This afternoon the Toronto Maple Leafs will play game two of their 2020 Qualifying Round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. On Sunday night these two teams met and slogged it out in a game that kept creativity off the table, and made the goalies do all the work to win the game.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs
Blue Jackets lead series 1-0
4:00PM ET - Scotiabank Arena, Toronto Bubble
Watch: Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NHL Network, NBCSN, NHL Live
Listen: Sportsnet 590
Opponents: Jackets Cannon
(This game is not available on CBC.)
Sunday night was a perfect storm of disappointment for a lot of Leafs fans. We had hyped ourselves up for a big storm out of the gate, eager to see some goals from our high energy, highly skilled forwards. We were so ready for playoff intensity we forgot there was an almost five month layoff between games and our opponent was the type to be frustrating to play against and had taken down a record setting opponent in last years playoffs, not to mention the Maple Leafs themselves were an iffy playoff team.
We were reminded of all of this that night, and hopefully the lessons also sunk into this team. In yesterdays FTB Hardev looked at the winners and losers of the first game, and goaltender Frederik Andersen was his sole winner for the Maple Leafs, which I strongly agree with. Yes, the single goal that was scored wasn’t exactly a laser from the slot, but it was one goal against out of 34 shots. If we’re expecting a shutout from Andersen every night, we have to re-think things. One goal against shouldn’t be the end of the game and the blame for this loss rests squarely on the shoulders of the offense who scored [checks notes] zero goals. This is a goal scoring competition after all.
Maple Leafs lines
From Monday’s practice
William Nylander – Auston Matthews – Zach Hyman
Ilya Mikheyev – John Tavares – Mitch Marner
Nick Robertson – Alex Kerfoot – Kasperi Kapanen
Kyle Clifford – Pierre Engvall – Jason Spezza
Spares: Andreas Johnsson – Frederik Gauthier
Jake Muzzin – Justin Holl
Morgan Rielly – Cody Ceci
Travis Dermott – Tyson Barrie
Spares: Rasmus Sandin – Martin Marincin
Pierre Engvall gets swapped in for Gauthier while the rest of the lines remain the same. No changes on defense from game one, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Sandin in for Dermott, but my guess is coach Sheldon Keefe won’t want to make any drastic changes to the line up in game two. Now if the Leafs go down 2-0 in the series...
Blue Jackets lines
via Blue Jackets Twitter
Nick Foligno - Alex Wennberg - Cam Atkinson
Alex Texier - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Gustav Nyquist - Boone Jenner - Liam Foudy
Eric Robinson - Riley Nash - Emil Bemstrom
Zach Werenski - Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov - David Savard
Ryan Murray - Dean Kukan
Spares: Scott Harrington - Markus Nutivaara
No changes from Sunday night, which makes sense the team played as expected and did it well.
The Maple Leafs spoke about how things are going after practice yesterday:
🗨️ We have to find a way to break them down, get quality looks, second and third opportunities and finish on some of our chances.— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) August 3, 2020
🎥 Today's media mashup | #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/qxbJwDKOfo
Get them pucks in deep, boys.