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Game 8 Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Ottawa Senators

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The first instalment of the Battle of Ontario is tonight!

Vancouver Canucks v Ottawa Senators

Remember those (many, many, many) years when the Leafs were horrible, so we had to work ourselves up a little bit for the Battle of Ontario? Well, those times have now passed. The Leafs are the current betting favourites to win the Stanley Cup due to their 6-1-0 record and league-leading +12 goal differential. (barfs)

How will the Sens be trying to counter them tonight? Here are the lineups via TSN’s Brent Wallace and Mark Masters:

Ryan - Brassard - Stone

Dzingel - Turris - Burrows

Hoffman - Pageau - Pyatt

Thompson - Brown - DiDomenico

Oduya - Karlsson

Phaneuf - Ceci

Claesson - Wideman

Anderson (starter)

Condon

Hyman - Matthews - Nylander

Marleau - Kadri - Komarov

JvR - Bozak - Brown

Martin - Moore - Marner

Gardiner - Zaitsev

Rielly- Hainsey

Borgman - Carrick

Andersen (starter)

McElhinney

Some thoughts on tonight:

  • Logan Brown keeps his lineup spot, and this time, he’s at his natural centre position with call-up Chris DiDomenico and Nate Thompson. I’d expect Thompson to take any D-zone draws if they get caught on the ice. I wouldn’t expect this line to play 8+ minutes tonight..
  • With Mitch Marner on L4, JVR on L3, and Patrick Marleau on L2, the Leafs are a tough team to matchup against. I’m of the opinion that Guy Boucher sometimes overthinks his matchups — it’ll be interesting to watch what he does tonight, especially with the defence pairings.
  • Only Philadelphia and Carolina have given up less goals than Ottawa in the East, while the Leafs 34 goals scored is the top in the conference.
  • Toronto floods the area around the net with shots, and does pretty well with limiting shots getting to the front of theirs
  • The team generally gets more shots for than shots against when most of Toronto’s players are on the ice; the exceptions to this are the Zaitsev - Gardiner pairing.

Team Stats

(via NHL.com + Natural Stat Trick)

sens leafs preview.csv

Category Ottawa Senators Senators Toronto Maple Leafs
Category Ottawa Senators Senators Toronto Maple Leafs
-- Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 3.29 12th 4.86 1st
Goals against/GP 2.29 3rd 3.14 20th
Shots/GP 33.7 11th 34.7 8th
Shots against/GP 31 12th 31.6 13th
Corsi (5v5, Score and Venue adjusted) 43.34 30th 53.15 8th
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 48.16 19th 53.31 9th