Tampa Bay Lightning at Toronto Maple Leafs

7:30PM - Air Canada Centre

TV: TSN4 - RADIO: TSN Radio 1050

SBN: Raw Charge

Head to Head

Teams Tampa Bay Lightning Toronto Maple Leafs
Record 40-24-5 23-34-11
Conference 4th in East 16th in East
League 8th 30th
Goals +/- 190/163 = +27 160/201 = -41
Top Scorer Steven Stamkos (31) Leo Komarov (19)
Top Points Stamkos (55) Nikita Kucherov (55) Nazem Kadri (37)
Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy .915/2.67 Jonathan Bernier .902/3.01
Mascot Thunderbug Carlton


At some point last night, I made the mistake of reading one of Dave Feschuk's articles. In it, he quoted Mike Babcock extensively as saying that William Nylander is not getting the best of all possible starts in the league. Unlike Red Wings Dylan Larkin, Nylander is not wing for one of the best centers ever, Henrik Zetterberg. Instead, Nylander is thrown to the wolves as a second line center to PA Parenteau and Zach Hyman.

So, Feschuk concludes, Babcock implies that he really wants to lure in a very good center for Nylander. Kind of like...hmmmm. Steven Stamkos. I mean, that's how he interpreted this line:

Mark Masters ‏@markhmasters Mar 13 Detroit, MI
Babcock on need to surround kids w/ vets: "It’s great if they’re a real good player but it’s more important that they’re a real good person"I actually interpret this to mean that Babcock wants to sign the Dalai Lama, but it's definitely debatable. They have ice on Sagarmatha (Everest) though, so in one of his lives, he's probably skated.

But I really do see Feschuk's point. Stamkos has been wanting a fast, playmaking winger. Nylander needs a steady, veteran hand at center to teach him how things are done. So god help me, I'm agreeing with Feschuk. That center doesn't necessarily have to be Stamkos, though. It could also be John Tavares who can return home to pull the proverbial sword out of Toronto's playoff stone and become the returned king/center/captain of the Leafs. But let's say for the sake of argument that it's Stamkos.

How would the lines look? Nylander-Stamkos-JvR?

Will Lou take this opportunity to let more of his young talent show off, in an effort to lure in Stamkos a little more?

Christopher Boucher ‏@Chris_LogiQ 16m16 minutes ago
Since trade deadline, #leafs have avg'ed 10.1 more completed o-zone passes, & 10.5 more o-zone loose-puck recoveries than their season avg.

Cool things from the game notes

  • The Maple Leafs have not allowed a power play goal in five consecutive games.
  • In his last five starts (2-3-0), Jonathan Bernier has posted a 2.24 goals against average and a .931 save percentage. Bernier stopped all 38 shots he faced in Detroit on Sunday night to register his third shutout of the season.
  • The Maple Leafs’ faceoff win percentage of 51.2% is the sixth-highest mark in the NHL.
  • The Maple Leafs are averaging 31.3 shots on goal per game, the fifth-highest total in the NHL.
  • Connor Carrick, Brooks Laich and Ben Smith made their Maple Leafs debut against the Lightning on February 29, 2016.
  • Zach Hyman, William Nylander and Nikita Soshnikov made their NHL debut versus Tampa Bay on February 29, 2016.
  • All three meetings between the Maple Leafs and Lightning this season have been decided by one goal.
  • P.A. Parenteau needs 3 goals to reach 100 career NHL goals.

Leafs Lines

Nikita Soshnikov - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
P.A. Parenteau - William Nylander - Zach Hyman
Colin Greening - Brooks Laich - Peter Holland
Milan Michalek - Ben Smith - Michael Grabner

Morgan Rielly - Martin Marincin
Jake Gardiner - Connor Carrick
Rinat Valiev - Frank Corrado

Jonathan Bernier
Garret Sparks

Tampa Bay Lightning Lines

Alex Killorn - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Vladislav Namestnikov
J.T. Brown - Brian Boyle - Ryan Callahan
Mike Blunden - Jonathan Marchessault - Erik Condra

Anton Stralman - Victor Hedman
Jason Garrison - Andrej Sustr
Matt Carle - Nikita Nesterov

Andrei Vasilevskiy
Ben Bishop