Toronto Maple Leafs (10-9-5, 25th in NHL) vs. Minnesota Wild (12-8-4, 19th in NHL)

Puck drop: 7:30 p.m. EST
Arena: Air Canada Centre
Watch: Sportsnet

Game Day Notes

– The Maple Leafs will close out their fifth “five-game segment” of the season tonight. Mike Babcock’s target has been to collect six points out of every ten in order to put the Leafs on track for a guaranteed playoff spot with 98 points. Here are how the segments have broken down so far:

5-Game SegmentPoints
15 of 10
24 of 10
36 of 10
45 of 10
55 of 8

The Leafs have hit Babcock’s target in just one of four five-game blocks, but have been steady in avoiding the type of disastrous segment that would drop them out of the playoff picture. With five points in their last four games, a win tonight would give the Leafs their first seven-point segment of the season and help them make up some ground.

– The Leafs will have to win a low-scoring, one-goal game to do it if the Wild have their way. Minnesota is tied for the league lead in goals against with 2.02/game and has conceded 2.29 goals per game on the road (third lowest in the league). Toronto is scoring the lights out at the ACC, however, with a league-leading 3.8 goals per game at home.

– Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau — in addition to discussing his diehard Leafs fandom — touched on the perils of visiting the high-scoring Leafs at the ACC after yesterday’s practice: “I watch their home games, and when they’re on, you better be able to play.”

Boudreau added, “they’re going to be very good very soon. It’s not going to take too long for these guys to be extremely good. I think they’re good already. But, probably by their own standards, they’re probably going to be another year away. That’s not my standard; that’s theirs.”

– Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk is leading the league in save percentage with a .946 through 19 games. That figure improves on the road, where he’s a .949 with a 1.68 goals against average.

– Jhonas Enroth, now with the Marlies, started in the first meeting against the Wild in October, a 3-2 loss in which he conceded three on 27 shots. Frederik Andersen is 2-1-0 lifetime against the Wild with a .904 save percentage.

– As far as tonight’s Leafs lineup is concerned, Martin Marincin missed the morning skate but is expected to be available for tonight. Coming off one of his better showings of the season in Vancouver, it would be a little surprising if Babcock didn’t give Marincin a chance to build on his performance — especially when the Leafs head coach has mentioned that confidence can be a fickle beast for the defenceman. That’s if he’s feeling well enough by puck drop.

– After playing much of the Vancouver game on Nazem Kadri’s wing, William Nylander is expected to return to the middle of the fourth line between Ben Smith and Matt Martin to start tonight’s game. When asked about it after the morning skate, Babcock suggested Nikita Soshnikov’s play has given the team ten top-nine forwards, and that moving Nylander to 4C to start games — as well as giving him his usual powerplay time and elevating him in the lineup depending on the situation — has been the workaround:

Nylander has played 17:01 and 19:30 over the last two games, so — while it’s a little unorthodox — it’s not as though Nylander isn’t getting ice time lately.

Matchup Stats

Statistics courtesy of

Record %0.5830.521
Home Winning %0.70.727
Away Winning %0.50.346
Shootout Winning %00
Goal Differential Per Game0.71-0.08
Shot Differential Per Game-0.750
Hits Per Game15.525.3
PIM Per Game911.3
Opponent PIM Per Game8.612.5
Goals Per Game2.753
Even Strength Goals Per Game2.172.38
Power Play Goals Per Game0.50.58
Shots Per Game30.332.6
Shots Per Goal1110.9
Team Shooting %0.0910.092
Power Play %0.1710.194
Goals Against Per Game2.043.08
ES Goals Against Per Game1.542.54
PP Goals Against Per Game0.50.46
Shots Against Per Game31.0432.58
Shots Against Per Goal15.210.57
Opp. Team Shooting %0.0660.095
Penalty Kill %0.8330.853
Save %0.9340.905
Goals Against Average2.023.05
Opponent Save %0.9090.908
Opponent Goals Against Average2.712.96
Opponent Shutouts22

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines


Leo Komarov  – Nazem Kadri – Nikita Soshnikov
van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Mitch Marner
Zach Hyman – Auston Matthews – Connor Brown
Matt Martin – William Nylander – Ben Smith


Morgan Rielly – Nikita Zaitsev
Jake Gardiner – Connor Carrick
Matt Hunwick – Roman Polak

Scratched: Martin Marincin, Peter Holland, Frank Corrado


Starter: Frederik Andersen (Confirmed)
Backup: Antoine Bibeau

Minnesota Wild Projected Lines


Nino Niederreiter – Eric Staal – Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker – Mikko Koivu – Mikael Granlund
Zach Parise – Erik Haula – Jason Pominville
Chris Stewart – Tyler Graovac – Kurtis Gabriel


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


Starter: Devan Dubnyk (Confirmed)
Backup: Darcy Kuemper

Morning Skate: Mike Babcock