Buffalo Sabers (7-10-0) vs. toronto maple leafs (9-5-4)
Puck Drop: 7:00 PM EST | Scotiabank Enviornment | Toronto, ON
Radio: WGR 550
SB Nation Leafs Weblog: Pension Plan Puppets
Know Your Opponent
toronto maple leafs
File: 9-5-4 | 22 factors
lastgame: 3-2 OT Loss vs. New Jersey Devils
Division Rating: 2nd in Atlantic Division
PP: seventh (25.4%)
P.Ok.: seventeenth (78.3%)
what to look at
1. Tommer Time, Nonetheless
If it looks like there’s just one silver lining to this horrible dropping streak, it’s most likely as a result of, nicely, there would possibly solely be one. His title is Tage Thompson. The star ahead has had a wonderful begin to the season – not like a few of his teammates – and presently sits in first place within the NHL for targets with 11. After his lone aim on the powerplay in opposition to the Senators on Wednesday, he has now tied his profession excessive level streak at six video games. Will he lengthen it to seven video games tonight to interrupt his personal report? It’s greater than probably as Thompson now has 22 factors on the season (19 of which have been tallied within the final 10 video games). In his final 4 matchups in opposition to the Maple Leafs, he has recorded no less than one level in every of these video games.
2.UPL Season Debut
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was known as up from Rochester this week following Eric Comrie’s damage on Wednesday. Whereas UPL has struggled in a Sabers uniform up to now (piled on prime of surgical procedure and quite a few accidents over the previous few years), maybe he can begin with a clear slate after having what he described as a profitable offseason with Buffalo.
He’s presently tied within the AHL for essentially the most wins with six and has had a formidable 238 saves. In his final 9 video games with the Amerks, the Finnish goaltender has held his opponents to 3 or fewer targets.
Whereas not confirmed to be beginning tonight (although all indicators level that approach), it will likely be attention-grabbing to see what UPL does at any time when that debut occurs. To his credit score, Craig Anderson has finished nicely in opposition to the Leafs all through his lengthy profession. He’s 20-9-4 with a GAA of two.80 in 36 video games in opposition to Toronto.
3. Get it Collectively, Buffalo
It’s laborious to slim down all the problems the Sabers are having, so let’s simply hone in on scoring – or lack thereof – and the way atrocious the powerplay has been, we could? Of their eight (!) powerplays versus the Senators, Thompson scored the lone aim of the sport. The staff generated simply six pictures and has usually been scuffling with clear passing and getting the puck to the online for what looks like an eternity. Este should enhance and followers ought to be watching this carefully tonight. In three out of their final 5 video games, the Sabers walked away with only one aim. Whereas goaltending is a complete completely different situation which will require its personal devoted article, you merely can’t win video games by solely scoring one aim – whether or not the goaltending is nice or not. Scoring might be particularly essential tonight to maintain up with the likes of Toronto stars Mitch Marner (20 factors), Auston Matthews (19 factors), and John Tavares (18 factors).
Jeff Skinner – Tage Thompson – Alex Tuch
Jack Quinn – Dylan Cozens – JJ Peterka
Peyton Krebs – Casey Mittelstadt – Victor Olofsson
Rasmus Asplund – Riley Sheahan – Vinnie Hinostroza
Rasmus Dahlin – Owen Energy
Mattias Samuelsson* – Henri Jokiharju
Jacob Bryson – Ilya Lyubushkin
Goaltenders: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (projected starter), Craig Anderson
*Samuelsson returned to his first observe this week after sustaining a lower-body damage again on October 22. He could or might not be within the lineup tonight.
toronto maple leafs
Michael Bunting-Auston Matthews-William Nylander
Alexander Kerfoot – John Tavares – Mitchell Marner
Pierre Engvall – Pontus Holmberg – Jarnkrok Avenue
Zach Aston-Reese – David Kampf – Denis Malgin
Morgan Rielly – Jordie Benn
Mark Giordano – Justin Holl
Rasmus Sandin – Timothy Liljegren
Goaltenders: Erik Kallgren, Matt Murray (anticipated)