Tonight’s matchup against the Philadelphia Flyers has a couple of angles to it. Sheldon Keefe against his former coach and mentor John Tortorella, and the Leafs against a worst shot share team than even Arizona or Anaheim.
The Flyers are riding the worst shot share and second worst expected goals share in the league (at 5v5) to a positive goals ratio and a hot start to the season. They are also one of the most turtle shell teams when leading, all of which can be traced back to Torts and his prevent defense.
Either this is going to fall right into the Leafs hands where we’ll see them being given space to build some confidence and hopefully win the game, or it’ll be another in a growing list of disappointing and boring losses.
Tortorella, unlike his defenses, knows how to be aggressive and motivate his group, and possibly other people along with them. Even if it’s short-lived.
John Tortorella to Toronto reporters regarding Sheldon Keefe: "You guys don't know what he's done for that team... You guys chuck darts at him because you want some results... He's a terrific coach. I hope he jams it to you all, quite honestly. Not tonight."— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) November 2, 2022
My opinion is that none of this needed to happen if some temperamental people on the Leafs kept their mouth shut and didn’t try to pit the team against the media, because they’ll eat up every morsul of that given to them and more. And what annoys me even more is when it starts to sound like the team is fighting their fans who are frustrated and — breaking news — read what the media writes. It’s not a fight the team should be pulling themselves into. It’s not about Marner vs Keefe, they’ve both been stupid about this and gotten emotional in front of the wrong people (the stick smash not included).
So on that cheery note, here’s the preview.
None (JVR is out with a hand injury)
And congrats to Pontus Holmberg on making his NHL debut!