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Gameday: Maple Leafs versus the Flyers

Really, it’s in the Flyers best interest to lose, so naturally they’ll play their little hearts out.

NHL: NOV 09 Flyers at Maple Leafs Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Philadelphia Flyers
7 pm on TSN4, NBCSP

The Maple Leafs take on the Flyers, who have very successfully dived to the bottom of the league lately. They enter tonight’s game in fourth place in the race for the ocean floor by points percentage. They’re only one point better than Seattle, and just need to not win to get down into lottery country.

Them

The Flyers have lost their last five games, as they prepare for the draft. There’s no shame in it. When your marquee player leaves you after 1,000 games and his whole career on your team, you know you’re in the bottom of the rebuild. And a -82 goal differential now doesn’t mean you won’t be at least second last in the Metro next year. So take heart, Flyer’s fans.

This is the team from morning skate via Daily Faceoff:

Noah Cates - Kevin Hayes - Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk - Scott Laughton - Bobby Brink
Joel Farabee - Morgan Frost - Owen Tippett
Oskar Lindblom - Nate Thompson - Zack MacEwen

Ivan Provorov - Travis Sanheim
Egor Zamula - Kevin Connauton
Keith Yandle - Ronnie Attard

Martin Jones - confirmed starter
Felix Sandström

The Flyers too hurt to play are actually a fairly impressive roster, but now is the time for the young stars like Brink and Farabee to shine. Old man Konecny can show them the ropes.

They are some very good players on this team, and the Leafs are due for a stinker, so anything is possible.

Us

Sheldon Keefe is in his experimental phase, and unfortunately that doesn’t mean he’s going to cut an album of trance covers of Bob Dylan.

Auston Matthews is still not playing so taking last night’s lines as the starting point that Keefe can experiment with — anyone else remember mixing paint in elementary school and always ending up with a kind of muddy grey? Anyhow:

Ilya Mikheyev - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
William Nylander - Alexander Kerfoot - Pierre Engvall
Michael Bunting - David Kämpf - Colin Blackwell
Nick Abruzzese - Jason Spezza - Wayne Simmonds

Morgan Rielly - Ilya Lyubushkin
T.J. Brodie - Justin Holl
Mark Giordano - Timothy Liljegren

Jack Campbell - confirmed starter
Erik Källgren

We saw some flipping of Mikheyev and Bunting in the Sunday game, so expect that. Lyubushkin and Liljegren can also be swapped. We might see Clifford in for someone on that fourth line.

The Game

Moneypuck says 78.4% the Leafs take the Flyers and 76.8% the Lightning take the Red Wings. Check back at 10:30 or so to see who fulfilled their probable destiny and who didn’t.