Game Day

Game Day

Maple Leafs Hot Stove provides the most comprehensive game day coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Starting lineups, stats and comments get you ready for that night's game.

The Red Wings (10-4-5) are in town to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (10-8-2) in an original six divisional matchup on Hockey Night in Canada. The Maple Leafs haven't had much luck against the Red Wings in their two meetings so far, a pair of losses including one in overtime. Last time the Wings came to Toronto, Zetterberg tore them apart and they got outshot in the third period 2:1 despite a 4-1 deficit. Jerseys were thrown on the ice, so on and so forth. The Zetterberg, Nyquist and Franzen matchup is an unresolved task going into this game...

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Tampa Bay Lighting

Toronto takes on an opponent that surely ranks as one of the last they would want to face off against while trying to regain confidence after consecutive embarrassing blowouts which have called into question everyone from the GM to the coach to the core players of the team. Indeed, it's probably the last thing the Leafs want to do tonight given the recent skid: Play at home against one of the best teams in the Conference. That's the situation they find themselves in coming off losses to the Sabres and Predators by a combined 15-4 score. After coughing up six to the offensively-inept...

The Maple Leafs are looking for a bounce-back game after hitting the lowest point of their season so far, a blowout loss to league laughingstock the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. The Predators are one of the early surprises of the 2014-15 season, sitting third in the West with a 11-4-2 record under new head coach Peter Laviolette. It's been a pattern of sorts for Laviolette-coached teams -- in first full seasons in Carolina and Philadelphia, his teams went to the Cup Finals after missing the playoffs the season previous. Without really knowing it to be true, one could forge a narrative...

Nazem Kadri Sabres

Toronto (9-6-2) is in Buffalo to take on the struggling Sabres (3-13-2) in what always feels like a home game for the visiting Maple Leafs. After a tough loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Toronto Maple Leafs look to continue piling up points against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres' struggles are well documented;  they're near last in every statistical category in the league right now, and out in front for the Connor McDavid sweepstakes, so far. Korbinian Holzer has been called up on an emergency  basis. It's a assumed that one of the right-hand shot defence are injured. One of Robidas or...

Dion Phaneuf

The Pittsburgh Penguins (10-3-1) are in town to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (9-5-2) after taking a 5-0 beat down at the hands of the New York Rangers on Tuesday. When these two teams face each other, the potential for it to turn into a track meet is always there (see table below for more details). Both teams can score goals with the best of them;  Pittsburgh is technically 1st in the league right now with a .750 win percentage and Toronto climbing quickly at 10th in the league with a .625, despite the standings (not accounting for games played) having them...

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins (10-6-0) are in town tonight to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs (8-5-2) After getting totally embarrassed and boo'd off the ice in their last game against Boston on October 26, the Maple Leaf players held a closed door meeting and have since lost only one game in regulation. Toronto looks to extend their winning streak to three games and their point streak to four. Toronto is 6-2-2 in their last 10 games; is Boston is red hot and 8-2-0 in their last 10 games, riding a 5 game winning streak. Toronto looks to be starting Jonathan Bernier tonight, who...

The Toronto Maple Leafs (7-5-2) face off against the Ottawa Senators (7-3-3) in a makeup game that was rescheduled after the tragic shooting in the nation's capital on October 22nd. Two division and provincial rivals separated by a point — and a place in the standings – renew hostilities tonight at the Canadian Tire Centre. Both teams are playing the second game in under 24 hours. A shootout loss for the Sens to the Jets, a regulation win for the Leafs over the Rangers. Bobby Ryan is a game time decision but could be back in the lineup after missing Saturday's game with an injury. Trevor Smith...

Josh Leivo will make his season debut tonight versus the New York Rangers. Two things to like about what the Leafs are doing with their lineup tonight: First, placing Leivo on the top line with Nazem Kadri and Phil Kessel. It makes a lot more sense to put a skilled youngster with some legitimate top 6 potential in a position to succeed in his call up rather than playing him in spot duty on the fourth line. He's a better option there than Richard Panik. Secondly, taking the extra precautions by giving the night off to Daniel Winnik; he somehow passed...

The Maple Leafs' OT victory over the Avalanche in Game 4 of the season counts among the best possession games during the Randy Carlyle era, as the Maple Leafs owned 58% of the shot attempts in that game and came out on the right end of a 40-24 shot count. The Maple Leafs will hopefully have a semblance of a blueprint as to how they went about dictating the game against this Avs team, especially over the final 40 minutes, when they outshot the Avs 31-12. A 3-6-5 start with too much time spent in their own end inspired an early tweak by Patrick...

The Leafs are looking to stay undefeated in regulation on the road (3-0-1) in tonight’s meeting with the Western Conference’s last place team the Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes have been a middle of the road possession team getting let down by its defense and especially its goaltending in the early going. Mike Smith’s .873 leaves him fourth from the bottom in save percentage among goaltenders with a minimum of 3 starts. Expected to start tonight, the Leafs would be wise to test him early and often. The Coyotes will be feeling a little better about themselves having most recently picked up...

