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Spencer Lussier

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a chance to start a new winning streak tonight against the Florida Panthers. After Monday’s loss to Arizona, Toronto’s looking to capitalize against a Florida team who is getting back from a 1-2 California road trip. Head Coach Mike Babcock called out his young superstars after a lackluster loss so expect big night from Auston Matthews, as he agreed with Babcock that he needed to be better. He has something to prove. The Leafs will also need a big effort from Nazem Kadri defensively tonight. Florida’s top line of Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgeni Dadonov are the main factors that drive this Florida offence, recording 59 points of the 167 the Panthers roster has. Kadri and his line will most likely be given the task to shut down this Florida's top line which is key to contain the Panthers offensive attack. This is the first time these teams are meeting this season, after the Leafs took four of the five games last season. Connor Brown loved playing against the Panthers, registering six points against the Panthers last season.

Player to Watch for Florida:

I talked about the big three for Florida but the Panther to watch tonight is Vincent Trocheck. The 24-year-old has been the most consistent Panther the last couple of weeks tallying four points in the last five games. Trocheck is a smaller player but doesn’t play like it, having a bit of an edge to his game. He is the most important piece for the secondary scoring on Florida and he will need to have a big game to have a chance against the Leafs.

 

Watchability Scale

Florida is 12 points behind the Leafs in the standings and has the second highest goals against per game, which means all signs point to it being a high scoring affair for the Leafs. Florida’s top line is intriguing to watch but Florida really doesn’t have much on offence that can compare to the Leafs. I will give this game a 2 out of 5 on the scale, expecting an offensive clinic by the Leafs.

Lines:

Toronto:

Hyman – Matthews – Nylander

Marleau – Kadri – Komarov

JVR – Bozak – Marner

Martin – Moore – Brown

 

Rielly – Hainsey

Gardiner – Zaitsev

Borgman – Carrick

Andersen

 

Florida

Huberdeau – Barkov – Dadonov

Brickley – Trocheck – Bjugstad

McGinn – McCann – Sceviour

Haley – Balisy – Hunt

 

Yandle – Ekblad

Matheson – Pysyk

McCoshen – Weegar

Luongo

 

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