Yes, don't bother asking Leafs Head Coach Mike Babcock whether or not Auston Matthews is playing tonight versus the Devils. He's not. Matthews will miss his fourth straight game, while Nikita Soshnikov will be in the lineup after being called up on Monday. Putting a clause in your contract where you can leave for the KHL if you're not up with the big club by a certain time period is quite the negotiating tactic. Without Matthews in the lineup, Nazem Kadri and Morgan Rielly share the Leafs point lead with 16.
Who to watch on the Devils
The duo of Nico Hischier and Taylor Hall. The two have combined for 32 points and have an insane amount of creativity that makes watching a usual boring Devils team quite fun.
Thank god that these aren't the Devils of old, or I would have found pretty much anything else to do than watch this game. The old trap and hang around waiting for the other team to make a mistake is the worst type of hockey to watch, and it looks like that era of hockey for New Jersey is coming to an end. The Devils are now a young, high scoring team and are getting one of their top centers back tonight in Travis Zajac, who's making his season debut. The Devils lead the Metropolitan division with 24 points, while the Leafs sit second in the Atlantic with 24. Even without Matthews in the lineup, this one should be a back and forth offensive affair. I mean, you can watch this, or you can go color blind after watching Thursday Night Football's color rush uniforms. I'm going to hope that William Nylander or Mitch Marner have one of those nights where they remind you why they were both top 10 picks in the draft. With all that being said, I'm going to give this game a 3.5/5 stars on the watchability scale. Realistically, just because were excited about the possibility of this match up, it's probably going to be a dud, but you should watch along with us anyways.