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Preview: Maple Leafs host the Ducks

Toronto plays the worst team in the NHL, what could possibly go wrong?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Anaheim Ducks
Trevor Zegras #11 of the Anaheim Ducks celebrates after being named Player of the Game after their victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Honda Center on October 30, 2022.
Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images

Anaheim Ducks @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: TSN4, BSSC

Opponent’s Site: Anaheim Calling

The Leafs last game was at home on December 10 against the Calgary Flames, which Toronto won by a score of 5-4. The Leafs have a record of 18-5-6 so far.

The Anaheim Ducks last played an away game on December 12 against the Ottawa Senators. The Ducks lost by a score of 3-0, and their current league record is 7-19-3. They have won one game in regulation.

Them

Toronto vs Anaheim

Toronto Stat Anaheim
Toronto Stat Anaheim
72.4 - 3rd Points % - Ranking 29.3 - 32nd
3.207 - 13th Goals/Game - Ranking 2.345 - 32nd
2.414 - 3rd Goals Against/Game - Ranking 4.172 - 32nd
25.3 - 8th Power Play% - Ranking 14.5 - 31st
79.8 - 12th Penalty Kill% - Ranking 66.0 - 32nd
10.3 - 13th Team Sh% - Ranking 7.8 - 32nd
0.918 - 3rd Team Sv% - Ranking 0.889 - 25th
William Nylander - 17 Most Goals (NST) Troy Terry - 11
Mitchell Marner - 35 Most Points (NST) Troy Terry - 27
Michael Bunting - 38 Most PIM (NST) Max Comtois - 44
Morgan Rielly - 23 TOI Leader (NST) Cam Fowler - 24.77

Okay, they aren’t last in every category, but they are the worst team with no question. This is an epic tank job for the ages. But as the Leafs discovered in October, if you open the door, their young and talented forwards can hurt you. The Ducks performance in that game was proof that sometimes wanting it really can work. Particularly if the other team is playing at about 55% of their real ability.

The Ducks were absolutely dominated by the Ottawa Senators last night, lost 3-0 while still mildly goalie-ing the Sens with their backup. So they’re tired and... what? Hopeless, angry, determined, ready for this roadie to end? Who knows.

Lines

Source: Last Game: (12/12) via Daily Faceoff

Troy Terry - Trevor Zegras - Adam Henrique
Maxime Comtois - Ryan Strome - Frank Vatrano
Max Jones - Mason McTavish - Brett Leason
Jayson Megna - Sam Carrick - Jakob Silfverberg

Cam Fowler - Dmitry Kulikov
Simon Benoit - John Klingberg
Urho Vaakanainen - Kevin Shattenkirk

John Gibson - likely starter
Lukas Dostal

Us

The Leafs are very slowly getting healthier on defence, and losing bodies at forward. Brodie was still on the third pair at practice yesterday, but he had the second most minutes in the most recent game for defenders. He played three minutes with Timothy Liljegren to top up his time with Conor Timmins. Timmins has settled in as a perfectly playable defender, how far above that he can reach is still an open question, but the defence roster right now is a lot more secure.

Denis Malgin is going to get some more time in the top six and Joey Anderson takes his job on the fourth line. The next most likely person to return from injury is Jordie Benn, however, so that might raise an bit of a conundrum as to who to play. Injuries have disguised this early on, but the fact that there are more than six NHL-calibre defenders hasn’t changed.

No firm word yet on Leafs goalies, not that it makes a lot of difference these days. Ilya Samsonov has 8.1 Goals Saved Above Expected in 10 games and Matt Murray has 7.8 (Moneypuck).

Lines

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

Mark Giordano - Justin Holl
Rasmus Sandin - Timothy Liljegren
TJ Brodie - Conor Timmins

Ilya Samsonov - likely starter
Matt Murray

The Game

What’s to say here? Keep your head, and you win this game easily. Play it stupid and you get embarrassed again.

Go Leafs Go!