Vancouver Canucks @ Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on SN
Note: this is not the HNIC game, and the game is not on CBC or any other channels. This will be the Remembrance Day ceremony game.
The Canucks played Ottawa on Thursday and won 5-2, their league record is 10-2-1.
The Leafs played last night and managed to make a 4-1 lead into a shootout win over Calgary. Their league record is 7-5-2.
Are the Vancouver Canucks just lucky? Are their points all coming from PDO? Well... not just, no. They don't actually lead the NHL is all-situations Save %, they're only second. They do lead in Shooting %.
Neither of those numbers are all skill or all luck. They are both, always, some unknowable mix of both. It's impossible to deny the Canucks have good shooters, but you have to get down to the deepest depths of the roster to find a player who isn't shooting over expected.
As for goaltending, with nine games played, Thatcher Demko has the third best Goals Saved Above Expected per 60 in the NHL.
As for what's backing up those direct measures of how they get goals and don't give them up, nothing much. They're mediocre to bad at shotshare, expected goals measures, with one bright spot in an actually good power play underneath the hot shooting.
At some point, those percentages will regress. When that begins is anyone's guess – it's likely not tonight. They're a hard team to beat, no matter how they do it.
Thomas Drance via Daily Faceoff and dating to before the last game.
Ilya Mikheyev - Elias Pettersson - Andrei Kuzmenko
Phil Di Giuseppe - J.T. Miller - Brock Boeser
Dakota Joshua - Pius Suter - Conor Garland
Nils Hoglander - Sam Lafferty - Anthony Beauvillier
Quinn Hughes - Filip Hronek
Carson Soucy - Tyler Myers
Ian Cole - Mark Friedman
The Leafs sure can score. And they sure can give up goals too.
Bobby McMann is a good choice to get some fourth line time tonight. He's almost as fast as Gregor, and he plays hockey, unlike Reaves. This is a chance to sit Reaves for a whole game, and actually play a player real minutes on the back half of a back-to-back. There is not one good reason not to play him. Sheldon Keefe confirms that's the plan, so I'm putting him into the forward lines otherwise unchanged from last night.
John Klingberg comes back in, so that injury went away quick.
Matthew Knies - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Tyler Bertuzzi - John Tavares - William Nylander
Nicholas Robertson - Max Domi - Calle Järnkrok
Noah Gregor - David Kämpf - Bobby McMann
Morgan Rielly - T.J. Brodie
Mark Giordano - Jake McCabe
William Lagesson - John Klingberg
Ilya Samsonov - confirmed starter
This is like the last game before a bye-week or Christmas break. Sometimes attention wanders a little. But more than that, the schedule gave us Samsonov vs the hottest shooting team in the NHL. What could go wrong?
Go Leafs Go – try to defend like you mean it, and that goes for everyone, not just the defenders.