0

LGD: After Vacation, Back to Work vs. Blue Jackets

The Leafs traveled to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets in the return from the Christmas break. Most of the rest of the NHL was back yesterday, but the schedulers were kind enough to give the Leafs an extra break.

The Jackets and Leafs each sit in 2nd in their division, sitting behind the Capitals and Lightning respectively. Columbus is in slightly better form than Toronto, going 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, while the Leafs are 6-2-2.

For the season, the Maple Leafs are 25-10-2 and the Blue Jackets are 22-12-3. Within this season, the Leafs and Jackets have played each other twice, each winning 4-2 in their home rink.

Leafs Lines

After the break, Igor Ozhiganov should be ready to return from his illness, however, Zach Hyman remains out with his injury. Trevor Moore is back up on emergency re-call to fill his place.

LW C RW Forwards
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON

Rating: 74.8#31 LW

John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES

Rating: 82.2#10 C

Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER

Rating: 80.5#8 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 79.15#13 FL1
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU

Rating: 73.9#40 LW

Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS

Rating: 86.3#5 C

Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN

Rating: 73.6#54 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 77.90#2 FL2
Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN

Rating: 71.1#84 LW

Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI

Rating: 78.2#30 C

William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER

Rating: 75.2#37 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 74.82#2 FL3
Par Lindholm
PAR LINDHOLM

Rating: 71.1#88 LW

Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER

Rating: 68.9#181 C

Trevor Moore
TREVOR MOORE

Rating: 73.4#56 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 71.13#7 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY

Rating: 81.4#3 LD

Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY

Rating: 72.9#40 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 77.13#8 DL1
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER

Rating: 77.9#7 LD

Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV

Rating: 71.5#64 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 74.71#9 DL2
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT

Rating: 73.9#37 LD

Igor Ozhiganov
IGOR OZHIGANOV

Rating: 72.0#52 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 72.97#3 DL3
GOALIES
Frederik Andersen
FREDERIK ANDERSEN

Rating: 77.1#10 G1

Garret Sparks
GARRET SPARKS

Rating: 70.5#41 G2

Blue Jackets Lines

LW C RW Forwards
Artemi Panarin
ARTEMI PANARIN

Rating: 81.9#4 LW

Pierre-Luc Dubois
PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS

Rating: 77.4#33 C

Cam Atkinson
CAM ATKINSON

Rating: 82.4#3 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 80.58#6 FL1
Nick Foligno
NICK FOLIGNO

Rating: 73.4#42 LW

Alexander Wennberg
ALEXANDER WENNBERG

Rating: 71.5#127 C

Anthony Duclair
ANTHONY DUCLAIR

Rating: 71.0#86 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 71.98#26 FL2
Oliver Bjorkstrand
OLIVER BJORKSTRAND

Rating: 71.9#71 LW

Boone Jenner
BOONE JENNER

Rating: 72.2#102 C

Josh Anderson
JOSH ANDERSON

Rating: 73.8#51 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 72.63#12 FL3
Markus Hannikainen
MARKUS HANNIKAINEN

Rating: 69.2#119 LW

Brandon Dubinsky
BRANDON DUBINSKY

Rating: 69.1#180 C

Riley Nash
RILEY NASH

Rating: 70.1#163 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 69.43#27 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Zach Werenski
ZACH WERENSKI

Rating: 75.5#21 LD

Seth Jones
SETH JONES

Rating: 80.3#7 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 77.92#5 DL1
Ryan Murray
RYAN MURRAY

Rating: 73.1#48 LD

Markus Nutivaara
MARKUS NUTIVAARA

Rating: 72.6#43 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 72.85#18 DL2
Scott Harrington
SCOTT HARRINGTON

Rating: 69.1#125 LD

David Savard
DAVID SAVARD

Rating: 71.9#53 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 70.49#25 DL3
GOALIES
Sergei Bobrovsky
SERGEI BOBROVSKY

Rating: 81.3#2 G1

Joonas Korpisalo
JOONAS KORPISALO

Rating: 66.2#63 G2

Pre-Game Preview

The Blue Jackets’ first powerplay unit has been pretty good, but doesn’t come close to rivaling the efficiency of the Leafs’ first unit. The big advantage that Columbus has is their goaltender and top D pairing, which is among the best in the league.

Other than the combination of Jones, Werenski, and Bobrovsky backstopping them, the Maple Leafs seem to have the advantage at every corner of the roster. With this mostly healthy group, they are certainly a force to be reckoned with.

This doesn’t always translate to a win, though, and the Blue Jackets themselves are no slouches, so this should still be a well-fought contest.

My three keys to the game:

  1. Draw penalties
    • The Leafs’ best weapon is that first powerplay unit, so get it going
  2. Take lots of shots
    • Bobrovsky is the best cop on the force, so the more chances you can get the better
  3. Wear out the bottom pair
    • Use the forward depth to take advantage of the Jackets’ bottom pair

Hope that you enjoy tonight’s game, and as always, go Leafs go!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.