The battle of the best of the North will continue tonight, with both teams winning two games each up to this point in the season. With 6 of the Leafs’ next 14 games being played against the Jets, they need to figure out a way to beat this team regularly. Winnipeg plays the heaviest game of all the teams in the North division, a style the Leafs have notoriously had trouble with, which puts even more emphasis on these games. If the Leafs can respond to the physical game of the Jets, it will go a long way towards proving to some fans that this team has what it takes to go deep in the playoffs.
It may also prove to GM Kyle Dubas that he needs to construct a roster that is capable of playing a heavier game.
With the trade deadline less than two weeks away things appear to be working backwards around the NHL. Normally there would be more teams joining the list of sellers, but with clubs such as the Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings competing for a playoff spot, there are more and more teams electing to sit tight to see what their teams are capable of.
In fact, there are only a few bona-fide sellers at this point. The Ottawa Senators, Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks are firmly in sell mode. Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers are not far behind but could all be said to be in a state of limbo, where the next few games could determine what they do. Lastly, the Arizona Coyotes may elect to sell a player or two in an attempt to recoup picks that were lost as punishment for illegal prospect testing under the previous GM, John Chayka. It may not matter where they are in the standings if they receive the right offer.
The next few days should be fun.
As for tonight, here are your lineups:
Jack Campbell will make his seventh start of the season. Let’s hope he can continue to shine as Frederik Andersen’s status is in question:
Enjoy the game!!
GO LEAFS GO!!