LGD: Bully Your Way Back

The Toronto Maple Leafs will attempt to rally back from arguably their worst effort of the season when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at the Air Canada Centre tonight. Here’s whats going down:

The Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

*prints every opinion he’s ever had about the Leafs defensive core onto physical paper*

*tosses all papers in the air and walks away*

The Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

The Flyers are so sneaky good that you’d think they were in the Western Conference. To Ron Hextall’s credit, he’s found a way to temper the expectations on a lot of his players; names like Simmonds and Couturier are known but don’t have the degree of pedigree that you think would come with their performances. Konecny and Provorov are two of the league’s best rookies outside of this town, and even a guy like Radko Gudas is known more for his sketchy hits than the fact that he’s very good at driving play.

I don’t know if they’re a distance-going team moving forward, they may need a couple more pieces that can help them withstand the wear-and-tear of the season up front, but they’re not a team to take lightly.

Starting Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen is starting in goal again. That’s not a huge shock. He’s been rather good in the past few weeks and it’s hard to blame him for the massacre that was the Kings game. Bouncing back immediately with a good game would likely remove all doubt in town regarding the 27-year-old; let’s see where he goes with it.

Michal Neuvirth is expected to be Philadelphia’s starter tonight. His success in Buffalo in 2015 and Philadelphia last year has many thinking that the Czech netminder is more than just your average backup, but he’s had a rough go at it this year, posting a 0.859 save percentage over eight appearances. Amazingly, he still holds a 4-2-0 record. Variance is great!

What To Look Out For

The Leafs are going to come out eager tonight. They have to. The Los Angeles game was a travesty and everyone involved in it knows it; you’re going to lose sometimes, you’ll lose to elite teams a lot until you become one, but not looking like you belong on the same ice is problematic.

I don’t know for certain what the Flyers will bring, and I don’t know if the Leafs will do anything different in particular, but expect the players in blue and white to play like their jobs depended on this game. Puck drop is at 7:00.

  • LukeDaDrifter

    The Flyers will bring a hard physical game, as they usually do. Assuming the Flyers coach watched the video of the LA game I expect them to play the same way.