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LGD: Devil’s Rejects

It’s Game Day!

The Leafs are in Newark tonight for a date with the New Jersey Devils. One might say that a matchup against a struggling team like the Devils might be ideal to get things back on track, but we said that against Florida too, didn’t we?

In all seriousness, the Leafs are looking to break out of a frustrating slump that’s seen them go 1-2-2 over their last five games, while being outscored 20-14 over that span. They’ll need to be better tonight, against a struggling opponent or not.

Leafs Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN

Rating: 73.0#56 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 80.9#15 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 77.8#17 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.25#16 FL1
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 74.9#38 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 86.0#5 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 74.4#42 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 78.44#2 FL2
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 74.3#42 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 77.0#36 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 76.2#28 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 75.84#1 FL3
Tyler Ennis
TYLER ENNIS

Rating: 70.1#119 LW

Par Lindholm
PAR LINDHOLM

Rating: 70.8#144 C

Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 69.4#111 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.08#20 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 79.8#5 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 72.8#40 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 76.27#12 DL1
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 77.8#8 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 71.0#75 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.38#14 DL2
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 74.3#33 LD

Igor Ozhiganov
IGOR OZHIGANOV

Rating: 72.1#50 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 73.17#5 DL3

No changes here tonight, for better or worse. The forward groups have been generally fine, but the defense continues to leave something to be desired. That was on full display in Sunrise on Saturday night. But alas, here we are. Same groups up front, same six on the back end.

Devils Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Taylor Hall
TAYLOR HALL

Rating: 84.5#3 LW

Nico Hischier
NICO HISCHIER

Rating: 76.1#42 C

Kyle Palmieri
KYLE PALMIERI

Rating: 80.5#7 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 80.37#6 FL1
Marcus Johansson
MARCUS JOHANSSON

Rating: 73.4#70 LW

Pavel Zacha
PAVEL ZACHA

Rating: 70.1#159 C

Jesper Bratt
JESPER BRATT

Rating: 71.5#87 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 71.66#28 FL2
Miles Wood
MILES WOOD

Rating: 71.0#98 LW

Travis Zajac
TRAVIS ZAJAC

Rating: 73.5#67 C

Blake Coleman
BLAKE COLEMAN

Rating: 73.5#69 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.66#12 FL3
Brian Boyle
BRIAN BOYLE

Rating: 71.4#90 LW

Brett Seney
BRETT SENEY
John Quenneville
JOHN QUENNEVILLE

Rating: 72.3#72 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.85#3 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Andy Greene
ANDY GREENE

Rating: 70.9#102 LD

Damon Severson
DAMON SEVERSON

Rating: 71.7#58 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 71.31#28 DL1
Will Butcher
WILL BUTCHER

Rating: 75.8#22 LD

Sami Vatanen
SAMI VATANEN

Rating: 74.1#34 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.95#4 DL2
Mirco Mueller
MIRCO MUELLER

Rating: 70.2#116 LD

Ben Lovejoy
BEN LOVEJOY

Rating: 69.1#95 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 69.65#29 DL3

Not much to say here. The Devils are what they are, and not even 31 points in 29 games form Taylor Hall can undo that. They’re 25th in the league in goals against, with a team save percentage just a hair below .908. This is a team that is simply not scoring enough, and can’t keep the puck out of their own net.

Starting Goalies

Looks like Keith Kinkaid (11-8-6, .906) versus Frederik Andersen (17-9-1, .923) tonight. Andersen has faltered a little of late, with a save percentage over .900 in just two of his last five games. It’s been a long ways away from his Vezina-calibre performances of the rest of the season, but it shouldn’t persist beyond a blip.

Kinkaid, meanwhile, has had an overall down season after taking over the crease for the Devils last season en route to a wild card playoff berth. He is, however, riding two consecutive strong outings – with a 1-0-1 record to show in that span.

Notes

  • I, Maple Leafs Nation Insider That’s Kappy, will be at the game tonight. I will provide updates.
  • Puck Drop is at 7pm on TSN4.

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  • Stan Smith

    With the exception of Dermott’s ill-fated pinch in the dying seconds of the second period in the game Saturday night, the defense wasn’t at fault on the rest of the goals. Nylander turning the puck over at the blueline on the PP, and letting his man get away from him on the 3rd goal were the causes of two of the goals. On the PP puck in the glove goal, both Zaitsev and Hainsey had Tampa players covered in front of the net.