The Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning will meet up for the first time this season tonight in Toronto. The Lightning hold a stiff edge on the Atlantic division, leading the Leafs by ten points with two games in hand. Toronto sits third in the division, tied with Boston, who has three games in hand on the Leafs. Despite being ten points behind the Lightning, the Leafs know that going into this contest a statement needs to be made, especially after their New Years Eve debacle against the Golden Knights.
This is the beginning of a six-game homestand for the Maple Leafs after finishing a five-game road swing with just two victories.
The Lightning went 2-1-1 against Toronto last season, despite not making the playoffs.
Leafs head coach Mike Babcock said it perfectly this morning “We’re playing the best team in the league right now and if you want to be the best you have to beat the best.”
The Leafs know that this is a measuring stick game for them, so expect for them to come out flying and for the Lightning to match the pace. This is the type of game players love to get up for, therefore look for a high scoring affair between two high scoring teams.
Zach Hyman Auston Matthews William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk Tyler Bozak Mitch Marner
Leo Komarov P. Marleau/N. Kadri Connor Brown
Matt Martin Dominic Moore Josh Leivo
Morgan Rielly Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner C. Carrick/M. Marincin
Andreas Borgman Roman Polak
Vladislav Namestnikov - Steven Stamkos - Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat - Brayden Point - Tyler Johnson
Alex Killorn - Yanni Gourde - Cory Conacher
Chris Kunitz - Cedric Paquette - J.T. Brown
Victor Hedman - Jake Dotchin
Mikhail Sergachev - Anton Stralman
Braydon Coburn - Dan Girardi