LGP 66: Battle of the Border 2.0

Murray and Marner hug after a win Photo: Maple Leafs Twitter

The Leafs face off against the Sabres tonight in hopes of increasing their lead on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the standings. After a chaotic win on Sunday, the Leafs will look to play a more disciplined game and drive possession to end up in the win column. It seems like Keefe has been liking the 11 forward and seven defensemen setup with O’Reilly out as he looks to gauge where his team’s defense stands. This will inevitably give the Leafs stars more time on the ice, and as long as the lines are controlled well has the potential to lead to great results.

Leafs Projected Lineup

Sabres Projected Lineup


Skinner – Thompson – Tuch

Peterka – Cozens – Quinn

Greenway – Mittelstadt – Olofsson

Girgensons – Krebs – Okposo


Dahlin – Clague

Power – Jokiharju

Stillman – Lyubushkin




Three Things to Look Out For


After having multiple partners once again, it appears as if Rielly will be reunited with TJ Brodie. Rielly has looked at his best when playing with Brodie, and although the McCabe Brodie pairing has few goals against, their expected goals percentage has been relatively low. While this may be partially due to deployment, it seems as if the Leafs could try to create a shutdown pairing with another defenseman and maximize Rielly’s skill by pairing him with the optimal partner. Look for Rielly to have a solid game paired with Brodie.


Murray had a shaky start in his first game in a week. In the first period, he let in some questionable goals, but as the game progressed, he got better, and he made some key stops. Look for Murray to be less shaky tonight and help his team out, so the Leafs don’t have to score five goals in order to win. Murray has great potential for the high danger saves, so if he can steady his regular game, then I’m sure he’ll be a difference-maker for the Leafs.


McCabe has been catching the hearts of many Leafs fans with his ability to clear out the front of the net, hit opponents, and his willingness to stick up for his teammates. Tonight he finds himself with a different partner for the first time since being traded to the Leafs. While Justin Holl gets a lot of criticism, there was a good stretch of the season where his minutes were high paired with Giordano, and he excelled. I’m interested to see what McCabe and Holl can do, although I’d really like to see McCabe get shifts with Liljegren. Keep an eye on McCabe tonight as he adapts to a new partner.

Tonight’s game starts at 7:30 PM EST on Sportsnet!

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

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