Maple Leafs @ Red Wings

The Toronto Maple Leafs head to Detroit for game three of this road trip, because putting Detroit after the Dallas Stars makes total sense, instead of before or after Chicago or as the last stop. But sure, right in the middle, why not.

The Detroit Red Wings of the “25 year playoff streak” are dead. We’re back to the 1980’s Dead Things era. The team is winless so far into this season, their highest cap hit is Dylan Larkin who’s pretty good, and their second highest cap is Henrik Zetterberg (until he’s traded to the Coyotes as cap filler). Overall the Red Wings are paying $24,000,000 in IR money. It’s not relevant to tonight’s game, but I thought I should add it.

The Red Wings are bad, and seem to be going the Oilers route of middling around and not fully committing to a rebuild. Perhaps they’re hoping to hit the jackpot on a 7th round pick again so we can once again be amazed at what great drafters they are for decades afterwards.

Now, the Maple Leafs aren’t such hot stuff either. After needing overtime against Montreal, and losing to the Senators the Leafs needed to score 13 goals in two games to beat the Blackhawks and Stars.

Which team will turn up tonight? The one that scores seven goals or the one who scores two and loses what should be an easy win?

Toronto Maple Leafs

From yesterday’s practice in Dallas

Forward Lines

Patrick Marleau – Auston Matthews – Kasperi Kapanen
Zach Hyman – John Tavares – Mitchell Marner
Par Lindholm – Nazem Kadri – Connor Brown
Josh Leivo – Frederik Gauthier – Tyler Ennis

The Maple Leafs forwards seem to have found their scoring touch, and the pairing of Matthews and Kapanen should give us something fun to watch while we also keep noticing that William Nylander isn’t there.

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly – Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner – Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott – Igor Ozhiganov

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen
Garret Sparks

Just keep out more goals than the other goalie is all we ask.

Detroit Red Wings

Forward Lines

Justin Abdelkader – Dylan Larkin – Anthony Mantha
Gustav Nyquist – Andreas Athanasiou – Thomas Vanek
Tyler Bertuzzi – Frans Nielsen – Michael Rasmussen
Darren Helm – Christoffer Ehn – Luke Glendening

I’m more mad that I had to spell Anthanasiou than anything else. That’s all the feelings I have about this line up.

Defence Pairings

Danny Dekeyser – Filip Hronek
Libor Sulak – Joe Hicketts
Niklas Kronwall – Nick Jensen

I’m pretty sure half of these guys are EA Sports create a character.

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard
Jonathan Bernier

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