Puck Drop: 9:00 p.m. EST  |  Arena: Gila River Arena |  TV: SN Ontario |  Radio: SN 590

Game Day Quotes

Mike Babcock on the challenge presented by the last-placed Coyotes, who beat the Leafs 4-1 last month at the ACC:

I just think they skate real good and they’ve got kids and they’ve got energy. They’re going to come to play. I thought they skated us into the ground last time we played them. They outshot us 10-1 right at the start of the game. They were ready; we weren’t. Obviously, they’ve got a game under their belt and they’ll be jumping. We’ve got to be ready to go. It’s a big game for our team.

Babcock on Auston Matthews maybe wanting to put on a show in his hometown:

If you go back to last time [4-1 loss at the ACC], it wasn’t very good. Just do what you do and play the game. Things will work out. He’s a good player and he’s going to want to work hard. They know who he is, too, so they’re going to try to do what they can to make sure he isn’t a factor in the game. That’s the bottom line. That’s what he faces each and every game. Let’s play.

Babcock on JVR’s success on the power play this season:

In general, he’s really good at the net. I often ask him why he gets away from there the odd time. That’s where he scores all of his goals. He’s got hands as good as anybody in that area and eye-hand coordination. His linemates are getting the puck there for him, and I think that’s the key. He’s very, very dangerous. Every goalie in the league would tell you it’s way more fun to play when you have no one standing there versus someone standing there. If the guy standing there has really good hands, that adds to it. He’s got a skill set unlike lots of other people.

Babcock on whether Christmas break can help regenerate the team and “fix” their mindset:

Just in general, I don’t think the mindset was not fixed, to be honest with you. I think the group was feeling good about themselves, but I think any time you get away and get around family and get a chance to energize, I think it’s really important. We talked about it yesterday — having a life away from hockey that you enjoy a lot so you’re not thinking about hockey. That, to me, is so important. Our guys had a good time and enjoyed it. Let’s get back and get going.

Auston Matthews on the team’s loss to the Coyotes in the first meeting of the season series:

We got away from our game a little bit. We definitely weren’t ready to play. They are a team that has skill. Despite their record, they’ve got guys that can make plays and can hurt you in a lot of different ways and are dangerous. We’ve got to be ready to play tonight.

Matthews on playing his game despite all of the attention on him in his hometown game:

Just go out there and play my game. Enjoy the whole moment of playing at home and just have fun and do what I do.

Coyotes head coach Ricket Tocchet on Auston Matthews:

He’s already a man. Everyone has talent and skill, but I love it when he goes in the corners. I’m a corner guy. I always will be. He holds onto pucks, he wins puck battles. If you’re a talented guy and can do that, you’re a special player.

Matchup Stats

GF/g3.24 (5th)2.23 (30th)
GA/g2.78 (11th)3.41 (30th)
PP%22.4% (5th)
15.6% (27th)
PK%82.5% (12th)81.1% (14th)
Shots/g30.8 (20th)30.0 (26th)
Shots Against/g34.0 (29th)32.0 (21st)
5v5 CF%49.7% (16th)46.6% (29th)
5v5 SV%.929 (9th).912 (29th)
5v5 SH%9.4% (2nd)6.2% (28th)

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

*We have added goal, assist, and point totals for each player below the lines. Total goals per line are indicated, too, as well as save percentage for goalies.


Hyman – Matthews – Nylander
  (37-6-13-19) – (27-14-14-28) – (37-7-18-25) Total: 27
Marleau – Kadri – Komarov
(37-12-7-19) – 37-13-10-23) – (37-4-4-8) Total: 29
Van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Marner
  (36-16-9-25) – (36-7-12-19) – (37-4-22-26) Total: 27
Martin– Moore – Brown
 (35-2-7-9) – (28-4-5-9) – (37-9-5-14) Total: 15


Rielly – Hainsey
 (37-4-20-24) – (37-3-13-16) Total: 7
Gardiner – Carrick
 (37-3-14-17) – (20-2-2-4) Total: 5
Borgman – Polak
(35-2-6-8) – (18-1-2-3) Total: 3

Andersen (.924 sv%)
McElhinney (.916 sv%)

Scratched: Leivo
Injured: Soshnikov, Zaitsev

 Arizona Coyotes Projected Lineup


Duclair– Stepan – Rieder
  (29-7-6-13) – (39-8-14-22) – (39-6-5-11) Total: 21
Keller – Domi– Fischer
(39-13-17-30) – (39-3-16-19) – (37-9-7-16) Total: 25
Crouse – Dvorak – Arichibald
  (8-1-0-1) – (39-5-12-17) – (3-0-1-1) Total: 6
Martinook– Perlini – Cousins
 (38-2-5-7) – (32-8-5-13) – (29-4-1-5) Total: 14


OEL– Demers
 (38-6-13-19) – (39-3-9-12) Total: 9
Chychrun – Goligoski
 (10-1-3-4) – (39-4-14-18) Total: 5
Connauton – Schenn
 (39-1-4-5) – (39-0-2-2) Total: 1

Raanta (.916 sv%)
Wedgewood (.903 sv%)

Injured: Hjalmarsson