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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Dancing With The Devils

Coming off their worst loss of the season so far, the Leafs are in New Jersey for a little bit of an easier task on the ice tonight -playing against a team in survival mode like the Devils.

Just three points clear of dead-last in the league, the New Jersey Devils have been trying to tread water all-season-long. Not being able to keep a consistent goaltender healthy and having their lack of offensive depth exposed, the Devils have been in trouble.

They have now not won a game in regulation since their New Year’s Eve game against the Canucks; only one shootout win in their last four games.

A whole seventeen points above them in the standings, the Leafs have sat comfortably in the upper echelon of teams for almost the entire season so far.

So let’s see if this is truly a David vs. Goliath matchup like it demonstrates in the standings.

Leafs Lines

LW C RW
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN
John Tavares
JOHN TAVARES
Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER
Andreas Johnsson
ANDREAS JOHNSSON
Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS
Kasperi Kapanen
KASPERI KAPANEN
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU
Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI
William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER
Par Lindholm
PAR LINDHOLM
Frederik Gauthier
FREDERIK GAUTHIER
Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN
LD RD
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY
Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER
Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV
Travis Dermott
TRAVIS DERMOTT
 Igor Ozhiganov
IGOR OZHIGANOV

The Leafs are changing the lines again. Nylander is back with Kadri, Kapanen up with Matthews, Hyman returns, etc. etc. Apparently, Babcock doesn’t like how good Matthews and Nylander were together this past couple of games. But aside from that, the Leafs look so damn good. The Marleau-Kadri-Nylander lines has put up some insane underlying numbers so they’re just an easy game away from being heralded as an offensive juggernaut.

Behind the forwards come a group of defencemen that has not been altered all season. Ozhiganov sometimes saw the way to the Martin Marincin couple of games or the odd Justin Holl shift, but these six players have been together for the massive majority of the time.

They’re playing pretty good, so I guess why change it until they lose 3-0 to a team that’s three points away from Jack Hughes?

Devils Lines

LW C RW
Jesper Bratt
JESPER BRATT
Nico Hischier
NICO HISCHIER
Kyle Palmieri
KYLE PALMIERI
Miles Wood
MILES WOOD
Travis Zajac
TRAVIS ZAJAC
Blake Coleman
BLAKE COLEMAN
Blake Pietila
BLAKE PIETILA
Pavel Zacha
PAVEL ZACHA
Stefan Noesen
STEFAN NOESEN
Brian Boyle
BRIAN BOYLE
Brett Seney
BRETT SENEY
 Drew Stafford
DREW STAFFORD
LD RD
Andy Greene
ANDY GREENE
Damon Severson
DAMON SEVERSON
Sami Vatanen
SAMI VATANEN
Steven Santini
STEVEN SANTINI
Will Butcher
WILL BUTCHER
 Ben Lovejoy
BEN LOVEJOY

Honestly surprising to see that Drew Stafford is still in the NHL – completely shocked. But I guess you don’t need to be that skilled to play on the fourth line of the New Jersey Devils in 2019. That forward group looks like a team that got lost and now is wandering around aimlessly and afraid.

On the blueline, the Devils have some unique and super cool talent. Will Butcher and Damon Severson look pretty cool out on the ice and are actually young enough to not remember when the Devils were relevant – the early 00s were so long ago.

Starting Goaltenders

Our beloved Michael Hutchinson whom we rescued from the Florida Panthers organization, will be starting tonight against the Devils. His third appearance for the Leafs this season, he is currently posting a .915 save percentage and 2.71 GAA.

On the other side of the arena, will be Keith Kinkaid will be making his 33rd appearance and 30th start for the Devils this season. Coming in to rescue the Devils’ net from losing Cory Schnieder earlier in the season, he is now posting a .898 save percentage and 3.07 GAA.


Puck drop tonight is at 7:00 p.m. ET and you will be able to watch the game on TSN4 or MSG+ if you’re south of the border.

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