The Blackhawks have been waiting in Toronto since their shootout win over Ottawa on Thursday, but the good news is that Randy Carlyle was able to limit the minutes of his top guns in a convincing win over the Blue Jackets last night. The Leafs will also be injecting some fresh legs on the fourth line in the form of Sam Carrick, who has probably had to wait 10 games too many to get this chance given the preseason he had. He's hinted at maybe getting some looks on the Leafs' excelling penalty kill as well, but first and foremost,...

The Blue Jackets are riddled with injuries, but the Maple Leafs would need short memories to take them lightly; they were thoroughly outcompeted by the Blue Jackets in their three meetings last season, losing by a combined score of 13-3. There are some rumblings of 7D, and of Carter Ashton's season debut, but that's been the case for almost every game this season. . Projected Lines MAPLE LEAFS Joffrey Lupul - Nazem Kadri - Phil Kessel James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - David Clarkson Leo Komarov - Mike Santorelli - Daniel Winnik Carter Ashton - Peter Holland – Richard Panik Dion Phaneuf - Cody Franson Jake Gardiner -...

You have to figure the Maple Leafs are going to be a little tight having lost four of five at home, all handily, and having to now enter a game that is a 'should win' versus the worst team in the League. Fan patience in the ACC tonight will be even shorter than usual. It's only 9 games in, but the Leafs need this one. https://twitter.com/jonasTSN1050/status/527115509746380800 From James Mirtle today, who wrote on the Sabres' rebuild plans versus the Leafs' less-than-clear current blueprint. These Sabres aren’t merely bad; they’re historically bad, scoring only 1.1 goals per game, being outshot by 13.6 a night...

Phil Kessel hasn't played a game against the Boston Bruins without Big Z starting the majority of shifts against him or hopping the boards shortly thereafter. The Maple Leafs will look to capitalize and get the season series started off with a win against the underperforming Boston Bruins (4-5-0).  While it still doesn't feel as though the Maple Leafs have bucked the Bruin off their back after losing eight of nine regular season meetings followed by the traumatizing 2013 playoff loss, they did manage to split the season series in 2013-14. The Bruins remain a top 5 possession team at even strength, but Tuukka Rask hasn't been...

John Tavares, Dion Phaneuf

The Toronto Maple Leafs (2-3-1) are in New York to take on the Islanders (4-1-0). Toronto is looking to rebound after two back-to-back losses against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday and Saturday with a better effort against the Islanders tonight. Toronto's top lines have come under fire for not producing and need to pick up their output if the team is to improve their recent play. New York has been playing well, but has allowed 3.00 goals a game, ranking them 19th in the league, just ahead of the Maple Leafs in 20th place. Where they are succeeding is in goal scoring, ranked...

The Maple Leafs are going to have to manage the puck more effectively through neutral ice and find an answer for the Gustav Nyquist, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen (who may not play... game time decision after getting injured last night) line or else it could be four points dropped to a division rival in 48 hours. The Wings' top line scored all four goals on the Maple Leafs last night, with Justin Abdelkader getting in on the action in the third after taking Franzen's spot on the top line. Zetterberg walked away with four assists on the night. The...

The Maple Leafs are looking to get on the right side of .500 in their first 2014-15 meeting with division rival Detroit. The Maple Leafs are coming off their best 'possession' performance in over 25 games on Tuesday, but did so against the reeling and typically puck-poor Colorado Avalanche. How will they fare against a more respectable possession team in a divisional back-to-back this weekend? The Leafs were decidedly outplayed by the Wings last season in losing three of four to Detroit outside of their shootout Winter Classic win. https://twitter.com/mirtle/status/522449860130533376 There will be no Pavel Datsyuk for Detroit, and there will be a Jake Gardiner for...

COLORADO AVALANCHE VS. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

The Colorado Avalanche (1-2-0) come into town tonight on the 2nd half of a back-to-back and look to improve upon their poor start to the season—much the same as the Toronto Maple Leafs (1-2-0). The last time that these two teams met, the Maple Leafs blew them out 5-2 and it was a wide-open affair. It was a game of turnovers and end-to-end action, and more of the same should probably be expected. Colorado has gotten off to a slow start; Minnesota dominated them in two back-to-back games and outshot them heavily. There are a number of parallels between these two...

Funny how much two games can change. The context of James Reimer’s first start of 2014-15 is such that he could make the goaltending battle a battle again if he comes out with a big effort tonight in New York. With an effort from his teammates comparable to last night’s, however, he won’t stand much of a chance. It’s time for the Maple Leafs’ best players to play like their best players. Two Tyler Bozak goals aside, the top line has been nothing short of horrendous to the point of borderline embarrassment; at one point last night, they were hemmed in...

Tyler Bozak Pittsburgh Penguins

Maple Leafs and Penguins meetings rarely leave the audience wanting for goals. The two teams have combined for 38 goals in their last 6 meetings, with the Penguins winning four of the meetings, two via the shootout. Randy Carlyle will be looking to the pairing of Dion Phaneuf and Stephane Robidas to get the job done against the Crosby, Kunitz and Hornqvist line, who went off for four goals against the Anaheim Ducks in Pittsburgh's season opener. Toronto's de facto shutdown pair looked a little rough around the edges against Montreal on Wednesday. Toronto will also be looking for better games from...