Toronto Maple Leafs vs. San Jose Sharks – Game 5 preview, screened lineups and TV news – .

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. San Jose Sharks – Game 5 preview, screened lineups and TV news – .

The Maple Leafs kick off their straight weekend with a puck face-off at 6 p.m. against the undefeated San Jose Sharks tonight at the Scotiabank Arena (TSN 4 & 5).

The context behind Pierre LeBrun’s rare 6 p.m. departure: The Leafs had the extra hour to get to Pittsburgh tonight knowing they will have to go through customs across the border – not in Toronto – on their first route south of the Covid-era team trip (the team last traveled to the United States for their trip to California in early March 2020). The Leafs’ first international roadie in 20 months will include stops in Pittsburgh, Carolina and Chicago.

As for tonight’s game in Toronto, we’ll see something we’ve rarely seen the Leafs do in the many years where their save position was a game of musical chairs and they seemed to lose almost every time in the game. second game of a second leg. return: they give their backup the most favorable start. Michael Hutchinson will make his debut in the season, with Petr Mrazek still recovering from his groin injury and Jack Campbell starting tomorrow night in Pittsburgh.

The Leafs have just come off three days off as the Sharks are tired of a game in Ottawa last night, a 2-1 win over goals from Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc with James Reimer in net. Playing their next game less than 20 hours after the last is a similar turn on the AHL schedule for the Sharks, who started at home with a 4-3 win over Winnipeg followed by a 5-0 loss to the Canadiens. struggling in Montreal on Tuesday. .

The early-season results come despite the distraction of the off-ice saga surrounding their goal and last season’s points leader Evander Kane, who – just as he was cleared by the league’s investigation into allegations of domestic violence and allegedly played his own games – was back in the news for a 21-game suspension over a fake vaccine card.

The energy injected by Swedish rookies Jonathan Dahlen (two goals) and William Eklund (three points) as well as the success of the special teams were major factors in the Sharks’ 3-0-0 start. The San Jose PK are sitting at a goal differential of plus one after killing all eight penalties so far. Five of the Sharks’ 11 goals in three games have come on the power play, and one shorthanded via Andrew Cogliano. Erik Karlsson had four assists on the power play, while Kevin Labanc snatched two neat by goalies with shots on reception from the left circle.

After Reimer starts in Ottawa, the Leafs will attract new acquisition Adin Hill as the goalie to beat tonight. The six-foot-six former Coyote has won both starts so far, including his first shutout as a Shark in the win over the Habs. The Sharks have allowed only 25 shots per game for the three Canadian teams they’ve faced so far, and their goaltending tandem Hill and Reimer have stopped 95% of them.

Tonight’s story is going to focus on whether the Leafs can begin to turn more of their offensive zone possession time and their scoring opportunities into real goals, however ugly the offense may be.

After frustrating playoffs in back-to-back playoffs where the team’s offense has dried up at critical times against hot goalkeepers, fans and the team itself appear to be done with the ‘met a hot goalkeeper, the percentages will rebound ”, maxim. There is, of course, a real kernel of truth, but making your own luck is going to have to be the MO for the Leafs this season in terms of 5v5 attacking, especially around the playoffs (the other half of this puzzle is correcting a power play to convert at a pace commensurate with offensive talent on the ice.)

The Leafs’ lines are expected to stay the same since Monday’s overtime loss to New York.

Match Day Quotes

Sheldon Keefe on the challenge presented by the Sharks:

They play with a lot of confidence. I have the impression that they found their team identity very early on and that they are riding with it. They play a very strong team defense in groups of five all over the ice. Their special teams have been very good. These are the things you are looking for at the start of the season to really get fired. They are at the top of the league in all of these categories.

Keefe on the identity of his own team:

I feel like we’ve done some good things in some areas, but a lot of our squad is running on offense, and we haven’t. For our two special teams we are also trying to find that. By picking up Auston for a game now, we’re looking to take positive steps in that direction. But we are not yet where we want to be.

Keefe on how the team can prepare Hutchinson for success:

It would be nice to start off on the right foot. Giving him the lead and a little support for the race would be nice. How we defend, take care of the puck – we just have to play well in front of him.

John Tavares on Auston Matthews’ opener:

Not too out of the ordinary. He was very similar to his normal self. It’s impressive to come out of a major injury like that, his ability to make such an impact right away. He has shown this in the past after other injuries.

He is extremely diligent and meticulous in the way he conducts his business and prepares to play. Nothing is surprising except that he did not put a couple. It shouldn’t be long before those opportunities find their way into the net with his ability to do so consistently.

Toronto Maple Leafs projected lines

#20 Nick Ritchie – #34 Auston Matthews – #16 Mitch Marner
#58 Michael Bunting – #91 John Tavares– #88 William Nylander
# 15 Alex Kerfoot – # 64 David Kampf – # 25 Ondrej Kase
#47 Pierre Engvall – #19 Jason Spezza – #24 Wayne Simmonds

#44 Morgan Rielly – #78 TJ Brodie
# 8 Jake Muzzin – # 3 Justin Holl
# 38 Rasmus Sandin – # 23 Travis Dermott

Entry: # 30 Michael Hutchinson
#36 Jack Campbell

Supplements: Michel Amadio
Injured / Exhausted
: Ilya Mikheyev, Petr Mrazek, Timothy Liljegren

San Jose Shark Projected Lines

# 54 Jonathan Dahlen – # 39 Logan Couture – # 28 Timo Meier
#72 William Eklund – #48 Tomas Hertl – #92 Rudolfs Balcers
# 81 Matthieu Nieto – # 13 Nick Bonino – # 62 Kevin Labanc
#11 Andrew Cogliano – #26 Jasper Weatherby – #18 Lane Pederson

#38 Mario Ferraro – #88 Brent Burns
#67 Jacob Middleton – #65 Erik Karlsson
# 51 Radim Simek – # 44 Marc-Edouard Vlasic

Entry: # 33 Adin Hill
#47 James Reimer

Injured / Exhausted: Nikolai Knyjov


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