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Preview: Maple Leafs vs. Jets

The Jets have bused into town for their once a season visit.

OCTOBER 19: Covering up: Leaf defenceman Borje Salming gets in front of a shot by Jets’ Randy Carlyle as goalie Don Edwards is caught out of position in first-period action last night at Maple Leaf Gardens. Jets’ Brian Mullen; right; is unable to get to the puck. Some fine saves by Edwards got Leafs out of the period with a 2-0 lead. Wendel Clark had two goals for Leafs.
Photo by Al Dunlop/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Winnipeg Jets @ Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00 p.m. ET at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on:
TSN4 for the Leafs broadcast, TSN3 for the Jets broadcast

(blackouts in effect - see end of this article)

Opponent’s Site: Arctic Ice Hockey

The Leafs last game was at home on January 17 against the Florida Panthers, which Toronto won by a score of 5-4. The Leafs have a record of 27-11-7 so far.

The Winnipeg Jets last played an away game on January 17 against the Montréal Canadiens. The Jets lost by a score of 4-1, and their current league record is 29-15-1.

Them

Ah the Jets*. Their players hate the Leafs, and are actually quite open about that. 2019 me would find it odd if I went back in time and told him there was such animosity and rivalry between the teams, but then I would explain there was this weird pandemic season which had a temporary Canadian Division during which the Leafs and Jets played each other ten times, and by that tenth game, things were ugly. It carried on past then and Mark Scheifele even had that famous diatribe about how beating the Leafs was the most important victory for them in December 2021.

Of course, right after that bit of schadenfreude carefully timed so that the media could hear it, the Jets engines stalled. And then their season crashed hard. Paul Maurice up and quit as head coach—one of only a tiny number of NHL coaches to ever quit instead of being fired—and they ultimately missed the playoffs by several spots and once again went down in flames with yet another off-season full of allegations they have a toxic locker room where cliques of players openly hate each other. While specific details are hard to come by, there was a reporter from a Winnipeg newspaper went on record last summer to say “some of the worst people I ever met were inside the Winnipeg Jets dressing room.”

All that being said, they sit today as #1 in the NHL Western Conference, but of course that is once again thanks to Connor Hellebuyck. While he never hits the top goalie in the league marker, he’s consistently above average, and once again he is propelling the team to new heights this season (all puns intended).

Defeating the Jets requires getting pucks past Hellebuyck, and to do that, you need elite shooters. Fortunately, the Leafs have some of those, including one in particular the Jets might remember.

Lines

Last Game: (01/17) via Daily Faceoff

Kyle Connor - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Nikolaj Ehlers
Cole Perfetti - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler
Morgan Barron - Adam Lowry - Karson Kuhlman
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby - Kevin Stenlund - Saku Maenalanen

Josh Morrissey - Dylan DeMelo
Brenden Dillon - Neal Pionk
Ville Heinola - Nate Schmidt

Connor Hellebuyck (confirmed starter)
David Rittich

Us

The Leafs hit a bump in the road about a week ago, comically losing to the Red Wings, then losing in a hard fought battle to the #1 in the standings Bruins, and then they beat the Panthers on Tuesday, but they needed overtime to get there, though even outside the Toronto media bubble everyone has remarked that game as being one of the worst officiated games of this NHL season, with more obviously wrong calls and confusing penalties than any in recent memory.

The Leafs are back on home ice tonight, and the lines will be mostly unchanged from the previous game, as per reports from the morning skate. The only update is that Ilya Samsonov appears to be the starter tonight while Murray will backup. Murray started the last game, though Samsonov finished it.

Lines

Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Calle Järnkrok - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Zach Aston-Reese - David Kämpf - Pierre Engvall
Bobby McMann - Alex Kerfoot - Dryden Hunt

Morgan Rielly - Timothy Liljegren
Mark Giordano - Justin Holl
Rasmus Sandin - Jordie Benn

Ilya Samsonov (confirmed starter)
Matt Murray

The Game

Toronto vs Winnipeg

Toronto Stat Winnipeg
Toronto Stat Winnipeg
67.8 - 5th Points % - Ranking 65.6 - 6th
3.378 - 8th Goals/Game - Ranking 3.289 - 10th
2.667 - 6th Goals Against/Game - Ranking 2.622 - 3rd
24.8 - 8th Power Play% - Ranking 24.6 - 10th
78.3 - 17th Penalty Kill% - Ranking 84.2 - 2nd
10.7 - 8th Team Sh% - Ranking 11.1 - 6th
0.906 - 13th Team Sv% - Ranking 0.915 - 3rd
William Nylander - 24 Most Goals (NST) Mark Scheifele - 26
Mitchell Marner - 54 Most Points (NST) Kyle Connor - 54
Michael Bunting - 54 Most PIM (NST) Brenden Dillon - 57
Morgan Rielly - 22.59 TOI Leader (NST) Josh Morrissey - 23.39

As always, these TSN4 vs. TSN3 broadcasts have blackout rules in effect which means if you use Rogers Cable and/or Sportsnet Now to watch NHL games and you are also in Jets or Leafs broadcasting territory you will be in a blackout zone, unless you also pay extra for the premium cable sports package that has TSN4. Bell TV and TSN Direct subscribers will of course be able to watch this game anywhere.

The Leafs won the first of two matchups this season against the Jets way back in October, defeating them 4-1. Do the Leafs complete the season sweep of the Jets tonight, or will something Leafy happen?

Poll

Will the Leafs pull out another win on the Jets?

  • 31%
    Of course. The Jets will be tired from the long bus ride they have to take to reach Toronto.
    (57 votes)
  • 34%
    The Leafs will win because the Western Conference is flaky and being number one out there is easy.
    (62 votes)
  • 33%
    Leafs are gonna get Hellebuyck’d
    (61 votes)
180 votes total Vote Now