Toronto Maple Leafs @ St. Louis Blues
01:00 PM at Enterprise Center
Watch on: SNO, ESPN

The Leafs last game was at home on February 17 against the Anaheim Ducks, which Toronto won by a score of 9-2 in regulation. The Leafs have a record of 29-16-8 for a 0.623 Points %.

The St. Louis Blues last played at home on February 17 against the Nashville Predators. The Blues lost by a score of 5-2 in regulation, and their current league record is 29-23-2 for a 0.556 Points %.


Sometime when we weren't looking the NHL decided to try to make the schedule interesting by having teams play each other in temporal proximity. Within the division, home-and-home games can be easily done, but the most absurd example of this plan so far was the San Jose Sharks chasing the Leafs plane from California to Toronto to play that very long-distance home-and-home.

The idea seems to be to make the inter-conference games less random, more full of anger and resentment like the exceptionally good way it's worked out for Vancouver and Detroit. Nothing sells the game like a soap opera about a grievance over a dance move. I thought MMA existed to fill this niche, but I'm not in PR, so what do I know?

Anyway, here we are again playing St. Louis, and I guess that's why they call it the blues.

Nothing much has changed since the Leafs looked like stars without half their forward lineup and many a myth was made. Jordan Binnington got a fine for something stupid he did, so he's still available to play.


Lou Korac via Daily Faceoff from yesterday's practice.

Pavel Buchnevich - Robert Thomas - Jordan Kyrou
Jake Neighbours - Brayden Schenn - Kasperi Kapanen
Brandon Saad - Kevin Hayes - Sammy Blais
Alexey Toropchenko - Oskar Sundqvist - Nathan Walker

Nick Leddy - Colton Parayko
Torey Krug - Matt Kessel
Marco Scandella - Calle Rosén

Jordan Binnington
Joel Hofer


Morgan Rielly missed his first game of his five-game suspension against the Blues last Tuesday. This is game four. If Gary Bettman were going to shorten it, now would be a good time.

With William Lagesson injured in the last game with an undisclosed upper body injury, the Leafs recalled AHL defender Marshall Rifai. Rifai is 25, and he played at Harvard with Nick Abruzzese. Not ever known for points, he is a decent skater and a physical player. He's played in Leafs games for two preseasons, and has been at Traverse City where he was fairly heavily outperformed by Lagesson at the obvious things. But I remember being surprised that he kept up well in preseason level NHL games. If he does play, the ask is going to be very limited, and he should be fine as long as he doesn't take dumb penalties.

Will he play? There's more gametime decisions that certainties, so it's not a given. But for one game, with the fear that the Leafs would dry up and blow away without Rielly assuaged, there's no reason to rush Lagesson who is "gametime decision" now, not "will miss some time".

Both Timothy Liljegren and Jake McCabe are somewhat injured, in the "banged up" category. If there is a chance someone else can play, they'd likely get a game off. John Tavares is not a given to suit up.

Also, it appears the five-forward power play is back, let's enjoy the discussion about it like it's new.


A projected set of lines if John Tavares plays – he was at practice yesterday:

Matthew Knies - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi - John Tavares - William Nylander
Bobby McMann - Max Domi - Nicholas Robertson
Pontus Holmberg - David Kämpf - Noah Gregor

T.J. Brodie - Timothy Liljegren
Simon Benoit - Jake McCabe
Marshall Rifai - Maxime Lajoie

Ilya Samsonov - starter
Martin Jones

The Game

Afternoon games are rare in the NHL. Games at noon local time are almost never played. The only people who know how to handle this are Marlies who play the schoolday games at 11 am with some regularity. And for whom 1 pm used to be standard gametime before other teams complained.

Bobby McMann, this is your turn to score three.

Consider this your GDT as well as the preview, and we'll try to sort out together who is even in this game.