New York Islanders @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:30 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, MSGSN2
Opponent’s Site: Lighthouse Hockey
The Leafs last game was at home on November 19 against the Buffalo Sabres, which Toronto won by a score of 5-2. The Leafs have a record of 10-5-4 so far.
The New York Islanders last played an away game on November 19 against the Dallas Stars. The Islanders lost by a score of 5-2, and their current league record is 11-8-0.
First, I just want to point out that the Toronto Maple Leafs have the best fans in the world. And the most intelligent of those fans are our lovely readers here at PPP. Something, something Texas Rattlesnake, and can I get a Hell Yeah! (Guess I’ll need to follow up in the comments to see if that lands).
More to the point, it is our job to ensure we deliver what we consider to be the best and most relevant content so that our readers can walk away feeling satisfied. Just in case though, be sure to check the comments. It is the best place to consume dissenting opinions and find anyone to point out our errors. It keeps us honest and enlightened.
Now back to the good stuff...
The Tavares-less Islanders come to town. I figure if he still gets booed, then this really can’t be a reminder of the fact he is now the Captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, because they haven’t forgotten.
The Islanders are tied for third in their division and would tie the Leafs in point percentage with a regulation win tonight, so it is safe to say the end results have been similar. This will be the first meeting of the season for these two teams; they last met at the end of last season, April 18, 2022, with the Leafs finding themselves victorious by a score of 4-2.
What has changed since then? Well, according to someone else’s research, the only major off-season change was the draft day acquisition of Alexander Romanov in which the Isles only parted with their First Round Pick (13th overall). Zdeno Chara played for the team that drafted him last year, but has since retired.
Lane Lambert is the new head coach replacing Barry Trotz who had been at the helm four years.
Source: Last Game (11/19) via Daily Faceoff
Zach Parise - Mathew Barzal - Oliver Wahlstrom
Anders Lee - Brock Nelson - Anthony Beauvillier
Josh Bailey - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Kyle Palmieri
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Alexander Romanov - Noah Dobson
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho - Scott Mayfield
* - Suspected Starter
What have the Isles been up to as of late?
Last 10: 6-4-0
Last 5: 2-3-0
Last 3: 1-2-0
The best looking record in that span leading up to tonight's game would be their last 10, however if expand the range to make it look nicer for them, they are 9-4 over the last 13 games.
Islander Road Results: 5-5-0 (.500 Win %)
Maple Leafs Home Results: 7-2-2 (.636 Win %)
Here are some recent headlines in the world of Islander Fans:
Lou Lamoriello loves Islanders’ ‘progress’ under Lane Lambert - November 17, 2022
Islanders News: Starting slow becoming their downfall - November 18, 2022
The Upshot: NY Islanders fall to Stars in Dallas despite Mathew Barzal’s multi-goal effort - November 20, 2022
Of other note, I do believe I am correct this time in saying Lou has brought zero cups to the Island. No, this isn’t a 1984/1967 conversation point.
The Leafs are 6-1-2 in their last nine and 3-0-1 in the last four. My gut rankings tell me this team has taken another small step since the ugly opening ten. I think this puts us at an overall ranking between 6.5 and 6.9 on the season. Don’t ask for the parameters used for these gut calculations. It’s locked behind some sort of wall...
Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Alex Kerfoot - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Zach Aston-Reese - David Kämpf - Denis Malgin
Pierre Engvall - Pontus Holmberg - Calle Järnkrok
Morgan Rielly - Jordie Benn
Mark Giordano - Justin Holl
Rasmus Sandin - Timothy Liljegren
* - Confirmed Starter
Toronto vs New York Islanders
|63.2 - 10th||Points % - Ranking||57.9 - 13th|
|3 - 20th||Goals/Game - Ranking||3.316 - 11th|
|2.684 - 7th||Goals Against/Game - Ranking||2.789 - 11th|
|27.4 - 7th||Power Play% - Ranking||20.7 - 18th|
|77.3 - 19th||Penalty Kill% - Ranking||83.9 - 4th|
|9.7 - 18th||Team Sh% - Ranking||10.3 - 13th|
|0.905 - 9th||Team Sv% - Ranking||0.915 - 5th|
|John Tavares, William Nylander - 10||Most Goals (NST)||Brock Nelson - 9|
|Mitchell Marner - 22||Most Points (NST)||Mathew Barzal - 21|
|Michael Bunting - 28||Most PIM (NST)||Casey Cizikas - 23|
|Morgan Rielly - 23.34||TOI Leader (NST)||Adam Pelech - 21.17|
I’m looking for Auston Matthews to show us why he and the Toronto offense should be feared. After picking up five goals in five games, starting 10/27 against San Jose and ending 11/5 against Boston, I would have expected Papi to start rolling at a more consistent pace given his slow start, but it just hasn’t started flowing the way we all expect. He has two goal in his last seven since the Bruins game.
Two goals tonight puts Auston Matthews not just to 0.5 goals/game over the last eight games, but also on the season. I don’t know about anyone else, but I set my current expectations for #34 at that number. Obviously he can and will produce at a higher rate. No one will be surprised if he has 42 goals in the next 63 games for 50 on the season and a rate of .667 goals/game over the last three-quarters or so of the season.
It starts tonight. I hope the offense can provide some fun and exciting storylines for the upcoming middle 50% of the season.