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Preview: Maple Leafs vs. Flyers

It’s November, so the games matter now.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Flyers @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: TVAS, SN1, NBCSP+

Opponent’s Site: Broad Street Hockey

The Leafs last game was a road game on October 30 against the Anaheim Ducks, which Toronto lost by a score of 4-3. The Leafs have a record of 4-4-2 so far.

The Philadelphia Flyers last played an away game on November 1 against the New York Rangers. The Flyers lost by a score of 1-0, and their current league record is 5-2-2.

Them

It was ten years ago the Leafs traded a “future Captain” to the Flyers in exchange for a pasta-casserole loving, stick angling tip-in scoring master. Now, James van Riemsdyk is once again a Flyer, but not doing much of that scoring part, and neither has much of his new old team. The Flyers aren’t aiming high this season, and their new coach John Tortorella doesn’t seem very confident in what they can do either, saying unequivocally they aren’t good at anything during their training camp.

Speaking of familiars like JvR arriving in Toronto to haunt the team, that would be the same John Tortorella who was the coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets which knocked the Leafs out of the playoffs in the first (play-in) round in 2020. Of course, the Jackets then lost right after that round, and Torts couldn’t get them to the playoffs at all the next season and was fired. I suppose the Blue Jackets could have done worse for a coach.

JvR actually won’t be playing tonight. He is out as he had surgery to repair an injured finger. I wonder what he was doing with his finger when it was injured?

Lines

Source: Jordan Hall via Daily Faceoff

Joel Farabee - Kevin Hayes - Travis Konecny
Noah Cates - Scott Laughton - Owen Tippett
Kieffer Bellows - Morgan Frost - Zack MacEwen
Nicolas Deslauriers - Lukas Sedlak - Wade Allison

Ivan Provorov - Tony DeAngelo
Travis Sanheim - Rasmus Ristolainen
Nick Seeler - Justin Braun

Felix Sandstrom - presumed starter
Carter Hart

Us

These are projected lines based on the traditional model, but we know Keefe has already got the line blender out of the back of the closet and taken it out of the box and left it plugged in on the counter, because putting it away again is such a hassle, right? So until the warm-up skate happens, you should be ready for these to change. One thing we do expect is to see Pontus Holmberg make his first appearance as a Leaf. The Swede was drafted in the sixth round of 2018. It’s also expected that the experiment of keeping Rielly and Brodie apart will continue.

Lines

Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Alex Kerfoot - John Tavares - William Nylander
Pierre Engvall - Pontus Holmberg - Calle Järnkrok
Zach Aston-Reese - David Kämpf - Denis Malgin

Morgan Rielly - Victor Mete
TJ Brodie - Justin Holl
Mark Giordano - Rasmus Sandin

Ilya Samsonov - presumed starter
Erik Källgren

The Game

Things aren’t great in Leafs Nation right now. The team is back home after a disastrous five-game road trip where they lost four games in a row, including one to the last place team in the league. They’re only through ten games for this season, but already nerves are frayed, tempers short, and a reporter has even asked Keefe if he might get fired soon. No win tonight will turn around the momentum—that’s not going to happen in one game anymore—but a loss is going to pour gasoline onto the existing fire.

Actually that doesn’t even cover it. Watching this team this season is like looking at the Elephant’s Foot; you know you’re doomed simply because you saw it. Get your beer ready for this one, because a team not really trying to win is exactly the kind of team the Leafs are ready to not defeat.

Poll

Odds on winning this one?

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    The Leafs have to win some games, right?
    (147 votes)
  • 8%
    The Flyers are so bad that even the Leafs will take this one easily.
    (18 votes)
  • 23%
    This game will turn the tide! The Leafs will come back from here.
    (51 votes)
216 votes total Vote Now