Florida Panthers @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: TVAS, TSN4, BSFL

The Leafs last game was on Saturday where they lost 3-2 to Pittsburgh. Their record is 10-6-3 so far.

The Panthers, as everyone must know by now, mauled the Ottawa Senators last night 5-0. Their record is 13-7-1.


Long before last night's game devolved into a street hockey fight, the game was in the bag for the Panthers. The epic number of misconducts is just a (funny) sideshow to a dominating win.

I get impatient with the resistance to change hockey fans embrace with both hands. The Panthers are a joke, Florida, LOL, it's hot there, ticket sales, ha ha. This is as cogent and amusing as saying "1967" to describe the Leafs.

The Panthers dominate in shotshare and Expected Goals most nights, and have the highest rate of Expected Goals on the power play. They are comfortably a top-10 team, exactly as they were last year. The difference is their goaltending has been unexcitingly okay, unlike the tire fire of early last season.

They're a tough out.

Sergei Bobrovsky got a shutout last night:

This is an assistant professor of physics, not a hockey player.

And Anthony Stolarz had fun:

It hardly matters which cheerful goalie is in, as their records are about the same.


Steve Goldstein via Daily Faceoff from last night's game (the start, not the end)

Evan Rodrigues - Aleksander Barkov - Sam Reinhart
Carter Verhaeghe - Sam Bennett - Matthew Tkachuk
Eetu Luostarinen - Anton Lundell - Nick Cousins
Jonah Gadjovich - Kevin Stenlund - Ryan Lomberg

Gustav Forsling - Aaron Ekblad
Niko Mikkola - Brandon Montour
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Dmitry Kulikov

Sergei Bobrovsky
Anthony Stolarz


It's a little gloomier in Toronto. The Leafs are going through the annual, "What's up with Mitch?" segment of the season. The response has been the annual splitting up of Matthews and Marner.

The goalies are regressing as expected: Ilya Samsonov is drifting slowly up to league average, Joe Woll is fluttering down like a balloon with some of the air let out. Where he lands is anyone's guess. If we're lucky, they'll join together in being unexcitingly okay.

It does pay to remember that some of the Leafs issues are in the net. Some of them aren't. They play badly with a one-goal lead. They let in the tying goal repeatedly as a group effort. The bottom-four defence is a committee of almost good enough players and one old man. The bright spot lately is the new third line which has legitimately excellent results of all kinds.

Marner's mysterious troubles are one thing. The fairly mediocre results from Auston Matthews at anything but personal shooting (graded on the Matthews curve) are very troubling.

The totally non-mysterious outcome of John Klingberg's mysterious injury will be announced this week, which will signal changes to the roster. But for now, this is the team:


David Alter via Daily Faceoff at yesterday's practice.

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
Mark Giordano - Jake McCabe
Simon Benoit - Conor Timmins

Joe Woll - expected starter
Ilya Samsonov

The Game

What are we going to get? A replete and somnolent cat still sleeping it off, or a nasty beast looking for another round of fun?

If Mitch Marner stays flakey for this game, we might get to see John Tavares and Tyler Bertuzzi gunning for the net front while the puck gets turned over behind them. I hope they're up for some hard skating. If he's on his game, Bertuzzi, who is shooting at a career-high rate and has a career-high Expected Goals rate, might get some more shots (see what I did there?) at regressing on the Shooting % end of the equation. He usually scores a bit under expected, but not to the extent he is this year so far. Regression doesn't have a scheduled arrival time, however.

Sometimes the Leafs miss theirs as well.

Go Leafs Go, right from the start all the way to the end.