Boston Bruins @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: NESN, SN, NHLN
The Leafs played Seattle at home on November 30 and won in a shootout 4-3. Their record is 12-6-3 so far.
The Bruins played the Sharks at home on the same day and won 3-0. Their record is 15-4-3 so far.
The burning desire to believe the Bruins only win because of their goalies is understandable, but I'm not here to support you in this belief. Boston has a mediocre Corsi %, about a point and a half higher than the mediocre Leafs, but their Expected Goals % is tenth in the league and a respectable, but not elite 53%.
Their Expected Goals rate on the power play is top ten, but not excellent, and they are actually scoring under expected. If they had ordinary goalies cruising around league average, they would be a playoff team, tied up in the fight for the spots in the Atlantic with all the rest of us. But they don't, they have the best team Save % in the NHL.
Their offence is a little tepid, but they are extremely had to score against. They aren't as good as last year's team, but that doesn't mean they're bad.
Jack Edwards via Daily Faceoff from the last game:
Jake DeBrusk - Pavel Zacha - David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand - Matthew Poitras - Danton Heinen
James van Riemsdyk - Charlie Coyle - Trent Frederic
Jakub Lauko - John Beecher - Morgan Geekie
Hampus Lindholm - Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk - Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort - Kevin Shattenkirk
Linus Ullmark - confirmed starter
Can the Leafs get the Bruins to a shootout, and therefore win? You never know.
Ilya Samsonov is ill, and Martin Jones draws in. Ryan Reaves replaces Bobby McMann and there will be endless conversation about emotion and toughness and Brad Marchand as a result.
The defence corps looks very scary when you see it laid out and you realize how much that second pair has to play. That said, without William Lagesson, the Leafs would be in a very tough situation right now. Both he and Timmins are getting shifts like the big boys do, in defensively crucial situations. It's a very different usage to Keefe's method of playing Timothy Liljegren when nothing much was on the line.
Mark Masters via Daily Faceoff
Matthew Knies - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Tyler Bertuzzi - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Nicholas Robertson - Max Domi - Calle Järnkrok
Noah Gregor - David Kämpf - Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly - T.J. Brodie
William Lagesson - Jake McCabe
Simon Benoit - Conor Timmins
Joe Woll - confirmed starter
I don't think another shootout is really a very good idea. I also don't think playing a period with less than 25% Corsi is ideal. Mitch Marner is still wearing his lucky bubble though, so it's all good.