William Nylander and the Maple Leafs start their two-game Global Series with a matchup against Lucas Raymond and the Detroit Red Wings tonight in Stockholm (2:00 p.m. EST, TSN4).
With this event taking place in the middle of November, it remains to be seen the level of disruption the Global Series trip causes for the teams involved, but at least for the Leafs, their odds of making it a productive two-game business trip in the standings would seem to be improved by the fact that they’ve avoided the back-to-back games on consecutive days while playing two teams (Red Wings and Wild) who will be in the second half of their b2bs.
However, the flip side of it is that the Leafs are entering this matchup following five days off and a bunch of travel/jet lag recuperation in between games. The Red Wings were able to shake off the cobwebs yesterday while Toronto was on an off day, so the start could be critical as Detroit looks to jump on the Leafs early.
Yesterday’s Red Wings vs. Senators matchup did play out pretty favourably for the Leafs in terms of the intensity of the 65-minute game (“draining and emotional,” as Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde put it). Detroit looked down and out at 4-0 by the 21st minute but didn’t fold up the tent with a plan to respond today; instead, they fought their way back to 4-4 and forced extra time, which lasted 4:58 before Tim Stutzle won it with two seconds remaining on the clock. Top-line center Dylan Larkin took a knock, although he later returned to the game. The Red Wings somewhat shortened their bench on the blue line with Ben Chiarot and Jeff Petry on the ice for all four goals against in the first 21 minutes of the game; Moritz Seider played 30 minutes, Shayne Gostisbehere 26.5, and Jake Walman over 23.
One part of yesterday’s game the Leafs should’ve taken notice of was how lively the end walls were at Avicii Arena, where temporary boards were implemented to match the NHL rink size specifications. It’s something to be aware of, particularly for the goalie, when pucks are dumped in.
In terms of lineup notes, John Klingberg is out as the medical team allows more time for his nagging injury to settle down, making way for Simon Benoit on the bottom pairing with William Lagesson. Ilya Samsonov starts in goal.
There is little doubt William Nylander will be part of the opening lineup for the puck drop, and perhaps Sheldon Keefe will temporarily modify the line to include fellow Swede Calle Jarnkrok to open the game, with William Lagesson starting on the backend.
Game Day Quotes
Sheldon Keefe on William Nylander’s record-setting 15-game points streak entering the Swedish trip:
The point streak is one thing. Sometimes, there is some luck involved in these point streaks and such. Whether the streak continues, that is not the point. He has just played terrific hockey. He has been a catalyst for us offensively. His effort away from the puck defensively has really matched the effort is putting forth on offense.
He just looks like he is really focused on having a great season, which is building upon last season. I thought he took a big step in his overall game last season. He has taken another one this year.
Max Domi on his lifelong bond with Swedish Leafs legend Mats Sundin:
He is like family to me, man. I have leaned on him a lot over my whole life both on and off the ice. He has been a great resource of mine and for my entire family, really.
It’s exciting to see him, Josephine, and the kids, see where they live, and kind of how they grew up. He is probably the greatest Swede of all time. He is the man.
William Nylander on the meaning of playing an NHL game in his home country:
It’s been a dream to come back here and play. I didn’t think that would happen in my career — to play an NHL game in Sweden — so that is going to be very special.
Keefe on the staff dinner with Mats Sundin on Thursday:
It was good chatting with him. If you get him, Brendan Shanahan, and Brad Treliving telling stories, it is non-stop. It is great.
He is a proud Maple Leaf, first of all. You can see that. He loves the game. He was enjoying being around everyone and telling old stories.
Those are the nice things about coming out here… It’s special.
Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde on his team playing its second game in 24 hours:
There is something to [the Leafs] not playing for five days also.
This [game] was draining and very emotional. We killed a 5-on-3 and two 4-on-3s in the last 25 minutes of the game. It zaps and drains you. Our 5-on-5 game was excellent. We were just rolling lines.
Coming out of the second period, we pretty much had the minutes distributed throughout the entire forward group. I think that helped us.
We will be smart about it. It is a quick turnaround recovery.
Lalonde on his team’s comeback effort that fell short in OT yesterday:
Great five-on-five play. I loved our game at five-on-five throughout. I think we gave up a little bit of easy offense. We gave up an odd-man rush on a 3-on-2, a four-on-four goal, and they went one for six on the power play. There was some situational stuff that let us down, but again, a great five-on-five game.
When you are down four goals and you get a point, you’ll take the point, but it feels like how well we were playing at five-on-five, we could’ve gotten more out of the night.
Head-to-Head Stats: Maple Leafs vs. Red Wings
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
#23 Matthew Knies – #34 Auston Matthews – #16 Mitch Marner
#59 Tyler Bertuzzi – #91 John Tavares – #88 William Nylander
#89 Nick Robertson – #11 Max Domi – #19 Calle Jarnkrok
#74 Bobby McMann – #64 David Kampf – #18 Noah Gregor
#44 Morgan Rielly – #78 TJ Brodie
#55 Mark Giordano – #22 Jake McCabe
#2 Simon Benoit – #85 William Lagesson
Starter: #35 Ilya Samsonov
#60 Joseph Woll
Scratched: Ryan Reaves
Injured: John Klingberg, Conor Timmins, Timothy Liljegren
Detroit Red Wings Projected Lines
#93 Alex Debrincat – #71 Dylan Larkin – #23 Lucas Raymond
#18 Andrew Copp – #37 JT Compher – #57 David Perron
#14 Robby Fabbri – #90 Joe Veleno – #36 Christian Fischer
#24 Klim Kostin – #27 Michael Rasmussen – #88 Daniel Sprong
#96 Jake Walman – #53 Moritz Seider
#8 Ben Chiarot – #3 Justin Holl
#2 Olli Maata – #41 Shayne Gostisbehere
Starter: #34 Alex Lyon
#47 James Reimer
Injured: Austin Czarnik, Ville Husso