Ottawa Senators @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: CBC, SN, RDS
The Leafs last game was at home on January 25 against the New York Rangers, which Toronto won by a score of 3-2. The Leafs have a record of 30-11-8 so far.
The Ottawa Senators last played at home on January 25 against the New York Islanders. The Senators won by a score of 2-1, and their current league record is 21-23-3.
I would normally like to not mince words, but I don’t feel like being nice to the Senators today. Must be the images I have of Daniel Alfredsson. Though, I’ll admit, the Leafs are certainly capable of botching this one.
While the future might be bright in the coming years for Ottawa, Buffalo (finally trending up 20 years later) should serve as a cautionary tale to pump the brakes. Here is a quick blurb on them playing their youth to close out the season. I especially enjoyed the excerpt below if you don’t care about the Sens enough to read the article:
Please note below, however, Ottawa special teams are both operating at a better rate than the Leafs.
Last Game: (01/25) via Daily Faceoff
Brady Tkachuk - Tim Stützle - Mathieu Joseph
Alex DeBrincat - Ridly Greig - Claude Giroux
Derick Brassard - Shane Pinto - Drake Batherson
Parker Kelly - Dylan Gambrell - Austin Watson
Thomas Chabot - Nick Holden
Jake Sanderson - Travis Hamonic
Erik Brännström - Nikita Zaitsev
* - Expected Starter
I cannot lead with anything else:
Injury update:— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 27, 2023
Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews will be out of the lineup for a minimum of three weeks due to a knee sprain suffered in Wednesday’s game vs. NYR.
This news came out after I started ripping on the Sens... I’m sorry I brought this karma upon you all. Popular thoughts circulating in the wake of this news was that Nylander might get to go play in the ASG, but Aleksander Barkov was quickly inserted instead. Willy - you are my all-star good sir.
Back to tonight...
The Leafs look to go for #3 in a row. We’re at the point in the season where you would hope the kinks are worked out and the team is firing on all cylinders. Some long lost teammates are starting to pop back up:
Victor Mete is back on the ice here at Scotiabank Arena. He’s been out since Dec. 6 with a lower-body injury that Sheldon Keefe revealed recently was more significant than that had originally thought. pic.twitter.com/eiBwySsSzG— David Alter (@dalter) January 27, 2023
I also forgot he was on the team. And as for all cylinders, this is a classic Leafs trap game. Though with #34 falling out of the lineup for the foreseeable future, I think this is less of a concern.
We will get to see some lineup changes tonight as Keefe stitches together some interesting combinations. Now I just need to perform my own surgery to edit these lines:
Michael Bunting - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Calle Järnkrok - Pontus Holmberg - William Nylander
Bobby McMann - David Kämpf - Pierre Engvall
Zach Aston-Reese - Alex Kerfoot - Joey Anderson
Morgan Rielly - Justin Holl
Mark Giordano - Timothy Liljegren
Rasmus Sandin - Conor Timmins
* - Expected Starter
Toronto vs Ottawa
|69.4 - 3rd||Points % - Ranking||47.9 - 25th|
|3.388 - 9th||Goals/Game - Ranking||2.851 - 25th|
|2.612 - 3rd||Goals Against/Game - Ranking||3.255 - 20th|
|24.2 - 10th||Power Play% - Ranking||26.4 - 4th|
|79.3 - 16th||Penalty Kill% - Ranking||81.1 - 8th|
|10.6 - 9th||Team Sh% - Ranking||8.5 - 31st|
|0.909 - 9th||Team Sv% - Ranking||0.898 - 19th|
|William Nylander - 26||Most Goals (NST)||Tim Stützle - 20|
|William Nylander, Mitchell Marner - 57||Most Points (NST)||Brady Tkachuk - 47|
|Michael Bunting - 54||Most PIM (NST)||Brady Tkachuk - 66|
|Morgan Rielly - 22.73||TOI Leader (NST)||Thomas Chabot - 25.91|
With Papi on the sidelines for the foreseeable future, it is time again to see what the team can do without him. I’m fairly sure their record is pretty impeccable without him. According to statmuse.com, 31-16-2 is their record, or a .653 point percentage, which is still good for 5th in the conference.
This will be game number 50 for the Leafs sans Matthews. Let’s hope that number never gets to triple digits (yes, I’m making some assumptions here). While the news is great for Ottawa, I don’t think they are lining up to celebrate just yet. They are riding the high of youth in the lineup and a recent win against the poor poor Islanders, but surely they won’t gain too much from that. Hopefully.
Happy Friday. Enjoy the show.