Seattle Kraken @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: TSN4, ROOT-NW

Seattle last played Chicago on Tuesday and lost 4-3 in regulation. The Kraken have a record of 8-10-5 so far this year.

The Leafs last played Florida on Tuesday and lost, er, won 2-1 in a shootout. The Leafs have a record of 11-6-3 this season.


The Kraken have a terrible record built on five-on-five play slightly better than Toronto's. Their goalies are terrible, and they have a terrible power play that they've scored over expected on.

Beyond the goalies, though, their pace of offence is awful. They are dull, and get by on defending whenever the goalies let them.

Their record is likely an accurate picture of the team quality – don't they sound exciting?


Last Game (11/28) via Daily Faceoff

Jared McCann - Matthew Beniers - Jordan Eberle
Jaden Schwartz - Alexander Wennberg - Andrew Poturalski
Eeli Tolvanen - Yanni Gourde - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Tye Kartye - Pierre-Édouard Bellemare - Kailer Yamamoto

Vince Dunn - Adam Larsson
Jamie Oleksiak - William Borgen
Brian Dumoulin - Justin Schultz

Philipp Grubauer
Joey Daccord


The Leafs are missing Mark Giordano for this game, and they have recalled Max Lajoie. Configuration to be determined, the pairings below is a guess. Bobby McMann is the only healthy forward extra, and he may draw in.

The story of the Leafs hasn't changed much. They give up one goal leads very easily, they get in close games, they shamble into overtime a lot, and they have, to date, won a lot in overtime or shootouts. There is no real consensus on how much skill is involved in those two non-regulation hockey-adjacent activities. What is absolutely certain is there's more opportunity for random forces to decide outcomes. A team pats themselves on the back for winning a lot of OT games at their peril.

With 20 games played, the Leafs are solidly mediocre at shotshare and Expected Goals. They have yet to crack 50% in either measure. Most, but not all, of that is coming from bad defending. A little more share of the zone time, and they might win more often. Funny how that works, eh?

Zone time from NHL Edge matches up with the CF%.

Can you win playing like that? Sure. You need a hot like burning goalie or a hot like burning power play, preferably both. But even then, it's a much riskier way to go about things.

The Leafs team Save % in all situations is 19th and below .900. Joe Woll stopped his downward slide in GSAX in his last game, and Ilya Samsonov has been much better lately.

No one is ever satisfied with the Leafs power play, so it's unrewarding to talk about it. It's always bad, they should score every time, and it's the coach's fault because everything is these days. The Leafs are sixth in the NHL in both Expected Goals for per 60 minutes and actual goals for on the power play. It's fine.


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
Ilya Samsonov

The Game

I didn't expect the Leafs to play like sleepy toddlers who were up past their bedtime against the team that bounced them from the playoffs last year. So who the hell knows how they will approach the Kraken.

The last game has led to the shifting narrative about the Leafs who used to be not tough enough back to how they aren't emotional enough. They're too smart, analytical and skilled, you see. Maybe they need to spend more time on social media, that seems to cure all those sins.

But what this talk really means is the Leafs are boring. They are. Right now, they are boring and dull and tedious to watch, and they've been all of those things before. Here's why: they get hemmed in and look like morons trying to get the puck out. I don't think they can rage it out of their own end, however. The other thing that makes them boring is this giving up the one-goal lead business. No one trusts them. There is no enjoyment to be had when they are winning, and emotions stay flat for the inevitable tying goal. Even for people for whom the phrase, "It's so Leafy," makes them, well, ragey enough for TV panel, what should be a rollercoaster ride is tedious and predictable.

Be exciting, Leafs. Try something bizarre like running up the score to a two-goal lead!