LGP 48: Leafs Begin Five Game Homestand

John Tavares celebrating after scoring Photo: Maple Leafs Twitter

The Leafs are back tonight, facing off against the Islanders, and are hoping to rebound after an overtime loss against the Canadiens Saturday night. With each game that passes, we inch closer to the trade deadline and, ultimately, the playoffs, so it’s important for the players to give their best effort and give their GM, Kyle Dubas, a clearer picture of what to focus on at the trade deadline. The Leafs placed Dryden Hunt on waivers yesterday, and luckily he wasn’t claimed, so he becomes a future depth option for the Leafs. Holmberg is back tonight and looking to build on some momentum he built up in his short stint with the Marlies.

Leafs Projected Lineup

Islanders Projected Lineup

Forwards

Lee – Barzal – Cizikas

Bailey – Nelson – Beauvillier

Parise – Pageau – Holmstrom

Martin – Raty – Johnston

Defense

Wotherson – Pulock

Romanov – Mayfield

Aho – Dobson

Goalies

Sorokin

Varlamov

Three Things to Look Out For

Tavares

Tavares started the season strong, and after a stretch of play where he was less noticeable, he racked up a seven-game point streak. Unfortunately, he hasn’t notched any points in the past two games, but he has still been playing decent hockey. He could definitely benefit from a higher-skilled 2 LW. He will look to show that he can last in a long season and prove anyone thinking he’s washed wrong. Tavares typically has good games against the Islanders, so let’s see if he can have another solid showing against his former team.

Holmberg

Holmberg found himself out of the lineup for a few games due to an illness that went through the Leafs’ dressing room. Because he is waivers exempt, he was able to have short conditioning stint with the Marlies. Holmberg was recalled today and will be dressing once again with the Leafs. He has had quite a solid showing this season and has impressed many. He has a great eye for the game and has time to continue developing and growing as a young player in the league. Hopefully, he is able to catch up to the NHL pace quickly tonight.

Samsonov

Keefe likes to ride whichever goalie is hot(other than back-to-backs), and as of right now, that appears to be Samsonov. After Murray received four starts in a row, Samsonov will find himself playing in his 4th game in a row as he relieved Murray against Florida and has had the Leafs net ever since. He will look to have a solid showing tonight and lead the Leafs back into the win column.

Tonight’s game against the Islanders begins at 7:00 PM ESt and can be watched on Sportsnet!

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

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