SENATORS (30-19-6) at MAPLE LEAFS (26-19-11)
7:00 pm (HNIC)
For the past 10+ years the Battle of Ontario has been rendered almost meaningless, especially for Leafs fans. If we win, we still get mocked for not making the playoffs. If we lose, we get mocked for losing.
It long became a shadow of its former self. Back when Tucker and Domi would do everything to get under Alfie and Co’s skin.
This is the first season in which it finally has an air of importance to it. The Leafs feel reborn and the Sens are having an unpredictably strong season. Both seem like they could very well meet in the first round.
That’s why tonight is all the more importance. The Leafs have been slipping of late, ignoring the 7-1 thrashing of the Islanders, and for Toronto every point counts.
Tonight will be a weird one for Leafs fans. Mitch Marner won’t be playing for at least the next two games. Marner and Matthews have made every game worth watching, so the thought of either one missing will be hard.
However, the Leafs have no time to lick their wounds. Winning tonight is as big a must as ever before.
It’s almost hard to believe how big a game tonight’s is but let’s hope the Leafs stick to the plan.
Play fast. Play right.
Projected Line Combinations
Toronto Maple Leafs
Komarov — Kadri — Leivo
Hyman — Matthews — Nylander
van Riemsdyk — Bozak — Brown
Martin — Smith — Soshnikov
Gardiner — Carrick
Hunwick — Polak
Dzingel — Brassard — Stone
Hoffman — Turris — Smith
Pyatt — Pageau — Ryan
Kelly — Lazar — Wingles
Claesson — Karlsson
Phaneuf — Cici
Borowiecki — Wideman
MIKE BABCOCK – MORNING SKATE: FEB 18th