The Flames and Leafs face off for the second time this season and we’ve asked writers from both FlamesNation and LeafsNation to give us their take on tonight’s matchup. As always, we’ve also put together a few quick stats to get you ready for the final meeting between this two teams.
Please note that this article was posted at both TLN and FlamesNation.
Monday, January 23rd, 2017 – Air Canada Centre (Toronto) – 7:30pm (EST)/5:30pm (MST) on TSN4 or Sportsnet
|Calgary Flames||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|24-22-3 (4th in the Pacific)||21-14-9 (4th in the Atlantic)|
|4-5-1 in their last 10||6-2-2 in their last 10|
|Power Play (PP%): 21.3%||Power Play (PP%): 24.1%|
|Penalty Kill (PK%): 81.4%||Penalty Kill (PK%): 84.7%|
|Goal Differntial: -8||Goal Differential: +5|
Tonight’s game marks the second matchup of the season between the Flames and Leafs, with the Flames taking the first contest by a score of 3-0. The Leafs have been on fire of late and will look to continue their winning ways while the Flames will look to rebound from a 7-3 drubbing they received on Saturday night.
Auston Matthews (TOR) – 22G, 16A = 38 points
James van Riemsdyk (TOR) – 16G, 22A = 38 points
Mitch Marner (TOR) – 10G, 27A = 37 points
Mikael Backlund (CAL) – 14G, 19A = 33 points
Sean Monahan (CAL) – 15G, 15A = 30 points
Matthew Tkachuk (CAL) – 9G, 21A = 30 points
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Why is your team going to win or why will your enemy lose?
If there’s anything the Leafs have shown us this year, it’s that they’re remarkably consistent at showing up. Win or lose, they don’t take long stretches off. But they’re coming off of a painful regulation loss where they were taken to the cleaners as far as pace went, and a shootout loss that really should’ve gone their way. They’re going to be motivated as all hell, just like…
The Flames are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Or at least, I damn well HOPE they are; this past week it’s more like they’ve fallen into an abyss and keep digging themselves further into the hole. They’re still in the playoff chase, though, and if they want to stay there, they have to know they have to turn it around immediately. (Also, they did beat the Leafs earlier, that was fun.)
Who’s hot? Who’s not?
James van Riemsdyk is on a ten-game pont streak. Mitch Marner has 11 points in 9 games and scored just about the sickest shootout goal ever the other night. Matt Martin figured out where he put his hockey stick and is contributing a little too. Whoever fills the role of “not Morgan Rielly” is not so hot; both Frank Corrado and Martin Marincin, who were playing their first NHL games in a while, had sub-optimal efforts while trying to fill the void.
Sean Monahan is on a five-game goal-streak. The 3M line – Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik – remains deadly. That’s about it, though; Johnny Gaudreau is trying to break out of his funk, Sam Bennett remains desperately mired in his (11 games and one healthy scratch since he last got a point), and both goalies put out miserable performances last time around (and Chad Johnson has been bad the past week in general).
Why should people watch this game?
Watching a Toronto Maple Leafs game in 2016/17 is kind of like watching a roller coaster powered by Nitrous Oxide, while knowing that one of the rails is actually a pressure-sensitive stick of dynamite; you just don’t know which one it is.
I’m sure the Flames are fun too.
The 5:30 p.m. start is a little rough, but if you want to see how the Flames are going to respond after absolutely having their asses handed to them by their biggest rivals, then this would be the game for that.
Say something nice about your opponent.
Thanks for giving Brian Burke and Matt Stajan things to do. I’ll never forget watching Johnny Gaudreau set up Nathan MacKinnon at the Air Canada Centre for Team North America. I haven’t spent much time in Calgary, but Eau Claire Market is pretty cool.
Toronto is a very nice city. Your rookies are neat. You have a swell coach.
Any last words?
The Leafs are actually good.
You still can’t have Dougie Hamilton.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Join in the conversation on Twitter at @TLNdc and @FlamesNation to give us your thoughts on the game. Social media not your thing? Keep the battle going in the game day articles at LeafsNation and FlamesNation.