The banged-up Maple Leafs will look to salvage something out of a back to back after a tough loss to the Minnesota Wild last night.

[pull_quote_right]”They’re pretty strong in back-to-backs, the skate well and they can score goals. They don’t have to win games or compete in games; they don’t have to grind that thing right out, they have enough speed and skill.” Winnipeg Jets Head Coach, Paul Maurice speaking about the Maple Leafs [/pull_quote_right]The Leafs played a pretty good game considering the circumstances (down two of their top 3 centers), but couldn’t muster any even-strength offense. Randy Carlyle’s icetime allocation and bench management was curious at best, particularly in the front half of a back to back situation. Phil Kessel nearly hit the 26 minute mark while Booth, McKegg and Ashton were barely given an opportunity to get themselves into the game.

Randy Carlyle is going to have to come up with a more creative solution to get the most out of his bench with the losses of Holland, Lupul and Kadri, as all are out a few more games at a minimum; in Holland and Lupul’s case, quite a bit longer. Carlyle’s made it known that he likes Mike Santorelli on the right wing, but with two of their top three natural centers out of the lineup, it seems curious he hasn’t been shifted over; he can hold his own as a top 9 C on most teams in the League, so the fact that the Leafs aren’t using him there given the dire situation down the middle is a bit of a head scratcher. Similarly, with the Leafs taking a hit scoring wise with the losses of Kadri and Lupul in particular, it’s bizarre that David Booth, a proven top 9 NHLer who has shown he can score in the past, is still playing chump minutes.

Here’s the skinny on the Jets, who are also dealing with some injury setbacks, courtesy

[quote_box_center]Winnipeg has lost two games in regulation in a row for the first time since Nov. 20-23 and has its own injury problems. Defensemen Zach Bogosian, Toby Enstrom and Mark Stuart are on injured reserve with long-term lower-body injuries. Defenseman Jacob Trouba (upper body) also is on injured reserve and left wing Evander Kane will miss his third consecutive game with a lower-body injury that will keep him out until February.

The injuries and the workload that has been imposed on the Winnipeg blue line has Jets coach Paul Maurice on guard.

“They’re pretty strong in back-to-backs, the skate well and they can score goals. They don’t have to win games or compete in games; they don’t have to grind that thing right out, they have enough speed and skill.” Maurice said of Toronto.

With Kane out, Maurice altered his third and fourth lines in preparation for Toronto. TJ Galiardi will move to the third line and play with center Adam Lowry and right wing Matt Halischuk. Chris Thorburn will return to the fourth line as the left wing on a line with center Jim Slater and right wing Anthony Peluso.

Winnipeg’s forwards also will be expected to avoid engaging the Maple Leafs in trading offensive chances.

“I think we definitely have to play a little better defense than we have been the past two games,” center Bryan Little said of the Jets, who have allowed eight goals in their past two games. “[Toronto] is a team that likes to [thrive] off turnovers and they have a good transition game. We can’t be turning pucks over and we have got to be on high-alert for their offensive [threats].”

Maurice will start rookie goaltender Michael Hutchinson for the fifth time in the past seven games. After starting Jonathan Bernier at Minnesota, the Maple Leafs are expected to turn to James Reimer in net[/quote_box_center]

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Winnipeg Jets - Head to Head

Head to Head:Maple LeafsJets
Record21-15-3 (.577% - 17th)19-12-7 (.592% - 15th)
Goal Differential+12 (10th)+4 (18th)
GF/G3.23 (1st)2.47 (22nd)
GA/G2.97 (25th)2.34 (7th)
PP20.7% (9th)16.8% (21st)
PK82.3% (12th)84.7% (7th)
SF/G29.4 (19th)29.9 (16th)
SA/G34.4 (29th)28.2 (10th)
5v5 SF/G27.6 (22nd)29.1 (13th)
5v5 SA/G33.4 (29th)27.3 (7th)
5v5 CF%44.8% (28th) 51.7% (11th)
5v5 FF%45.3% (28th)51.1% (13th)
5v5 Sh%9.83% (1st)6.67% (27th)
5v5 Sv%92.28% (17th)92.62% (9th)
FO%48.8% (18th)48.1% (23rd)

PP=Power Play %; PK=Penalty Kill %; GF/G=Goals for per game; GA/G=Goals against per game; SF/G=Shots for per game; SA/G=Shots against per game; Sh%=Shooting %; Sv%=Save percentage; F0%=Faceoff percentage; CF%=Corsi for % (shot attempts: shots, blocked shots, missed shots); FF%=Fenwick for% (shots+missed shots)


Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
(17-19-36) – (13-17-30) – (18-23-41) (48G, 107PTS TOT)
Daniel Winnik – Leo Komarov – David Clarkson
(1-13-14) – (5-12-17) – (9-4-13) (15G, 44PTS OT)
Richard Panik – Trevor Smith – Mike Santorelli
(7-1-8) – (0-2-2) – (8-16-24) (15G, 34PTS TOT)
David Booth – Greg McKegg – Carter Ashton
(1-1-2) – (0-0-0) – (0-0-0) (1G, 2PTS TOT)

Dion Phaneuf – Cody Franson
(2-19-21) – (6-18-24) (8G, 45PTS TOT)
Morgan Rielly – Roman Polak
(4-8-12) – (4-2-6) (8G, 18PTS TOT)
Jake Gardiner – Korbinian Holzer
(2-7-9) – (0-4-4) (2G, 13PTS TOT)

James Reimer
(6-6-0, .905SV%, 3.39GAA)
Jonathan Bernier

Winnipeg Jets Projected Lineup

Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
(14-15-29) – (14-13-27) – (11-17-28) (39G, 84PTS TOT)
Mathieu Perreault – Mark Scheifele – Michael Frolik
(9-10-19) – (6-13-19) – (8-11-19) (23G, 57PTS TOT)
TJ Galiardi – Adam Lowry – Matt Halischuk
(0-0-0) – (5-3-8) – (1-3-4) (6G, 12PTS TOT)
Chris Thorburn – Jim Slater – Anthony Peluso
(2-1-3) – (1-2-3) – (1-1-2) (4G, 8PTS TOT)

Ben Chiarot – Dustin Byfuglien
(0-2-2) – (8-12-20) (8G, 22PTS TOT)
Jay Harrison – Grant Clitsome
(1-4-5) – (0-4-4) (1G, 9PTS TOT)
Adam Pardy – Paul Postma
(0-4-4) – (2-4-6) (2G, 10PTS TOT)

Michael Hutchinson
(9-3-2, .937SV%, 1.87GAA)

Ondrej Pavelec

Scratched: Julien Brouillette, Patrice Cormier

Injured: Zach Bogosian (lower body), Toby Enstrom (lower body), Evander Kane (lower body), Mark Stuart (lower body), Jacob Trouba (upper body)

Status report: The Maple Leafs announced Friday that Lupul will be out four weeks and Kadri will miss 7-10 days. Holland is out on a week-to-week basis. … Bogosian, Enstrom, Stuart and Trouba skated Friday at practice but none of the four players will return imminently.

Who’s hot: The Toronto power play has a goal in four of its past five games, going 4-for-17 in that span. … Wheeler has two goals and three assists in his past four games.

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