GDT: Maple Leafs at Blackhawks (7 p.m., CBC)

GDT: Maple Leafs at Blackhawks (7 p.m., CBC)

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Team Records: Leafs – 6-2-0 vs. Blackhawks – 4-1-2
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Big test for the Leafs in Chi-town. The Leafs haven’t beat the Blackhawks in Chicago since 2003.

Some keys to victory:

1. Bernier brilliance. Begins and ends here, one would think.
2. Capitalize on powerplays. Chicago was dominant and far and way the best team at five on five last season, but their PK has struggled in the early going.
3. Improved, more simplified puck management and a ratcheting up of the physical game. Key to any road game, but the Hawks haven’t been firing on all cylinders yet this season, scoring 13 goals over 6 games. Don’t wake the sleeping giant by feeding it turnovers.
4. Feast on Kostka.
5. Rattle them with The Bolland.

JvR still hasn’t been confirmed for tonight. Assuming he’s in, here’s our best guess at tonight’s lines:

Lines: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Oct. 19th, 2013
Leafs Lineup
 
 
Left WingCenterRight Wing
JvRBozakKessel
LupulKadriBroll
RaymondBollandLeivo
BodieMcClementOrr
Left DefenseRight Defense
PhaneufGunnarsson
RiellyFranson
GardinerRanger
Goalies
Starter: Bernier
Reimer

Chicago’s lines per Second City Hockey:

Forwards
Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp – Michal Handzus – Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell – Andrew Shaw – Marcus Kruger
Brandon Bollig – Brandon Pirri – Joakim Nordstrom

Defensive Pairings
Duncan Keith – Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya – Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy – Michael Kostka

Goaltender
Corey Crawford (3-1-2, 2.25 GAA, .919 save %, 0 SO)

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]