronto Maple Leafs vs San Jose Sharks
6:00PM, Scotiabank Arena on TSN4
Opponent’s Site: Fear the Fin
6PM? Why so early?
Reason has to do with Leafs' first game across the border Sat. First time Leafs are clearing customs in the pandemic. Leafs were informed that they can't clear customs in Toronto tonight but rather in Pittsburgh. Which might cause delays. So decision made to play an hour early. https://t.co/9FhAkYH8iX— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 22, 2021
The San Jose Sharks. A team we haven’t seen since the disastrous California road trip, the Maple Leafs final journey to the United States until they return tomorrow night. When these two teams last met the Sharks beat the Leafs 5-2, Martin Jones was in net for the Sharks and the Maple Leafs had eight players on the roster who are no longer with the team.
Now, the Sharks are undefeated early in this season, having beaten the Jets* 4-3, Canadiens 5-0, and the Senators 2-1. They seem to be getting all the distant Canadian teams off their schedule nice and early in the season. Last night was the Sharks victory over the Ottawa Senators, with former Maple Leaf James Reimer getting the win stopping 30 of 31 shots. Sharks starter Adin Hill gets the go-ahead tonight, he last played against the Montréal Canadiens, getting a 25 shot shutout.
The Sharks didn’t skate this morning, but going 3-0, I don’t see any reason to make changes to their line up from last night. Former Leaf Alex Barabanov is the 13th forward right now, but could get into game two of the back-to-back. Here are the lines from last night, courtesy of our friends at Fear the Fin:
Jonathan Dahlén — Logan Couture — Timo Meier
William Eklund — Tomas Hertl — Rudolfs Balcers
Matt Nieto — Nick Bonino — Kevin Labanc
Andrew Cogliano — Jasper Weatherby — Lane Pederson
Mario Ferraro — Brent Burns
Marc-Édouard Vlasic — Erik Karlsson
Jacob Middleton — Radim Simek
If you’re wondering, yes that is the brother of former Leafs prospect Keaton Middleton. Our Middleton is in the Colorado Avalanche system right now.
The Leafs lost to the New York Rangers in overtime on Monday, and have had three days off to get over that heartbreaking loss after one heck of an exciting overtime period. The Leafs lines didn’t come out this morning, but I don’t think there will be much shuffling around tonight, tomorrow is probably the time for experimenting; the Penguins are missing most of their top forwards so it will be a different feel for both teams.
Nick Ritchie - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Michael Bunting - John Tavares - William Nylander
Alexander Kerfoot - David Kämpf - Ondřej Kaše
Pierre Engvall - Jason Spezza - Wayne Simmonds
Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie
Jake Muzzin - Justin Holl
Rasmus Sandin - Travis Dermott
Yes, Hutchinson is getting the start. Jack Campbell will play against Pittsburgh tomorrow because it’s Saturday, and you put your starter in on Hockey Night in Canada.
Petr Mrázek is also on the road trip:
Sheldon Keefe said Petr Mrazek has been skating and will travel with the #Leafs on their road trip. Isn't close to playing, but is progressing very well and wants to be with the team for ~bonding~ and all that— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) October 22, 2021
|23GF - 21GA - +2||Goal Differential||21GF - 23GA - -2|
|16% - 11th||Power Play||22.6% - 7th|
|77.4% - 10th||Penalty Kill||84% - 6th|
|Auston Matthews - 4||Most Goals||Colton, Palat - 3|
|Mitch Marner - 5||Most Assists||Nikita Kucherov - 6|
|Auston Matthews - 8||Most Points||Nikita Kucherov - 8|
|Ilya Lyubushkin - 18||Most PM||Jan Rutta - 17|
|TJ Brodie - 22:44||TOI Leader||Victor Hedman - 25:45|
|Jack Campbell - .893sv%||Starting Goalie||Andrei Vasilevskiy - .885sv%|
Numbers-wise it should be an exciting one. An undefeated team against the Maple Leafs core forwards. A goalie who’s out to prove himself once again against one who can barely be beaten. Auston Matthews is in search of his first goal, Mitch Marner wants to put points on the board to shut people up. An hour earlier start than anyone is used to could play a factor as well, little changes to routines can throw a players game off.
Let’s enjoy tonight, eat dinner in front of the TV, and bask in the lovely shade of teal we haven’t seen since before [waves hand in the general direction of everything].
Go Leafs Go!