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Leafs v Flames Series 2 preview: Return of Tkachuk

Hopefully Matty got a chest protector big enough this time.

NHL: JAN 26 Maple Leafs at Flames Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Update for game 2: Zach Hyman will return, but no one else, and Jack Campbell is not ready. Nic Petan comes out of the lineup.

The top line should be Hyman - Matthews - Marner, with some combinations from the late stages of the last game as the rest of the lines.

Alex Barabanov and Scott Sabourin were at practice, so their COVID-19 retest must have been negative and all is well.

No other changes from the Monday lineup are expected at this time, but Martin Marincin is at practice.

Lines will be available in the Game Day Thread tonight.

One month ago the Toronto Maple Leafs made a trip to Calgary to play the Flames. came home short a goalie, and enraged Matthew Tkachuk to the point no water bottle was safe:

That was the end of January. Now we’re at the end of February and the Maple Leafs welcome the Calgary Flames to their home, and we kindly ask Matthew to refrain from smashing our things.

Game 1 - Toronto Maple Leafs vs Calgary Flames
Monday, February 22nd
Game 20 - 7:00 PM
TVA Sports, Sportsnet West, TSN4

Game 2 - Toronto Maple Leafs vs Calgary Flames
Wednesday, February 24th
Game 21 - 7:00 PM
Sportsnet, TVA Sports

The first two games between these two teams, looking at the score at least, went well for the Maple Leafs. In game one the Maple Leafs defeated the Flames 3-2 and Scarborough’s own Wayne Simmonds scored his first goal as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. We also lost Jack Campbell.

Game two was still as close, but a bigger win - the Maple Leafs eat the Flames 4-3 and featured the now infamous puck flip at Tkachuk.

Since these two teams last met the Maple Leafs are 8-2-1 and the Flames are 6-7. Here’s how they stack up:

Preview Stats

Toronto Team Tampa
Toronto Team Tampa
3-3 Series 3-3
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%

The Flames have been wildly inconsistent this season, tossing out big wins and small losses, playing into a shootout, and just shrugging and giving up a game. Most people picked them as a lock for the playoffs, but just like everyone between 3rd and 6th in the division, they’ll be a last minute decision about making it or going home.

The Maple Leafs haven’t been as inconsistent with the wins and losses, but have been all over the place on the ice. You never know what kind of game you’ll get from this team. Some questions I have for this series:

  • Will the big four forwards be on top of their game, or will we need the bottom six to supply all the goals?
  • Will Jake Muzzin’s actions still be stuck in Matthew Tkachuk’s head?
  • Does Jack Campbell make his return to the line up against the team that helped knock him out of it?

Game one is tonight at 7. Let’s find out.

Last minute injury report — looks like Muzzin and Tkachuk’s reunion will have to wait for another day.