clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Preview: Leafs vs. Sharks

Are Ilya Samsonov and Conor Timmins in or out of the lineup tonight?

Toronto Maple Leafs v San Jose Sharks
Both of these two players were Leafs and Sharks.
Photo by Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

San Jose Sharks @ Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: SN, NBCSCA

Opponent’s Site: Fear The Fin

The Leafs last game was an away game on November 28 against the Detroit Red Wings, which Toronto won by a score of 4-2. The Leafs have a record of 14-5-5 so far.

The San Jose Sharks last played an away game on November 29 against the Montréal Canadiens. The Sharks won by a score of 4-0, and their current league record is 8-13-4.

Them

The Sharks sit at 13th in the messy Western Conference. The standings out there have a clear top, middle, and bottom, with the middle containing the bulk of the teams all sitting at 20-25 standings points. While the Sharks are in that group, not only do they have the fewest points at 20, they also have the most games played at 25, a legacy of their early start to the season playing two games in Europe before any other team played their first, something which the rest of the league has still not caught up to, so even at 13th place, they are still deceptively high in the standings. This is not a good team... but... well more on that in the Leafs segment below.

Leafs fan favourite goalie James Reimer will not be appearing tonight as he was injured in a game over the weekend and placed on injured reserve. Kaapo Kähkönen played last night in the Sharks win against the Habs, so I assume their actual starter will be their other backup goalie, Aaron Dell, yes, the Sharks have been carrying around three goalies for some time. It’s weird.

Lines

Source: Last Game (11/27) via Daily Faceoff

Timo Meier - Tomas Hertl - Kevin Labanc
Matthew Nieto - Logan Couture - Alexander Barabanov
Noah Gregor - Nick Bonino - Luke Kunin
Oskar Lindblom - Steven Lorentz - Jeffrey Viel

Jaycob Megna - Erik Karlsson
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Matt Benning
Nick Cicek - Radim Simek

Aaron Dell
Kaapo Kähkönen

Us

You may recall a few weeks ago during the last week of October, the Leafs went on their annual road trip to play out west, and it was an epic disaster of four losses in a row, including losing to the last-in-the-league Ducks, and a 4-3 loss to the Sharks in OT. It was an infamous string of games that made everyone panic about whether the Leafs were for real or not this season. They’ve since managed to quell those feeling among us with winning games, despite even a crisis with both goalies out injured, they still have a great record this season sitting at second place in the Atlantic Division, and third place in the whole Eastern Conference.

Speaking of that goalie crisis, there are reports that Ilya Samsonov is not only back, but ready to play tonight. This is still developing as Leafs morning skate is happening right now. We will no more after noon.

So if you’re a cynic, you should have this “easy win” game pencilled in for an epic loss, right.

Lines

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

Mark Giordano - Justin Holl
Rasmus Sandin - Timothy Liljegren
Victor Mete - Mac Hollowell

Ilya Samsonov
Matt Murray

The Game

Toronto vs San Jose

Toronto Stat San Jose
Toronto Stat San Jose
68.8 - 6th Points % - Ranking 40.0 - 29th
3.042 - 18th Goals/Game - Ranking 3 - 21st
2.542 - 4th Goals Against/Game - Ranking 3.44 - 22nd
25.0 - 9th Power Play% - Ranking 19.7 - 23rd
79.2 - 17th Penalty Kill% - Ranking 91.2 - 1st
10 - 17th Team Sh% - Ranking 10.1 - 16th
0.912 - 7th Team Sv% - Ranking 0.887 - 28th
William Nylander - 13 Most Goals (NST) Logan Couture - 13
Mitchell Marner - 28 Most Points (NST) Erik Karlsson - 32
Michael Bunting - 34 Most PIM (NST) Luke Kunin - 30
Morgan Rielly - 23 TOI Leader (NST) Erik Karlsson - 25.25

The Leafs will be back in their reverse retro jersey’s tonight, and we may see Conor Timmins make his Leafs debut wearing one of them, but reports from Leafs morning skate make is sound like that isn’t happening, and that Mac Hollowell will continue to play before being sent back to the Marlies, who don’t play again until Friday.

But you never know for sure with Sheldon Keefe what the lines will be until they are posted a few minutes before the start of the game.

While ex-Leaf Reimer won’t be playing, we will see ex-Leaf Alex Barabanov who has grown out his hair really long in the past year. I watched a Sharks game last weekend and completely didn’t recognise him until I finally saw the nameplate.

Poll

Will the Sharks beat the Leafs like they did in California in October?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    The Leafs will win this because it’s November, so it matters.
    (108 votes)
  • 11%
    This game has epic revenge win in OT for the Leafs written into the plot.
    (26 votes)
  • 16%
    Samsonov being back in net makes me think it’s a win.
    (38 votes)
  • 6%
    Samsonov being back in net makes me think it’s a loss.
    (15 votes)
  • 19%
    I still believe in James Reimer.
    (46 votes)
233 votes total Vote Now