Game Day #26: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Minnesota Wild

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Gardiner Minnesota
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 23: Marco Scandella #6 of the Minnesota Wild loses his edges trying to check Jake Gardiner #51 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on March 23, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Wild defeated the Leafs 2-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Minnesota Wild in the second leg of a back to back (TSN4, 8 p.m. EST, Chris Cuthbert and Ray Ferraro calling the game).

James Reimer gets the start after three games on the sidelines with injury. He looks to pick up where he left off in his season of resurgence:

Minnesota is 4-4-2 in their last 10, but they’ve gone 2-6 in their last eight. They are rested having last beat the 2015 Cup Champs on Monday.

The Wild have a reasonable 12-7-4 record through 23 games, but it comes with some potentially unsustainable percentages, including a 10.34 all-situations shooting percentage, a year after shooting 8.96%. They’re bottom ten in possession statistics after finishing seventh in FF% in 2014-15.

This is a tough turnaround for the Leafs. Mike Babcock is going with the same lineup outside of the goalie switch, as he issues a challenge to his group to respond to one of their worst outings of the season last night in Winnipeg.

“He’s been real good for us and I think he’s still feeling good about himself.. Anytime you’ve been off it’s a little bit harder, but we have to play well in front of him too.”

– Mike Babcock on James reimer


Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

Forwards
James van Riemsdyk – Nazem Kadri – Leo Komarov
Shawn Matthias – Tyler Bozak – PA Parenteau
Daniel Winnik – Nick Spaling – Michael Grabner
Peter Holland – Byron Froese – Brad Boyes

Defence
Jake Gardiner – Dion Phaneuf
Matt Hunwick – Morgan Rielly
Martin Marincin – Roman Polak

Goalies
James Reimer
Garret Sparks

Injured: Joffrey Lupul (lower body), Stephane Robidas (groin)

Scratched: Richard Clune, Frank Corrado

Minnesota Projected Lineup

Forwards
Zach Parise – Mikael Granlund – Jason Pominville
Jason Zucker – Mikko Koivu – Nino Niederreiter
Thomas Vanek – Charlie Coyle – Justin Fontaine
Chris Porter – Erik Haula – Ryan Carter

Defence

Ryan Suter – Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella – Jared Spurgeon
Nate Prosser – Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk
Darcy Kuemper

Injured: Tyler Graovac (sports hernia)
Scratched: Niklas Backstrom, Mike Reilly


 

Mike Babcock Game Day