Toronto Maple Leafs vs Vancouver Canucks: Game #67
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Location: Rogers Arena, which is not the same as the Rogers Centre or Rogers Place, which is also not Roger’s place.
Broadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet (so no fun home and away feed this time, but I’m sure they’ll be impartial)
Opponent SBNation Site: Nucks Misconduct
The Leafs have gone all the way west to play the Vancouver Canucks. There shouldn’t be too many changes to the Leafs lines, but there is positive progress for Nazem Kadri:
Nazem Kadri is taking part in all drills in a regular sweater but rotating in on lines ... return not imminent but certainly a positive step today ...— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) March 5, 2019
Yesterday, the news that Nic Petan, who is from Delta, BC, was drawing in as an alt-4-C at practice got everyone excited. Maybe we would see the spark plug line of Ennis, Petan and Moore.
Anything is possible, and it’s also possible that the lineup that beat the best team in the west by a score of 432 to 2 will be on the ice to face the Canucks. We’ll tell you for sure, as soon as we get word.
Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Andreas Johnsson - Auston Matthews - Kasperi Kapanen
Patrick Marleau - William Nylander - Connor Brown
Tyler Ennis - Frederik Gauthier or Nic Petan - Trevor Moore
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Muzzin - Nikita Zaitsev
Martin Marincin - Igor Ozhiganov
Ryan Spooner - Bo Horvat - Josh Leivo
Tanner Pearson - Elian Petterson - Nikolay Goldobin
Antoinne Roussel - Adam Gaudette - Brock Boeser
Loui Eriksson - Jay Beagle - Tyler Motte
Ben Hutton - Troy Stecher
Alexander Edler - Alex Biega
Luke Schenn - Ashton Sautner
I culled the Canucks lines from various sources, and it seems that Josh Leivo has moved off of the Pettersson line, which might more accurately be the third line, but I just wasn’t willing to list out their only good player as out of the top six, so, okay, that’s not fair. Boeser is good too.
Let’s be honest here. This team is appallingly badly put together. Somehow they won a bunch of games early in the season and then, well... the truth will out.
I almost hesitated to post this because nothing inspires more wrong analysis than a WOWY chart, but it’s so funny! Leivo is where he is because he has only ever played with the other decent players on the team in a limited number of games, so the time without Leivo is just without anyone who can play. He’s done well holding Petterson’s coat though, and perhaps he can handle his new line as well.
The newer versions of the lines look like an attempt to have more than one functional line, which is a noble goal, but you can’t have a roster like this and do that without just diluting every one until it’s not going to do anything for you.
To be fair, the Canucks sure seemed to be tanking this year, and they got over their accidental winning in the easiest division to win games in and have fallen rapidly to the near-basement of the league. The trouble is the Kings and the Ducks are even better at being bad, so the Canucks will have a long shot at the big lottery win.
But they got the glory that is Pettersson with the fifth overall, and they got Quinn Hughes last year with the seventh. Sure, they wanted Jack too, but I don’t think they’re getting him.
In the meantime, the Canucks lost their last one in a shutout to Vegas, the one before that to Arizona, and the one before that as well. The last time they won two games in a row was before the All-Star break. They’re just counting down the days.
The Canucks visited Toronto in January and lost in a shutout 5-0. Trevor Moore had a goal in that game, so maybe he can repeat. Maybe the Leafs can repeat scoring at least five, too, since they seem to be doing that lately.
The trouble with a game like this is keeping focus. For us watching, I mean. The Leafs are still very capable of getting home ice advantage back in the first round of the playoffs, they have business to conduct. For us, at least we can see Pettersson this time. Oh, and on the bright side, the Leafs will definitely have the better defence corps in this game, so that’s not going to happen often until someone comes back from injury.
Your musical selection is a band I’ve never heard of, but I think this is the Canuck’s fans theme song.
Mike Babcock confirms that Frederik Gauthier is out tonight as 4th-line auditions/rotation continues ... first healthy scratch for 🐐 since Dec. 18— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) March 6, 2019
Nic Petan (5'9) back in & will centre a line with Ennis (5'9) & Moore (5'10)
(Also, I don’t believe Moore is really taller.)