Game Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs vs San Jose Sharks | 01/06/2024

The Leafs are in the last game of their California road trip and will be facing off against the last-place San Jose Sharks. The Leafs have beaten both the Kings and Ducks and have ultimately had a solid start to their 2024. They will look to sweep the road trip tonight, and with the gap in standings, that shouldn’t be an issue, but the Leafs have a tendency to play down to their opponents when facing less skilled teams. The Leafs will need to play a hard and fast game against the Sharks for the full 60 minutes.


Leafs Latest Lineup

Three Things to Look Out For

Holmberg

With Nick Robertson being scratched for the second game in a row, Pontus Holmberg will once again take his spot in the lineup. The Leafs have multiple younger players from the Marlies who are at the age where they need a chance in the NHL, or their chances of having a career in the league will drop. This can be said of Holmberg, who is older than Robertson at 24 years old and being at the start of his prime; the Leafs will need to figure out what they have in him. Ultimately, it’s about that time where Holmberg needs to break into the lineup or maybe get traded, so Holmberg will look to make an impact in tonight’s game.

Knies

Matthew Knies is in his first full season with the Leafs and has found himself on the Leafs top line. Knies is a strong power forward who also carries quite a bit of skill. Knies point totals haven’t been quite as high as some expected, being beside Matthews and Marner on the ice, but Knies is playing the right way, and the points will eventually follow. Look for him to have another good game tonight.

Gregor

Noah Gregor went unqualified by the Sharks before ultimately ending up with the Leafs. Gregor now faces his former team for the first time tonight and will look to do what he does well: skate hard and use his speed and body to create chances. Gregor has been a great addition to this Leafs team and will look to continue racking up good games, bringing energy to the Leafs when he’s on the ice.

Jones gets the start against his former team as tonight’s game starts at 7 p.m. EST on Sportsnet and CBC!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to follow me on Twitter @ITRnathanbondy.

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