Reasonably happy with the team’s possession performance versus the Capitals, Peter Horachek’s message will be to stick with it while cracking down on some of the avoidable errors of last game. The Leafs will also need a bounceback performance from Jonathan Bernier, who let in 5 on 25 shots.

The Blue Jackets enter as winners of 4 of their last 5. The Blue Jackets are a heavy team who embarrassed the Leafs a few times last season; the Leafs won their most recent Oct. 31 meeting against a Columbus team facing overwhelming injuries. They’re still missing some key contributors (Horton, Jenner, Anisimov), but they’re a little healthier now and stringing together some wins (definitely a sleeper right now if they can get healthy in the second half). The line of Hartnell, Johansen and Foligno is a big handful as a major offensive and physical threat. Their offensive production really drops off after that top line, but the Leafs have struggled to find answers in the big matchups all season.

In Leaf lineup news, Tyler Bozak is back beside Phil Kessel with Daniel Winnik. It’s worth noting, while the result wasn’t what we wanted, the Winnik, Kadri and Kessel line did produce a goal last game, off the cycle to boot. However, Santorelli has been shifted to the middle between Komarov and Clarkson, so Bozak-Kadri-Santorelli is a better group of top 9Cs overall.

Troy Bodie will enter the lineup for the first time this season, on a fourth line with Booth and Smith. Bodie was a positive when called upon last season; he brings a big body who plays a simple, hard north-south game and was one of few on the roster who instilled some fear in the opposition on the forecheck. Mixing him into the fourth line for a spark makes some sense. It would’ve been interesting to see how Carrick and Bodie might have fed off each other, but it looks like Carrick will sit after getting under three minutes of ice last game.

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

Daniel Winnik – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
(2-13-15) – (13-17-30) – (18-23-41) (33g, 86pts TOT)
James van Riemsdyk – Nazem Kadri – Richard Panik
(17-20-37) – (11-14-25) – (7-1-8) (35g, 70pts TOT)
Leo Komarov – Mike Santorelli – David Clarkson
(5-13-18) – (9-16-25) – (9-4-13) (23g, 56pts TOT)
David Booth – Trevor Smith – Troy Bodie
(1-1-2) – (1-2-2) – (0-0-0) (2g, 5pts TOT)

Dion Phaneuf – Cody Franson
(2-20-22) – (6-19-24) (8G, 47PTS TOT)
Jake Gardiner – Stephane Robidas
(2-7-9) – (0-4-4) (2G, 13PTS TOT)
Morgan Rielly – Roman Polak
(4-8-12) – (4-3-7) (8G, 19PTS TOT)

Jonathan Bernier
(15-9-3, 2.75 GAA, .916SV%)
James Reimer

Scratched: Korbinian Holzer, Sam Carrick
Injured: Peter Holland (upper body), Joffrey Lupul (lower body)

Columbus Blue Jackets Projected Lineup

Scott Hartnell – Ryan Johansen – Nick Foligno
(8-15-23) – (3-23-36) – (17-21-38) (8g, 97pts TOT)
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Cam Atkinson
(4-6-10) – (2-7-9) – (8-6-14) (6g, 33pts TOT)
Sean Collins – Alexander Wennberg – Jack Skille
(0-2-2) – (1-4-5) – (5-2-7) (6g, 14pts TOT)
Jeremy Morin – Mark Letestu – Jared Boll
(1-1-2) – (4-2-6) – (0-2-2) (5g, 10pts TOT)

Jack Johnson – David Savard
(3-16-19) – (7-7-14) (10g, 33pts TOT)
Kevin Connauton – James Wisniewski
(6-6-12) – (4-13-17) (10g, 29pts TOT)
Cody Goloubef – Fedor Tyutin
(0-2-2) – (1-3-4) (1g, 6pts TOT)

Sergei Bobrovsky
(15-10-2, 2.75GAA, .917SV%)
Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Corey Tropp, Dalton Prout, Jordan Leopold
Injured: Artem Anisimov (torn triceps), Brian Gibbons (knee), Nathan Horton (back), Boone Jenner (back), Ryan Murray (knee)

Peter Horachek Game Day Presser

 

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