LGD: Battle of the one-two punch

Finally, an entire draft class can be decided once and for all tonight, a week into the NHL season. Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets will go head to head for the first time, surely leading to a definitive conclusion on which of the two was the better pick.

I’m just kidding, of course. One game will never decide that. Besides, if one could, it’s already over:

Let’s talk about the actual game at hand for both sides, though.

The Leafs

Projected Toronto Maple Leafs lines courtesy of our friends at Daily Faceoff

There doesn’t expected to be much change here, though that could obviously change in the next few hours. Please free Frank Corrado.

The Jets

Projected Winnipeg Jets lines courtesy of our friends at Daily Faceoff.

The jets are going to be a real, real fun team in the next few years. Maybe sooner; I don’t think the slow-ish start lasts, but then again, the lineup has a few holes in it. 

Starting Goaltenders

Starting in goal for the Leafs is Frederik Andersen, who continues to work towards getting into total form. The Danish starter struggled in the season opener against Ottawa but stopped 24 of 25 on Saturday night against the Bruins. 

On the other side of the ice, Michael Hutchinson is expected to get the nod for the Jets. Hutchinson has gone from the kid to the vet in between Winnipeg’s pipes as he fights for a job with Connor Hellebuyck. ‘Hutch’ let in four goals over 31 shots in his last appearance.

What To Look Out For

  • Jets fans will continue doing that obnoxious “TRUE NORTH” thing, along with, knowing them, probably booing Auston Matthews just because he’s good.
  • Patrik Laine will probably be put in the “Ovy spot” on the powerplay. I’d get a quick skater to play the right wing on that kill to suffocate him if I were in Toronto’s shoes. Or just not take penalties.
  • William Nylander is the only young musketeer to not score yet. Just for that, let’s assume that he’ll score a goal tonight.
  • Keep an eye on the planes; let’s not rule out the possibility of Jacob Trouba trying to sneak himself into the charter with the Leafs. Also keep an eye on Lou Lamoriello, in case he does anything suspicious to make that a little easier.
Puck drop is at 8:00 PM local time. You can catch the game on Rogers Sportsnet.