LGD: East Coast Bias

The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to extend their winning streak (!!) to three games (!!!) tonight, as they take on the Vancouver Canucks. Here’s what you can expect to go down.

The Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

No changes. The Leafs are going to keep riding the hot hands for now, which doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense, but I suppose they are about to face the Canucks. Frank Corrado played on-ice baseball with Kari Ramo yesterday and his defensive partner was forward Brandon Prust. Prust and Ramo aren’t even Leafs, they were just there to hang out. Please free Frank Corrado.

The Canucks

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

Say what you will about the Leafs’ defensive core, but at least it’s not as bad as this. Hutton might be the only truly redeemable quality at this stage in everybody’s career; Chris Tanev is great too, but he’s injured at the moment. Up front, the Canucks have a bunch of recognizable names, but the jury’s out on how many of them really matter that much at this point. It’s amazing that five of those forwards are over 30, and three of them are over 35.

Starting Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen gets the nod in goal again for the Leafs. He’s been on fire in his past few starts, and probably singlehandedly stole the Leafs the game against Buffalo. The Canucks are going to be hungry for goals, though; they’ve been shutout in four of their last five games and have fewer goals since their 4-0 run than the Blue Jackets had last night.

In Vancouver’s goal, expect Ryan Miller to suit up. He’s a 0.934 to start the season, a number so impressive for a 36-year-old that it’s made people forget that super prospect Thatcher Demko looks below minor league replacement level in his first few AHL games. Miller also has a thing for shutting down the Leafs; we’ll see if that carries against a group of kids who are too young to realize this.

What To Watch For

Before the game, go find every positive article about Brandon Sutter from the past year and a half and see how long it takes you to go “holy crap, he’s Dave Bolland except they actually signed him”. In fact, just spend a bunch of time looking at the makeup of the Canucks’ roster, at they way they’ve drafted, at their prospect depth chart, and wonder how a team decided that the 2013/14 Leafs were a good model to follow.

As well, wait for Canucks twitter to burn down when William Nylander undresses Jake Virtanen on national television. It’s going to be insane. For someone like me who grew up on both teams, a little conflicting too. Though, much like the self-hate was a necessary evil for the fanbase a few years back, this is the best case scenario for Canucks fans too. Let the team suffer; it’ll be worth it later.

Puck drop is at 7:00 PM on Hockey Night in Canada. For those of you who want to keep up with the Marlies as well, they’ll be taking on the St. John’s IceCaps at 6:00 PM and you can watch that on AHL Live.