Columbus Blue Jackets @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: SNO, BSOH

The Leafs last played on Tuesday, and broke the curse of the SEGABAB with a stomping of the New York Rangers. Their record is 15-6-5 and they are in fifth place in the NHL by Points %.

Columbus last played on Sunday, December 10 against Florida, where they lost 5-2. Their record is 9-16-5.


So the Blue Jackets helped get Craig Berube fired by beating the Blues last week. They are so bad, you're to be insulted if they beat you, apparently. Is that really true? It's important to know, because the Leafs play all three games against them in December.

Columbus is bad at:

  • Corsi % - 23rd
  • xG% - 30th
  • xGF/60 - 23rd
  • xGA/60 - 28th
  • PP xGF/60 - 28th
  • Team Save % in all situations - 17th

So the only thing they rise to the level of mediocrity at is goaltending. They do though have the third highest Goals Against in the NHL, tied, amazingly with Tampa. Their goal differential is -19.

Yes, the Leafs should beat them three times this month, but this is hockey, anything can happen.

Columbus has four players on IR, including goalie Elvis Merzlikins, and Erik Gudbranson is serving his one-game suspension tonight.


Jeff Svoboda via Daily Faceoff from yesterday in practice

Johnny Gaudreau - Adam Fantilli - Justin Danforth
Yegor Chinakhov - Dmitri Voronkov - Kirill Marchenko
Patrik Laine - Cole Sillinger - Kent Johnson
Alexandre Texier - Sean Kuraly - Emil Bemstrom

Zach Werenski - Nick Blankenburg
Ivan Provorov - David Jiricek
Jake Bean - Andrew Peeke

Spencer Martin
Danil Tarasov


The Leafs are poised to play some bad teams at a time of the year when holidays loom and attention can wander. This is the moment where all that good fortune in converting on so many one-goal and overtime games can be firmed up into a strong position in the standings with a few more regulation wins.

32 Thoughts mentioned the depth defenders today:

21. Kind of amazing that Toronto’s fifth in the NHL in points percentage with their injuries on defence and in net, amidst their search to beef up the blue line. Credit to the likes of Simon BenoitWilliam Lagesson and Conor Timmins — giving it their all knowing they’re the most vulnerable to an addition.  

And let's add Max Lajoie too. These guys have all contributed in real ways to wins and to getting the points needed while the offence worked through some things like how to pass, when to shoot and how puck watching in the defensive zone makes kittens cry. The Leafs are hardly perfect, but no one can complain about this part of the depth showing up when asked.


From David Alter at today's skate:

Noah Gregor - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Tyler Bertuzzi - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Nicholas Robertson - Max Domi - Calle Jarnkrok
Bobby McMann - David Kampf - Ryan Reaves

Morgan Rielly - T.J. Brodie
William Lagesson - Jake McCabe
Simon Benoit - Conor Timmins

Ilya Samsonov - confirmed starter
Martin Jones

Matt Knies is present, but not in the top four lines. It does not look like another 11-7 game, but assume there are likely some gametime decisions here due to illness.

The Game

Stay awake, stay in it, stay hydrated.