Toronto Maple Leafs @ Ottawa Senators
07:00 PM at Canadian Tire Centre
Watch on: CBC, TVAS, SNE, SNO, SNP
The Leafs last game was at home on February 7 against the Dallas Stars, which Toronto won by a score of 5-4 in regulation. The Leafs have a record of 26-15-8 for a 0.612 Points %.
The Ottawa Senators last played away on January 31 against the Detroit Red Wings. The Senators won by a score of 3-2 in overtime, and their current league record is 20-25-2 for a 0.447 Points %.
So many teams have fired their coach this year – in fact the Kings, who are the most recent team to choose a new voice, just hired D.J. Smith to work with Jim Hiller. I can't remember who is coaching the Sens. Oh right. Riiiiiiight. Jacques Martin. His longest tenure as a coach was with the Sens. In the 90s.
I'm starting to think the new owners of this team might be stuck in the past a tiny bit.
Cutting up data is bad, and you shouldn't do it. But I'm doing it. Since Martin was hired, the Sens are 13th in Expected Goals % and 14th in Corsi with 51.4 and 51.5. Their Shooting % is 11th, and their Save % is dead last.
Prior to the hire, they were 27th in Expected Goals, 22nd in Corsi and their Shooting % was fourth, with their Save % 25th. They were one of the worst teams at generating offence.
They are now one of the best teams at generating offence. Jacques Martin – offence guy. Next you'll tell me Patrick Roy has made the Islanders better defensively.
I don't think anyone around here ever thought D.J. Smith was a guy who should be a head coach. But that's an amazing change in a team disguised almost totally by their bad goaltending.
Their power play is very mediocre under Martin, and they are underscoring on expected by a very large amount, and their penalty kill Save % is naturally terrible behind some very respectable Expected Goals allowed.
Joonas Korpisalo is sitting at -12.9 Goals Saved Above Expected, while Ilya Samsonov has clawed his way past him to -11.4. Vitek Vanacek now has the honour of being the worst goalie in the NHL (Moneypuck edition, all other stats are from Evolving Hockey).
I don't know what Senators fans think of Martin, but if he'd been hired in October and had this goaltending and power play results, he'd be fired by now.
Translated from a really stupid tweet from a TSN radio station in Ottawa that used jersey numbers like it's 2015 or something. Zack MacEwen might be in for Parker Kelly if they want some big hits or something useful like that.
Brady Tkachuk - Josh Norris - Drake Batherson
Mathieu Joseph - Tim Stützle - Claude Giroux
Ridly Greig - Shane Pinto - Vladimir Tarasenko
Dominik Kubalik - Mark Kastelic - Parker Kelly
Thomas Chabot - Artem Zub
Jakob Chychrun - Jacob Bernard-Docker
Erik Brannstrom - Travis Hamonic
Joonas Korpisalo - confirmed starter
Star Trek fans, the mirror universe episodes are fun, right? Spock's beard, evil Kirk, very campy and evil Intendant Kira. The agonizer booth is a fascinating 1960s fear of technology device and a foreshadowing of the abstraction of violence in the digital age.
The Leafs mirror universe is not fun. In that reality the Leafs are so bad as to be unwatchable. They never have the puck, they chop at the other team's sticks ineffectually to seem to try to get it. They stand around in the defensive zone. Samsonov may well have a beard behind his mask in those episo- er, games.
The biggest problem with mirror-Leafs is it's us in the agonizer booth.
The veil between the universes seems to be very thin this season. Parts of games are played in both universes with the most recent outing is a good example and one where I was in the booth for the whole first period.
Which universe will we be in tonight? No one can guess.
The Leafs moved Joe Woll to LTIR to make room to recall Max Lajoie, indicating there's some level of illness and injury to the defence, and precluding any forwards coming onto the team to give Ryan Reaves a rest. Both Mark Giordano and Conor Timmins were absent from morning skate.
Lines from David Alter today:
Matthew Knies - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi - John Tavares - William Nylander
Nicholas Robertson - Max Domi - Noah Gregor
Bobby McMann - Pontus Holmberg - Ryan Reaves
Morgan Rielly - T.J. Brodie
Simon Benoit - Jake McCabe
William Lagesson - Timothy Liljegren
Ilya Samsonov - assumed starter
Try to play the entire game in the prime universe, guys. That's really all we ask.