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LGD: Nylander who? Leafs enter the Wild

As surprising as it may be, there’s actually something else for us to talk about today besides the Nylander signing or not signing. The Leafs are in Minnesota tonight to take on the Wild.

Minnesota has been doing rwell thus far this season, even sitting near the top of a hotly contested Central Division for a time. For now, they are in 4th in that division, 5 points back of the Predators and Avalanche.

Led by the two monster contracts signed in 2011, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the Wild are holding their own against very tough competition.

The Leafs find themselves in a similar dogfight of a division, with the Sabres surging forward and the always excellent Tampa Bay Lightning, who are each tied for points atop the league.

Tonight’s competition will certainly be a tight one, as the Leafs try to focus on the game at hand instead of their teammate’s contract situation.

Leafs Lines

It’s expected that we’ll see the exact same group of players that earned a win on Wednesday night against the Sharks. It’s hard to argue for changing much when the team has been performing so strongly. The group includes Tyler Ennis, who played for the Wild last season.

One change though is that we’ll see Andreas Johnsson bumped off of the Matthews line and onto the Kadri line, presumably because of the excellent defensive play he’s been displaying lately, and to try to keep Patrick Marleau scoring.

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 73.2#56 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 81.3#12 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 79.2#12 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.89#15 FL1
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 74.0#43 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 84.3#6 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 73.8#43 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.39#5 FL2
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 73.9#46 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 77.0#35 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 69.8#108 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 73.55#3 FL3
Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS

Rating: 70.9#96 LW

Par Lindholm
PAR LINDHOLM

Rating: 72.3#106 C

Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 73.0#56 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 72.05#6 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 79.2#6 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 73.5#38 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.33#10 DL1
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 76.3#17 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 71.3#80 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 73.81#13 DL2
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 74.5#29 LD

Igor Ozhiganov
IGOR OZHIGANOV

Rating: 72.8#43 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 73.65#2 DL3
GOALIES
Frederik Andersen
FREDERIK ANDERSEN

Rating: 77.7#9 G1

Garret Sparks
GARRET SPARKS

Rating: 70.2#43 G2

Wild Lines

Former Leafs Eric Fehr and (technically) Greg Pateryn are featured on this Wild team. The lineup itself is as blah as the Wild have always been. The Leafs will probably continue to struggle to contain Eric Staal, as they always have, scoring 50 points in 45 games against them.

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Parise
ZACH PARISE

Rating: 76.0#32 LW

Mikko Koivu
MIKKO KOIVU

Rating: 75.1#48 C

Nino Niederreiter
NINO NIEDERREITER

Rating: 74.2#35 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 75.08#26 FL1
Jason Zucker
JASON ZUCKER

Rating: 77.9#19 LW

Eric Staal
ERIC STAAL

Rating: 81.7#10 C

Mikael Granlund
MIKAEL GRANLUND

Rating: 79.1#26 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 79.55#2 FL2
Jordan Greenway
JORDAN GREENWAY

Rating: 72.3#76 LW

Joel Eriksson Ek
JOEL ERIKSSON EK

Rating: 70.9#144 C

Charlie Coyle
CHARLIE COYLE

Rating: 71.8#119 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.65#14 FL3
Marcus Foligno
MARCUS FOLIGNO

Rating: 69.9#111 LW

Eric Fehr
ERIC FEHR

Rating: 70.7#97 C

J.T. Brown
J.T. BROWN

Rating: 68.4#118 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.68#28 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Ryan Suter
RYAN SUTER

Rating: 79.7#5 LD

Jared Spurgeon
JARED SPURGEON

Rating: 78.1#16 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 78.93#2 DL1
Jonas Brodin
JONAS BRODIN

Rating: 74.3#34 LD

Mathew Dumba
MATHEW DUMBA

Rating: 79.2#13 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 76.75#2 DL2
Nick Seeler
NICK SEELER

Rating: 72.2#63 LD

Greg Pateryn
GREG PATERYN

Rating: 71.9#60 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.09#12 DL3
GOALIES
Devan Dubnyk
DEVAN DUBNYK

Rating: 72.1#34 G1

Alex Stalock
ALEX STALOCK

Rating: 69.3#53 G2

Game Preview

Tonight’s game starts at 7 p.m. and will probably be a barn burner, so make sure you don’t miss it. As always on Saturday, we’ll see you for Hockey Night in Canada on CBC for this game. Go Leafs Go!

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