Today’s mission for the Maple Leafs: Don’t overlook the Flyers ahead of Christmas vacation, give the school kids the show they deserve, and enter the break on the right note (2 p.m. EST, Sportsnet Ontario).

Head to Head: Leafs vs. Flyers

In the season-to-date statistics, the Leafs hold the advantage over the Flyers in four out of five offensive categories and five out of five defensive categories.

Game Day Quotes

Flyers head coach John Tortorella on the process involved in coaching a young, rebuilding team:

I think we are building a foundation of how to play and what is expected of the standard of how we play. I think that is growing.

We have to get better with skill. We do. I am not talking out of turn or trying to be the General Manager, but we have to get more skill here.

This is going to be a couple of years where the skill comes into play. That is where it all falls into place.

Sheldon Keefe on Jordie Benn’s ability to stay ready and jump into the lineup in Rasmus Sandin’s absence:

He is a veteran player who knows exactly who he is and what he needs to do. He has worked real hard through his injury to get himself back. He did a really good job for us of stepping in at a time when we really needed him with our injuries. He did a really good job there.

He has a great personality about him. He goes about his business every day. He is a popular guy in the room. He is really comfortable with who he is and what he has done in the league. He is always ready and available when called upon.

Of course, he has had some battles with injuries, but he has gotten through that. Every day, you bump into him and chat with him, you see him interacting with his teammates, and you feel good about what he brings to the team.

Keefe on the challenge of staying focused in the final game before the break:

It is always a funny game, the last one before the break. It is just the reality of it. It is one of those things where you can’t help that you have plans after the game. You have family in, or you are trying to get out. You have all sorts of stuff that is happening.

Our message today was really just about focusing on the fact that you have 60 minutes remaining to play. As good as things have gone for us of late —  the two-game losing streak on the road notwithstanding — we feel good about our game and want to go into the break with that same feeling.

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines

#58 Michael Bunting – #34 Auston Matthews – #88 William Nylander
#19 Calle Järnkrok – #91 John Tavares – #16 Mitch Marner
#15 Alex Kerfoot – #64 David Kämpf – #47 Pierre Engvall
#12 Zach Aston-Reese – #29 Pontus Holmberg – #28 Joey Anderson

#55 Mark Giordano – #3 Justin Holl
#18 Jordie Benn – #37 Timothy Liljegren
#78 TJ Brodie – #25 Conor Timmins

Starter: #35 Ilya Samsonov
#30 Matt Murray

Extras: Dryden Hunt, Wayne Simmonds, Mac Hollowell
: Rasmus Sandin, Nick Robertson, Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin, Victor Mete

Philadelphia Flyers Projected Lines

#25 James van Riemsdyk – Morgan Frost – #74 Owen Tippett
#17 Zack MacEwen  – #21 Scott Laughton – #13 Kevin Hayes
#86 Joel Farabee – #49 Noah Cates – #11 Travis Konecny
#44 Nicolas Deslauriers – #38 Patrick Brown – #57 Wade Allison

#9 Ivan Provorov – #70 Rasmus Ristolainen
#6 Travis Sanheim – #77 Tony DeAngelo
#45 Cam York – #61 Justin Braun

Starter: #79 Carter Hart
#33 Samuel Ersson

Injured/Out: Ryan Ellis, Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson, Bobby Brink, Felix Sandstrom