Tampa Bay Lightning @ Toronto Maple Leafs: Game #11
7:00 pm at Scotiabank Arena
TV/Streaming: TSN4
Opponent’s Site: Raw Charge

We’ll start off with the big news of the day.

Despite playing in the second half of Tuesday’s game, it’s not assured Travis Dermott is going to play tonight (that’s usually what happens when you need x-rays, even if they come back negative it probably hurts like hell), so he’s listed as a game-time decision.

The logical next player up is healthy scratch Justin Holl, who’s sat the last two games after a terrible start to the year. But wouldn’t it be so crazy if they gave Rubīns a shot on the third pair? It would be, right? Or maybe just crazy enough to work...nah it’s dumb, haha, never mind. Unless?

Never mind.

That said, if fate does shine down upon me, here is what I think of Kristiāns Rubīns from the 2020 Top 25 Under 25. I guess you could say he’s basically New-Marincin.

Top 25 Under 25: The Case for Kristians Rubins

Blue and White

In terms of the actual lineup, things seem to be going well for the offense so it’s highly unlikely we see any changes to the forwards. The defense pairs will almost certainly need to be adjusted if Dermott is out of the lineup. If he’s in, refer to the pairs from last game. We saw Timothy Liljegren play with Morgan Rielly on Tuesday more than anyone else, so that very well could be your top pair tonight.

Michael Bunting - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Alex Kerfoot - John Tavares - Mitchell Marner
Pierre Engvall - David Kämpf - Ondřej Kaše
Nick Ritchie - Jason Spezza - Wayne Simmonds

Morgan Rielly - Timothy Liljegren
Jake Muzzin - TJ Brodie
Rasmus Sandin - Justin Holl
Injured: Travis Dermott (game-time decision)
Scratched: Kristiāns Rubīns

Jack Campbell - confirmed starter
Petr Mrázek

White and Blue

For the Lightning, it’s a homecoming of sorts, as the last time they were in Canada they won the Stanley Cup and the last time they were in Toronto they beat the Bruins in five games to get halfway to their second championship in franchise history. The silver lining for Leafs fans is if you go a little farther back than that, the last time the Lightning played a regular season game in Toronto it was a 201 win for the Leafs in an inspired, hopeful performance in... March 2020.

I wrote all about it in my morning links at Raw Charge here.

In terms of the Bolts roster, they’re dealing with some injuries but things are turning around for them.

Victor Hedman has been taking practices off but should be ready to play tonight. Ditto for Erik Černák. Jan Rutta missed the most recent game, but should be good to go as well to round out the top pair. Forward Boris Katchouk is expected to be out for a bit, but he’s been a scratch for most of the season. Former Leaf Zach Bogosian got hurt in the first game of the season and is still a few weeks away from returning to the lineup. And as we all know by now, Nikita Kucherov is out until December with a groin injury.

Alex Killorn - Brayden Point - Anthony Cirelli
Ondřej Palát - Steven Stamkos - Alex Barré-Boulet
Patrick Maroon - Ross Colton - Corey Perry
Mathieu Joseph - Pierre-Édouard Bellemare - Taylor Raddysh

Victor Hedman - Jan Rutta
Ryan McDonagh - Erik Černák
Mikhail Sergachev - Andrej Sustr

Andrei Vasilevskiy - confirmed starter
Brian Elliott