Puck Drop: 7:30 p.m. EST  |  Arena: Air Canada Centre |  TV: SN Ontario |  Radio: TSN 1050


Game Day Quotes

Mitch Marner on the strength of the Islanders’ forward group:

They’re very talented, their whole forward group. They’re very good with the puck, so we’ve got to make sure we’re above guys; make sure that, when there’s a turnover, we capitalize on that. They’re a strong group back there that’s playing well. We’ve got to make sure that we come ready to play.

Marner on his former world junior teammate Mathew Barzal’s Calder-worthy season:

Yeah, he’s doing very well. I’ve know him for a long time now and played against him for a long time. He’s always been a guy with a lot of talent and skill. He’s always been one of the most talented guys in our age group. It’s great how well he’s doing and it’s always fun lining up against him.

Mike Babcock on the Nazem Kadri line matching up against John Tavares’ line:

Well, they’re good players. Johnny’s a real good player and Lee’s a big man and a real good net front presence. Bailey passes the puck elite, elite. When you look at a team, they’ve got three guys with over 51 points with Barzal and then they got Lee, who has got 27 goals. They flat out are dangerous. So we’re going to have to play real well and be patient. We’re going to get our opportunities but we’ve got to be patient. Naz has got to do his job without the puck and so does Patty, and so does Mitch, Hains and Gards. The rest of us have got to do our job.

Babcock on the upcoming stretch of games and earning the right to be buyers at the deadline:

Well, It’ll be good. You know, enough breaks already and let’s get going. Let’s get some tempo in our game. I thought practising was good and now you want to get some rhythm. You want to get feeling good and feeling good about yourself and playing well. The bottom line is it’s our job as a team to put as much pressure as we can on Lou to help us. The only way you do that: You don’t do it by talking, you do it by playing and playing well. The better you play, and the more you look like you’ve got a chance, the more opportunity you have for your general manager to help you.

Babcock on how he and the coaching staff keep up with developments on the Toronto Marlies:

Well, I’m watching games when I can. This year hasn’t been as good as last year for watching games, but we also have it on in our room all the time. They play on TV, so it’s real easy. The other thing about it is I talk to Sheldon and I talk to [Dubas] all the time and get a read on their players. Then, we talk to our skills people, who work with them as well. So we’ve got a pretty good handle on what’s going on.

You know, we got an official breakdown again yesterday on everybody on the team. You don’t want to bring [young players] up before they’re ready. Usually when you do, they go down two or three times before they become an NHL player. Everyone tells you how great they are down there and then they come up here and you figure out they’re not that great. So, there’s a big difference between speed and size. They usually have to figure out the league.

Babcock on his relationship with Ken Holland and if his experience in Toronto has been the same:

Well, 100% the same way. You know, Lou’s great. We talk every single day; sometimes way too many times a day, probably. In the end, he’s got to make the decision, but he gathers all the information, whether that be pro scouts, amateur scouts, Shanny, Kyle, Sheldon. You gather all the information and you make the best decisions for the team. I do the same with coaching the team. When I talk to Lou after, I always say to him, “Who’d you like better than I liked?” We do that with our coaches; we do that with everybody because, in the end, you can’t know everything. It’s impossible.

The other thing is, there’s nothing like getting some evaluation from someone outside a little bit of what your team’s doing. I do it with other coaches in the league in another Conference. You play them, and then days later — when one of you isn’t mad anymore — you go through what happened. Sometimes you can’t see the forest through the trees; you’re in it so tight everyday. Sometimes a step back is real good. Lou’s a great communicator like that and gathers information.


Matchup Stats

 TORNYI
Record28-18-425-20-5
GF/g3.10 (7th)3.38 (2nd)
GA/g2.84 (16th)3.58 (31st)
PP%21.0% (8th)
20.1% (12th)
PK%83.2% (6th)73.5% (30th)
Shots/g31.3 (19th)31.2 (20th)
Shots Against/g33.8 (28th)34.7 (30th)
5v5 CF%49.6% (17th)48.2% (24th)
5v5 SV%.929 (10th).917 (24th)
5v5 SH%8.8% (5th)9.6% (1st)

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.

Forwards

Hyman – Matthews – Nylander
  (51-9-17-26) – (42-22-15-37) – (50-10-26-36) Total: 41
Marleau – Kadri – Marner
(51-16-9-25) – (49-17-11-28) – (51-7-27-34)  Total: 40
Van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Brown
  (50-19-11-30) – (49-8-18-26) – (51-12-6-18) Total: 39
Komarov – Moore – Kapanen
 (50-4-10-14) – (33-4-5-9) – (8-2-0-2)  Total: 10

Defencemen

Gardiner – Hainsey
 (51-3-25-28) – (51-3-15-18) Total: 6
Dermott – Zaitsev
 (8-0-1-1) – (34-4-6-10) Total: 4
Borgman – Carrick
(47-3-8-11) – (32-3-3-6) Total: 6

Goaltenders

Andersen (.920 sv%)
McElhinney (.925 sv%)

Scratched: Martin, Leivo, Polak
Injured: 
Soshnikov, Rielly


New York Islanders Projected Lineup

Forwards

Lee – Tavares – Bailey
  (51-27-15-42) – (51-26-31-57) – (47-12-43-55) Total: 65
Beauvillier – Barzal – Eberle
(40-12-5-17) – (51-16-35-51) – (51-17-22-39) Total: 45
Chimera – Nelson – Fritz
  (51-2-8-10) – (51-10-7-17) – (9-0-0-0) Total: 12
Quine – Cizikas – Clutterbuck
 (20-0-3-3) – (41-5-6-11) – (46-8-8-16) Total: 13

Defencemen

Leddy – Mayfield
 (51-6-23-29) – (40-2-10-12) Total: 8
Pelech – Aho
 (47-2-11-13) – (11-1-1-2) Total: 3
Hickey – Pulock
 (38-2-9-11) – (37-4-11-15) Total: 6

Goaltenders

Greiss (.886 sv%)
Halak (.905 sv%)

Injured: Kulemin, Boychuck, De Hann, Prince