Toronto Maple Leafs @ Chicago Blackhawks
06:00 PM at United Center
Watch on: ESPN+, HULU, TVAS, SNO
The Leafs last game was at home yesterday against the Montréal Canadiens, which Toronto won by a score of 5-1. The Leafs have a record of 34-14-8 so far.
The Chicago Blackhawks last played an away game on February 17 against the Ottawa Senators. The Blackhawks won by a score of 4-3, and their current league record is 17-32-5.
They haven’t changed since our last meeting, so barring any trades this afternoon, they are still these guys:
Ben Pope via Daily Faceoff
Philipp Kurashev - Max Domi - Patrick Kane
Tyler Johnson - Cole Guttman - Taylor Raddysh
Jason Dickinson - Sam Lafferty - Andreas Athanasiou
Boris Katchouk - Reese Johnson - Colin Blackwell
Jake McCabe - Seth Jones
Jack Johnson - Connor Murphy
Caleb Jones - Ian Mitchell
Assuming the Leafs just go with the configuration from last night, John Tavares moves to the wing, and Alex Kerfoot drifts down to the fourth line. I don’t absolutely think these lines are perfect, but they make sense to start to ease in the new players.
I think there’s too few shots available from the second line, but the third line should function well against most NHL lines. I don’t buy them matched against a top contender’s top line though.
The status of Ilya Samsonov (illness) isn’t clear, but there’s not many arguments for hurrying him into the lineup instead of just playing Erik Källgren.
Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
John Tavares - Ryan O’Reilly - Mitch Marner
Pierre Engvall - David Kämpf - Calle Järnkrok
Zach Aston-Reese - Noel Acciari - Alex Kerfoot
Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie
Mark Giordano - Timothy Liljegren
Rasmus Sandin - Justin Holl
Chicago is likely to be less horrible at home than they were on the road in Toronto. At some point they have to impress upon Patrick Kane — who was backing out of plays to avoid hits and generally looked disinterested in Toronto — that he has to play for real if he thinks he wants a trade.
The much-touted Jake McCabe also looked like he was new to hockey in that game, and he’s going to want to make a better impression.
This is a game the Leafs can choose to press hard to win or just let get away from them and blame the back-to-back, the jet lagged new guys and the goalie.
NOTE THE START TIME
And Go LEAFS Go.