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Preview: Leafs @ Blues

Tonight is the first of two games in the space of a week between the Leafs and the Blues.

St. Louis Blues v Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs @ St. Louis Blues
08:00 PM at Enterprise Center
Watch on: BSMW, SNO

Opponent’s Site: St. Louis Game Time

The Leafs last game was at home on December 22 against the Philadelphia Flyers, which Toronto won by a score of 4-3. The Leafs have a record of 21-7-6 so far.

The St. Louis Blues last played an away game on December 23 against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Blues lost by a score of 5-4, and their current league record is 16-16-2.

Them

The Blues sit five points out of a wild card playoff spot in the Western Conference with the Oilers sitting between them and the last spot, currently held by the Flames (LOLOILERS.)

Torey Krug was placed on LTIR this morning, which appears to have caught most Blues reporters by surprise. He will be out for at least six weeks. It’s not clear how they will shuffle things up for the game with him gone, but they did announce the call-up of defenceman Tyler Tucker from their AHL team, however it looks like he won’t make it to St. Louis in time, so instead they found an ex-Leaf to draw in; it’s our old friend Calle Rosén.

Oh and speaking of ex-Leafs, hi there Josh Leivo. The long time Leaf has only nine points in 24 games this season, so you can be sure he will get a goal tonight! It’s weird to look back at his history with the Leafs, especially those final two seasons where he was so often a healthy scratch he never hit 30 games, and he spent no time playing for the Marlies in those seasons.

And you always have to point out Nathan Walker, representing Australia in the NHL, he’s on the Blues fourth line tonight.

Lines

Source: Jeremy Rutherford @jprutherford
Lines are from morning skate.

Brandon Saad - Ryan O’Reilly - Brayden Schenn
Pavel Buchnevich - Robert Thomas - Vladimir Tarasenko
Ivan Barbashev - Noel Acciari - Josh Leivo
Alexei Toropchenko - Logan Brown - Nathan Walker

Nick Leddy - Colton Parayko
Calle Rosén - Justin Faulk
Niko Mikkola - Robert Bortuzzo

Jordan Binnington (confirmed starter)
Thomas Greiss

Us

The Leafs have won two in a row and seven of their last ten games. Things are going pretty well! The lines are expected to be the same as the last game because why change what’s working? Well there is Dryden Hunt. He may make his debut tonight, in which case he may bump out Aston-Reese. Either way, we await further information and confirmation on the starting goalie from whenever they have the morning skate out there in St. Louis.

Lines

(to be confirmed)

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

Mark Giordano - Justin Holl
Jordie Benn - Timothy Liljegren
TJ Brodie - Conor Timmins

Ilya Samsonov (starter unknown)
Matt Murray

The Game

Toronto vs St. Louis

Toronto Stat St. Louis
Toronto Stat St. Louis
70.6 - 3rd Points % - Ranking 50.0 - 22nd
3.265 - 12th Goals/Game - Ranking 3.029 - 24th
2.412 - 2nd Goals Against/Game - Ranking 3.618 - 28th
23.9 - 10th Power Play% - Ranking 23.4 - 12th
79.8 - 15th Penalty Kill% - Ranking 70.7 - 29th
10.3 - 12th Team Sh% - Ranking 10.3 - 14th
0.915 - 4th Team Sv% - Ranking 0.889 - 26th
William Nylander - 20 Most Goals (NST) Jordan Kyrou - 16
Mitchell Marner - 40 Most Points (NST) Jordan Kyrou - 32
Michael Bunting - 42 Most PIM (NST) Robert Bortuzzo, Brayden Schenn - 23
Morgan Rielly - 23 TOI Leader (NST) Colton Parayko - 23.42

This is the first of three games on the Leafs road trip through the Central Division. When the Leafs get home the Blues will be the first team they play, exactly one week from today. Last season, the Blues won both games, scoring six goals against the Leafs in each one. Let’s hope the Leafs play a little better defence tonight. There’s some history between Bunting and Krug, fighting each other in both games last season, but since Krug is out tonight that animosity may be redirected to/from someone else. Either way, I suspect this will be a chippy game.

Poll

How many points will the Leafs pick up on this Central Division Road trip (Blues, Coyotes, Avalanche)?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    SIX, OF COURSE!
    (61 votes)
  • 57%
    Four or five
    (119 votes)
  • 9%
    Three
    (20 votes)
  • 0%
    Two
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    One
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    Yikes.
    (6 votes)
208 votes total Vote Now