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Gameday: Toronto Maple Leafs vs Long Island Islanders

There are too many teams named New York. I’m taking a stand.

New York Islanders v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images

Before we start the preview, I would like to express our condolences to the New York Islanders, their community, and friend of the blog Justin Bourne over the passing of New York Islanders legend, and Hockey Hall of Fame Honoured Member, Clark Gillies.

Gillies was an essential part of the Islanders dynasty that won four Stanley Cups in a row, and went on to captain the team for two seasons. I hope everyone is doing as best they can through this time.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS @ LONG ISLAND ISLANDERS
7:00PM - CBC, Sportsnet
Other guys: Lighthouse Hockey

The Maple Leafs swapped home dates with the Islanders, so tonight’s home game was moved south to Long Island and will be played in front of a packed house of fans who don’t know the difference between bed sheets and pyjamas. The Maple Leafs are coming in off a 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers, while the Islanders have turned their season around a bit in January, posting a 5-1 record. They defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 last night.

THEM

As I noted above, the Islanders began their season as a bottom feeding team, but have since come around to winning some games. Only one loss in January - 2-0 to the Capitals - and they managed back to back wins earlier this week against the Flyers.

The Islanders are missing only two players tonight, Kyle Palmieri and Ryal Pulock.

There’s only one former Leaf in the line up tonight; Lou’s favourite guy, Matt Martin.

Lines

Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Austin Czarnik
Anthony Beauvillier - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey
Zach Parise - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Adam Pelech - Scott Mayfield
Zdeno Chara - Noah Dobson
Robin Salo - Andy Greene

Semyon Varlamov
Ilya Sorokin

US

The Maple Leafs are....the Maple Leafs. An average start to January, with plenty of blown leads has the team needing to work on plenty of things. Thankfully the losses have mostly been to good teams, getting goalied by the Coyotes aside, and nothing has been incredibly embarrassing aside from the Rangers loss.

The Leafs are missing two forwards and two defenders. Jake Muzzin is still out with a possible concussion, and Justin Holl, Nick Ritchie, and Ondřej Kaše are in COVID-19 protocol.

Lines

Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Alexander Kerfoot - John Tavares - William Nylander
Ilya Mikheyev - David Kämpf - Pierre Engvall
Wayne Simmonds - Jason Spezza - Joey Anderson

Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie
Rasmus Sandin - Timothy Liljegren
Carl Dahlström - Travis Dermott

Petr Mrázek
Jack Campbell

Numbers

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%

Things of note

  • Morgan Rielly skates in his 610th game as a Maple Leaf, tying him with Billy Harris for 18th all time.
  • Auston Matthews is seven goals away from passing Ted Kennedy for 10th all time. He probably won’t break this record tonight.
  • However, Matthews (392) only needs three points to pass Phil Kessel (395) for 20th all time in Maple Leafs scoring.

Come back to chat with us later tonight, and Go Leafs Go!