The Maple Leafs hit game #60 of the season tonight – roughly the three-quarters pole – which has Toronto fans going, “there’s still 22 more of these?”
- The Jets are one of a collection of teams rumoured to be interested in adding Daniel Winnik at the deadline, for whatever that’s worth.
- The Leafs mustered zero shots on four powerplay opportunities last night and just six scoring chances over the final 40 minutes, as their ineptitude during this protracted slump keeps finding new ways to express itself.
- Similar to last night’s opponent in the Hurricanes, the Leafs have been dominated in this matchup in recent times, losing their last five consecutive to the Jets.
- Tyler Myers has four points in four games since the trade to Winnipeg. Drew Stafford has one goal since the move from Buffalo.
- The Jets are 4-4-2 in their last 10 and that won’t be good enough to keep pace in the Western wildcard race with the surging Kings (winners of six in a row) and Minnesota Wild (8-2 in their last 10) nipping at their heels. No question who the hungrier team should be tonight.
Lineup Notes: Jonathan Bernier will start in this second half of the back to back; he lost his lone career start against the Jets back in 2011 with LA, but stopped 26 of 27… Joffrey Lupul returns to the lineup after his latest injury and is expected to start on the fourth line with David Booth and Peter Holland.
Tank Coordinates: A Leaf loss combined with a Carolina win over New Jersey tonight would move the Leafs into fourth from the bottom (9.5% lottery probability).
Winnipeg Jets Projected Lines
Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler
Dustin Byfuglien – Mark Scheifele – Drew Stafford
Chris Thorburn – Adam Lowry – Michael Frolik
Carl Klingberg – Jim Slater – Anthony Peluso
Ben Chiarot – Adam Pardy
Toby Enstrom – Tyler Myers
Mark Stuart – Jacob Trouba
Scratched: Jay Harrison, Paul Postma
Injured: Grant Clitsome (back), Matt Halischuk (lower body), Mathieu Perreault (lower body)
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Daniel Winnik – Nazem Kadri – Richard Panik
Leo Komarov – Olli Jokinen – David Clarkson
Joffrey Lupul – Peter Holland – Booth/Kozun
Morgan Rielly – Roman Polak
Jake Gardiner – Korbinian Holzer
Petter Granberg – Stephane Robidas
Injured: Dion Phaneuf (hand), Trevor Smith (upper body)
Status report: The Maple Leafs returned defenseman Andrew MacWilliam to the Toronto of the American Hockey League. With Lupul returning to the lineup, Kozun will be a healthy scratch… Wheeler took a shot on the leg Thursday but will play, according to the Winnipeg Sun. (NHL.com)
Who’s hot: Kozun scored his first NHL goal Friday … Ladd has points in his past three games for the Jets (two goals, assist). (NHL.com)