Michael Hutchinson and the Toronto Maple Leafs travel to New Jersey tonight to take on the Devils, in what will be their 3rd meeting of the season.
While the Leafs, I’m sure, are more than happy with the results from the first two games, it’s the Devils that are hoping for big changes after dropping two decisions by a combined score of 13-3.
You could point fingers towards a lot of things that made those two games so lopsided. To me it’s one thing above all else, and that’s depth. While some of the Leafs’ top players did well in those two games, with John Tavares (2G, 1A), Morgan Rielly (2G, 1A), and Matthews (1G, 1A, 1GP) all coming away with points, it’s the bottom 6 that really put the games away.
Nazem Kadri (1G, 4A), Connor Brown (1G, 3A), Tyler Ennis (3G), and Par Lindholm (0G, 3A) simply lit up Keith Kinkaid. Meanwhile, Frederik Andersen saved 65 of 68 shots, which isn’t a credit to the teams depth, but more of a friendly reminder that the Leafs have a terrific starting goaltender.
I generally attempt a “how to win” section before each game, but tonight it’s pretty simple. The Devils need to change everything, while the Leafs need to come prepared with the same game plan. They’ll only need a decent effort from Michael Hutchinson and it should see him come away with a win. Zach Hyman in the lineup after missing 8 games, so that will help the top 6 in the corners for sure.
Kasimir Kaskisuo has been recalled from the Toronto Marlies to back up for Michael Hutchinson in New Jersey. Kaskisuo played last night in Toronto, backstopping Marlies to 6-3 win over Utica.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 10, 2019
#Leafs lines at practice:
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 9, 2019
The only expected change from the practice lines if that Andersen sits, with Saturday being the earliest expected return for him.
My prediction: 5-4 Leafs. What’s yours?
GO LEAFS GO!!