LGP 34: Early Start For Leafs Next-Gen Game

NBC Sports

Today the Leafs have a rare afternoon game, as they have a Next Gen Game setup to start at 2 PM against the Flyers. The Leafs are coming off one of their most complete games of the season, as they competed hard for a full 60 minutes, winning 4-1 over the Lightning on Tuesday. The Flyers haven’t been so great lately, as they have a 3-5-2 record in their last 10 games. Unfortunately, Sandin won’t be available to play, so Benn is drawing back into the lineup. Newly acquired Dryden Hunt also won’t be in the lineup either as he gets acclimated with the Leafs’ systems.

Leafs Projected Lineup

Forwards

Bunting – Matthews – Nylander

Järnkrok – Tavares – Marner

Kerfoot – Kämpf – Engvall

Aston-Reese – Holmberg – Anderson

Defense

Giordano – Holl

Benn – Liljegren

Brodie – Timmins

Goalies

Samsonov

Murray

Flyers Projected Lineup

Forwards

Van Riemsdyk – Frost – Tippett

Farabee – Cates – Konecny

Hayes – Laughton – MacEwen

Deslauriers – Brown – Allison

Defense

Provorov – Ristolainen

Sanheim – DeAngelo

York – Braun

Goalies

Hart

Ersson

Three Things to Look Out For

1. Benn

Due to a Sandin injury, Benn will be drawing back into the lineup shortly, a week after being activated off injured reserve. Benn suffered his injury on November 23rd, after being injured to start the season too. Benn has been a formidable presence on the Leafs back end, and I’m sure the team is excited to have him back. While he definitely isn’t Sandin, he still contributes at an NHL level and will look to help the Leafs pick up an afternoon win.

2. Samsonov

Samsonov’s last start didn’t go as planned, but that doesn’t change the fact he got two shutouts prior to that game on top of stellar play beforehand. Sammy gets another shot tonight, as critics will be looking to say that his solid play was an outlier while he looks to prove he can keep the puck out of the night. I see Sammy coming out of today’s game with a solid showing, but we’ll have to see if he proves me right.

3. Timmins

Timmins has been quite impressive so far in his tenure with the Leafs and has caught Keefe’s eye. After Tuesday’s game, Keefe even commented that he enjoyed watching the defenseman play. With the blue line hopefully getting closer to a Rielly return(still week to week) and Sandin’s injury hopefully not being too severe, Timmins will be looking to continue his solid play and earn more minutes. With a full, healthy D, it’s hard to tell where Timmins sits, but I’m sure he’ll be trying to prove he belongs in the top 6.

The Leafs take on the Flyers at 2 PM EST today, as they wear their flip-side jerseys. You can catch the game live on Sportsnet!

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

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