Toronto Maple Leafs @ Florida Panthers
06:30 PM at FLA Live Arena
Watch on: TBS, CBC, TVAS, SN
It's been a few (too many) days since Game 2. The bitter taste in my mouth and anxiety in my brain has been lingering for too long. Now it's time for a win, baby.
Note the start time. It's a 6:30pm start for the Leafs in Florida. The other games tonight are at 3:30 (Canes @ Devils) and 9:30 (Stars @ Kraken) after only one game on Saturday. You do you, NHL schedule makers.
As expected, no lineup changes for the Florida Panthers.
Saturday practice via Daily Faceoff
Carter Verhaeghe - Aleksander Barkov - Anthony Duclair
Nick Cousins - Sam Bennett - Matthew Tkachuk
Eetu Luostarinen - Anton Lundell - Sam Reinhart
Colin White - Eric Staal - Zac Dalpe
Gustav Forsling - Aaron Ekblad
Marc Staal - Brandon Montour
Josh Mahura - Radko Gudas
The Leafs will be without Matthew Knies for this trip, and likely the rest of the series as he suffered a concussion from a well-documented hit. We are desperate for the young man's health that he recovers quickly and fully. But as a result, the Leafs will be running their Game 1 lineup against Tampa Bay (with the exception of Timothy Liljegren) tonight instead.
Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Calle Järnkrok - John Tavares - William Nylander
Alex Kerfoot - Ryan O'Reilly - Noel Acciari
Zach Aston-Reese - David Kämpf - Sam Lafferty
Jake McCabe - TJ Brodie
Morgan Rielly - Luke Schenn
Mark Giordano - Timothy Liljegren
The Leafs have been hit hard by PDO in the first two games, with Bobrovsky stopping ~95% of the shots he's been facing, while Samsonov has been at 88%. That has been the difference in a very even series between the two teams. More out of Samsonov is desperately needed, while on the other side I think we're just waiting for the Fall of Bob. It'll come, he's one of the most inconsistent goalies in the league. Maybe two days off and a sleep in his own bed turned him back into a pumpkin?
The Leafs power play has been electric, from which they have 13 scoring chances but only one goal. The numbers will turn for them and the chances will start going in.
Auston Matthews has been the Leafs best player through two games, getting a 2:1 ratio on chances while he's on the ice and adding two assists, he's just yet to score on his 22 shots. A hopeful sign is that two forwards have more expected goals than his 1.3 ixG. John Tavares leads the team with 1.77, with returned linemate William Nylander right behind with 1.66. The Leafs just haven't been able to buy a goal on the top three's combined 4.73 expected goals.
Pucks will go in.
Trust the process.
Stick to the plan.
Don't give up.
Go Leafs Go!!