Toronto Maple Leafs @ New York Islanders
07:00 PM at UBS Arena
Watch on: TSN4, ESPN

The Leafs last game was at home on January 9 against the San Jose Sharks, which Toronto won by a score of 7-1 in regulatiom. The Leafs have a record of 21-10-7 for a 0.645 Points %.

The New York Islanders last played at home on January 9 against the Vancouver Canucks. The Islanders lost by a score of 5-2 in regulation, and their current league record is 18-12-10 for a 0.575 Points %.


The Islanders have a strange spread in Corsi % (bad) and Expected Goals % (mediocre), so I was moved to look at the Edge possession time:

Bad all over the ice. The Islanders get by with good defending that makes their terrible rate of shots against a little better, and with top-10 goaltending. Semyon Varlamov is injured, and is day-to-day, so Sorokin should start.


Last Game (01/09) via Daily Faceoff

Anders Lee - Bo Horvat - Mathew Barzal
Pierre Engvall - Brock Nelson - Kyle Palmieri
Simon Holmstrom - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Julien Gauthier
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Alexander Romanov - Noah Dobson
Adam Pelech - Scott Mayfield
Mike Reilly - Sebastian Aho

Ilya Sorokin - likely starter
Ken Appleby


Matthew Knies was injured in practice yesterday, but should play. Nick Robertson was meant to be out of the lineup again with the return of Noah Gregor from illness, but he's the next man up if Knies can't go.

Ryan Reaves is at every practice, but remains on IR. The Leafs have 23 men on the roster, so someone has to leave it for him to return.

No expected change in defence pairings, Giordano skipped yesterday's practice as a maintenance day. (Do they lock him in a closet to keep him off the ice?)

If you took yesterday off for maintenance, note that Dennis Hildeby is back in the AHL to get some playing time, and Ilya Samsonov is the backup tonight.


via David Alter

Matthew Knies - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi - John Tavares - William Nylander
Pontus Holmberg - Max Domi - Calle Järnkrok
Bobby McMann - David Kämpf - Noah Gregor

Morgan Rielly - T.J. Brodie
Simon Benoit - Jake McCabe
Mark Giordano - Timothy Liljegren

Martin Jones - starter
Ilya Samsonov

The Game

This was the Islanders getting tuned up by the Canucks.

They actually did defend well, while losing the possession game badly, but the goaltending wasn't stellar. Sorokin had more than two goals allowed over expected. Note the absolutely dreadful offence against a good but not great defensive Canucks team.

Will they just go out and do that again against the Leafs? Doubtful. The Islanders are sitting in wild card spot number one by points, but there are two teams ahead of them by percentage. They are very much on the bubble, and are unpredictable in their mediocrity. The last time the Leafs played the Islanders, they were horrible for one period, and then the Islanders held on to win in overtime.

The Islanders aren't a slow team anymore, so the Leafs need to approach the game with the idea they're going to outskate them and outplay them from the very first minute.