Tavares Looks For Point 1000: Leafs Game Preview 25

The Leafs and their dads have taken the road as they faceoff against the New York Islanders tonight. After a full team effort on Saturday, the Leafs will look to play a similar game tonight against a better Islanders team than the Predators. The Leafs are hoping to build some momentum and that all starts with consistency, something that has been lacking this season. Let’s take a look at some of the lines and storylines to follow for tonight’s game.


Leafs Projected Lineup

Three Things to Look Out For

Tavares

John Tavares is always a topic of discussion when the Leafs play the Islanders, especially when it’s an away game, as we are bound to hear fans of the Islanders booing Tavares any time he touches the puck. Tonight has the potential to be even more special for Tavares, though, as he has an opportunity to become the 10th active player to hit 1000 career points, and against his former team, too. Tavares has historically had great games against the Islanders ever since he left them for Toronto and will look for tonight to be no different. Tavares only needs two points to reach 1000 career points, so it is a very attainable goal. At the end of the day, Tavares cares more about winning than he does about personal milestones, but keep an eye on Tavares tonight.

Lagesson

Lagesson is still a game-time decision, but all signs point towards him being back in the lineup. Lagesson has been a pleasant surprise with the Leafs so far and has played a great defensive game. He is fighting for a roster spot, and as players begin to get healthy, the roster spots available will seemingly shrink. Lagesson is putting up a good fight, though, playing a simple but effective game defensively. I’ve mentioned it before, but I would like to see Lagesson take the next step forward on the breakout, as an effective breakout can lead to quality scoring chances.

Gregor

Gregor has been a very cost-effective player for this Leafs team and is looking like one of the best additions Treliving made this off-season. Gregor is looking like he can play higher in the lineup, and his speed has been a contributing factor to that. Gregor’s play has also really helped the penalty kill, and his secondary scoring has also been a nice boost. Gregor is a restricted free agent at the end of the year, which makes his deal with the Leafs so much sweeter. If Gregor keeps playing as well as he has, I wonder if he will force himself into more ice time, whether that be on another line or gaining powerplay time on the second unit.

Samsonov gets the nod tonight again after posting a shutout last game. The game starts at 7 p.m. EST on Sportsnet!

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

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