Toronto Maple Leafs @ Philadelphia Flyers - Game 65
07:30 PM at Wells Fargo Center
Watch on: ESPN+, HULU, TSN4

The Leafs last game was away on March 9 against the Montréal Canadiens, which Toronto won by a score of 3-2 in regulation. The Leafs have a record of 37-19-8 for a 0.641 Points %.

The Philadelphia Flyers last played at home on March 12 against the San Jose Sharks. The Flyers won by a score of 3-2 in regulation, and their current league record is 34-24-8 for a 0.576 Points %.


As you may know, John Tortorella was suspended for two games for throwing a tantrum, so he's not going to be behind the bench tonight.

The Flyers are one of the most fascinating teams this season. They're in a playoff spot by accident, they're running two AHL/ECHL goalies and they have $14 million in defencemen on IR. If you want to know where the shortage of defenders is, it's there.

Oh, and they're taking a cap hit of $6.7 million to play two guys in the AHL who aren't worth their NHL salaries.

Really, the Flyers are a story of the Metro division and a series of failures by teams to seize the wide open division and make the playoffs. It's understandable that Columbus is bad, and Washington has actually outperformed expectations, but Pittsburgh, New Jersey and the Islanders are all better teams who just never win and only the Islanders made a change that made them better. Surprisingly.

The Flyers aren't set in a playoff spot though. The Islanders are only four points behind with two games in hand and have already moved into the second wild card spot. They genuinely can overtake the Flyers and then it's up to the Red Wings if the Flyers fall right out or just down to a destined first-round meeting with the Panthers. In a situation like this, I bet on the goalies so I'm shocked to say, I'm picking the Islanders to get it done.


Jordan Hall via Daily Faceoff from the last game.

Denis Gurianov - Sean Couturier - Travis Konecny
Tyson Foerster - Scott Laughton - Owen Tippett
Noah Cates - Ryan Poehling - Garnet Hathaway
Joel Farabee - Morgan Frost - Bobby Brink

Cam York - Travis Sanheim
Marc Staal - Ronnie Attard
Egor Zamula - Erik Johnson

Samuel Ersson
Felix Sandstrom


Let's hope the Leafs used the four day break to get over the lingering illnesses plaguing the team.

Mitch Marner is out because he hurt himself not shooting at an open net. Simon Benoit is out for no good reason, but that's not going to matter much. Nick Robertson is back with the Leafs, but not back on the roster. Noah Gregor is also a scratch.

Mark Giordano and Conor Timmins are both practicing while on LTIR.

Today's rile up the Leafs fan headlines is TSN asking if Matthews can score 70 because he's "cooled off". Yes, that's how it work. You go on a cold streak and you stay there. Just like a hot streak lasts and lasts. And yet you get from one to the other somehow. No one has ever discerned how this works. But keep betting when you lose, you gotta win sometime.

Elite Prospects projects full season points so you don't have to do arithmetic, and they show Matthews at a rate that will give him 69 goals. His historical NHL goal rate (including this season) is .65 goals per game. He's scoring at .86 this season. Now that right there is an indication that 70 is unlikely, because unusually high rates are not likely to be sustained. On the other hand, there's not many games left that it needs to be sustained for. But I doubt it happens.

The other thing TSN wanted to get across was that Mitch Marner is intrinsic to that scoring rate, and with him out, Matthews can't score. So how true is that? Matthews has 971 minutes with Marner this season and 314 without him. So you'd expect a lot of goals happened when Marner was on the ice. Matthews plays 76% of the time with Marner. He has 54 goals and 43 have been scored with Marner on the ice for 80%. Not the overwhelming evidence I think a lot of believers in Marner as the causal actor to Matthews' goals would have expected.

Marner has 25 goals and has scored 18 of them with Matthews on the ice or 72%. Marner spends 74% of his on-ice minutes with Matthews.

The desire to see "greater than the sum of the parts" here is intense in many people, but all this shows is that Matthews and Marner play together a lot and they're still good when they don't. A more serious look at Expected Goals might be interesting, but still doesn't really answer the question: does Mitch Marner make Matthews score more than he otherwise would? It really doesn't answer the question if that's a good thing or if he should be using these powers for the betterment of someone a little less talented.


Mark Masters via Daily Faceoff at practice yesterday.

Tyler Bertuzzi - Auston Matthews - Calle Järnkrok
Max Domi - John Tavares - William Nylander
Matthew Knies - David Kämpf - Bobby McMann
Pontus Holmberg - Connor Dewar - Ryan Reaves

T.J. Brodie - Jake McCabe
Morgan Rielly - Ilya Lyubushkin
Joel Edmundson - Timothy Liljegren

Ilya Samsonov - confirmed starter
Joe Woll

The Game

Grind out a win. That's the only job here.