Puck Drop: 7:00 p.m. EST  |  Arena: Air Canada Centre |  TV: TSN4 |  Radio: SN 590

Game Day Quotes

Mike Babcock on if Morgan Rielly has improved his defensive game this year:

I actually think Morgan’s been really good. I didn’t like a couple of the plays he’s made lately, but I think he’s been really good and he’s getting better and better. What part is Morgan Rielly and what part is Ron Hainsey? I don’t know the answer to that. I know Gards plays real solid when he’s with Zaitsev. I think that’s what pairs are all about — you’re supposed to have guys together to make you better. He’s had a good start. When you’re having success, your best players are your best players. We’ve got to do a better job of that than we’ve done in December.

Babcock on if Mitch Marner and William Nylander have dropped off since last year, judging by their point totals:

Well, I think the league catches up to everybody, I think the league knows who you are. It’s interesting. When I get prepared for St.Louis, first thing I think about is Tarasenko. Look at his goals. He’s got 19. But Schenn’s got 17. James van Riemsdyk’s got 19.

It’s a hard league, each and every year. I think both players are substantially better. When you look at what they are right now here today, both of them have had their moments this year. I think Mitch started slow and really got going. Willie’s had good stretches and not-as-good stretches. But I think if you go through all of them like that, it’s the same thing. I think if you look at Auston, he’s in that group, too. It’s hard when you’re injured for six games and you come back and then you’re injured four games, then you have a break.

Part of it’s them. Part of it’s the competition. The competition didn’t even know who they were last year. If you remember, you didn’t even know who we were last year. So now that you’re just starting to take us seriously ourselves, so are the other teams.

Babcock on Blues defenceman Alex Pietrangelo:

Elite hockey sense, competitor, knows how to play with and without the puck, good first pass. I mean, he’s just a real good player. The St. Louis Blues lineup, I think, is really good.

Auston Matthews on what the team can do better in the second half:

I mean, a lot of things. We’re still a ways away from where we think we can be and where we want to be. Just structure wise, we can be a lot better — making sure we’ve got guys above the puck, above their guys, and not giving up too many odd-man rushes.

Matchup Stats

GF/g3.16 (7th)2.85 (19th)
GA/g2.89 (18th)2.85 (6th)
PP%21.1% (9th)
15.0% (29th)
PK%83.8% (6th)81.6% (14th)
Shots/g31.3 (19th)33.2 (8th)
Shots Against/g33.8 (28th)30.4 (6th)
5v5 CF%49.6% (17th)51.1% (12th)
5v5 SV%.924 (15th).929 (9th)
5v5 SH%9.1% (3rd)7.8% (16th)

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
  (45-7-15-22) – (35-19-14-33) – (44-9-23-32) Total: 35
Marleau – Kadri – Komarov
(45-15-9-24) – (43-14-10-24) – (44-4-7-11)  Total: 33
Van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Marner
  (44-19-10-29) – (43-8-16-24) – (45-5-26-31) Total: 32
Martin – Gauthier – Brown
 (43-3-7-9) – (5-0-0-0) – (45-10-6-16)  Total: 13


Rielly – Hainsey
 (45-5-26-31) – (45-3-14-17) Total: 8
Gardiner – Carrick
 (45-3-17-20) – (26-2-3-5) Total: 5
Dermott – Polak
(2-0-1-1) – (26-2-4-6) Total: 2


Andersen (.921 sv%)
McElhinney (.916 sv%)

Scratched: Moore, Borgman
Soshnikov, Zaitsev

St.Louis Blues Projected Lineup


Barbashev – Stastny – Tarasenko
  (17-1-4-5) – (46-10-21-31) – (46-19-25-44) Total: 30
Jaskin – Schenn – Steen
(40-4-8-12) – (46-17-27-44) – (40-6-17-23) Total: 27
Sobotka – Berglund – Thompson
  (46-8-14-22) – (22-6-2-8) – (15-3-2-5) Total: 13
Upshall – Sundqvist – Thorburn
 (46-6-9-15) – (30-0-3-3) – (24-0-3-3) Total: 6


Gunnarsson – Pietrangelo
 (40-4-2-6) – (42-7-23-30) Total: 11
Bouwmeester – Parayko
 (16-1-1-2) – (46-5-19-24) Total: 6
Edmundson – Bortuzzo
 (46-6-9-15) – (43-1-4-5) Total: 7


Hutton (.940 sv%)
Allen (.908 sv%)

Injured: Sanford, Fabbri, Schwartz