Tonight, a critical two-game streak begins as the North Division’s first-place Maple Leafs face off against the Winnipeg Jets, who are one point behind Toronto, rolling on offense, and winning four of their last five (7:30 a.m. EST, Sportsnet)
As usual with Jets hockey over the past few years, Winnipeg haven’t outscored their opponents five-on-five, but they are built on very solid goaltenders and an opportunistic attack. Winnipeg spends a lot more time at home than Toronto, and yet they are just behind the Leafs’ points pace thanks to top-notch goaltenders, top-five power play and an ability to convert. 5v5 shots in goals at an above average clip.
With the Jets soaring over 30% on the power play in March, the Leafs, while continuing to win the zone consistently and move the puck well, haven’t produced enough shots on goal. high on the benefit of man. for some time.
Amid a scoreless power play collapse in their last eight games (0 in 18) dating back to March 10, the Leafs are 20th in the NHL in shots for par 60 on the power play after leading the NHL in the category. before the dip. What’s interesting about the rest of the numbers, though: Toronto is still in the top five for expected goals, scoring chances and high danger odds for 60 during their drought.
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This is probably a big part of why Sheldon Keefe continues to be encouraged by the process, although the calls to fully charge the upper unit (with William Nylander and John Tavares) are increasing day by day. It doesn’t matter who’s there with whom and for how long, the Leafs need to have more pucks at the net as it might take a naughty one to get the man advantage again.
In the Leafs’ net, Jack Campbell, after picking up a game and training earlier this week, will return tonight as the Leafs continue to handle his nagging injury situation with great caution. Veini Vehvilainen and Michael Hutchinson traveled with the team to Winnipeg, and the latter will return tonight.
With a 0.880 save percentage per team in their last 10 games in all situations, it will be crucial for Campbell to stabilize the crease – as he has done in all of his starts this season – against an opponent with the top. six deadliest in the Leafs. meeting in this regular season and a goaltender opposite who gave the Leafs headaches in the series of the season (2-2-0) despite the territorial control of Toronto on the clashes in 5v5.
Connor Hellebuyck is 4-1 in his last five games and has allowed just seven goals in those competitions. This season he’s 17-9-2 with a .918 Sv% and GSAx of 9.6.
Statistics – Last 10 matches
- Dylan Demelo leads the Jets with an xG rating of 60.8% – Logan Stanley is their only other defenseman over 50% (53%).
- All of the Jets’ top five forwards – Schiefele, Wheeler, Stastny, Dubois, Ehlers and Connor – produce over 2.5 xG / 60 five-on-five.
- In his five games with the Maple Leafs, Alex Galchenyuk leads the team with 67% xG share and 62% shot attempt share.
- John Tavares leads the Maple Leafs in individual and xGoals / 60 shot attempts
- The Jets’ save percentage in all situations is 0.923%, while Toronto’s is 0.880%.
- The Leafs largely outperformed the Jets five-on-five; Toronto has a 58% xG share while the Jets are only 49%
All stats are adjusted for score and location and are taken from evolving-hockey.com
Match Day Quotes
Paul Maurice on Pierre-Luc Dubois’ estrangement from Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers, the players with whom he spent most of his early weeks in Winnipeg:
Let’s go back to when we first acquired Pierre-Luc, it was one of the combinations you have that you would like to see. There was the end of a road trip and [we wanted] a little bit of change to see if we could trigger something. I wanted to pay attention to the change [Dubois]because after the first game of the Vancouver set, I really, really liked where they were at. In both Edmonton games too, I liked what they were doing and then it kind of stabilized.
I thought for a while there that Schiefele’s line was squeaking and playing hard, but there wasn’t much going on, so that was the other part. You need to give your team the best chance of winning every night, but you also need to understand your team at the end of the regular season.
We see such different styles of hockey in this division. [The] Vancouver and Calgary [games] had been very straight, almost every puck [was] dropped, with really physical battles at both ends. The Toronto and Edmonton playoffs have so much danger out of the rush, so you have to go through these games with an idea of what changes you might make to your lines when you step into a streak and something goes wrong. .
You have to know more about this team – with Pierre-Luc, I would like to leave it for a while and see where it is going.
Sheldon Keefe on whether he feels uncertain about his team’s goalkeepers at the moment:
Yes a little bit. Granted, when it comes to Jack’s situation, it’s a bit of a daily thing. He’s made good progress and it looks like when he has time to recover from his last few games, he bounces back and feels good, so there’s less to worry about there. It is something that we have to manage. You have to be responsible with him as a staff and be smart with him. He needs to be honest and tell us exactly how he feels.
Keefe on the Jets forwards:
They have a lot of depth and they use four lines very effectively. [They] have three lines that can score and a fourth line that also contributed, does a good job defensively, and they trust them. From an advanced point of view, they are a very deep team playing strong team defense with a good goalkeeper, so there are a lot of things that present challenges for them as a team.
Keefe explains how he thinks Zach Bogosian has adjusted this season playing all but one game:
I wouldn’t say I’m surprised at its durability. I didn’t have much to worry about at the start of the season – he played well. Like a lot of our guys he’s had nights that haven’t gone well for him, but I think for the most part he’s bounced back and he’s been very consistent for us playing the part that we are. we need him: to be physical. , defend effectively and help us on the death penalty.
Toronto Maple Leafs projected lines
# 11 Zach Hyman – # 34 Auston Matthews – # 16 Mitch Marner
# 12 Alex Galchenyuk – # 91 John Tavares – # 88 William Nylander
# 97 Joe Thornton – # 15 Alex Kerfoot – # 19 Jason Spezza
# 65 Ilya Mikheyev – # 47 Pierre Engvall – # 24 Wayne Simmonds
# 44 Morgan Rielly – # 78 TJ Brodie
# 8 Jake Muzzin – # 3 Justin Holl
# 23 Travis Dermott – # 22 Zach Bogosian
# 36 Jack Campbell (partant)
# 30 Michael Hutchinson
Supplements: Martin Marincin, Alexander Barabanov, Timothy Liljegren, Adam Brooks, Scott Sabourin, Vein Vehvilainen
Injured: Frederik Andersen
Winnipeg Jets projected lines
# 25 Paul Stastny – # 13 Pierre-Luc Dubois – # 26 Blake Wheeler
# 81 Kyle Connor – # 55 Mark Schiefele – # 27 Nikolaj Ehlers
# 9 Andrew Copp – # 17 Adam Lowry – # 82 Mason Appleton
# 95 Mathieu Perreault – # 11 Nate Thompson – # 23 Trevor Lewis
# 44 Josh Morrisey – # 3 Tucker Poolman
# 24 Derek Forbort – # 4 Neal Pionk
# 64 Logan Stanley – # 2 Dylan Demelo
# 37 Connor Hellebuyck (incumbent)
# 30 Laurent Brossoit