Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators – Game #8 Preview, Projected Lines & TV Info

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators

Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | Arena: Canadian Tire Centre | TV: HNIC | Radio: Fan 590

Game Day Quotes

Mike Babcock on the challenge presented by the Senators:

They’re a real patient team. They live off their neutral zone forecheck and breaking out quick and transition. You can’t feed their transition. In saying that, we had good games against them last year. With the exception of one, they found a way to win all the time. The next three teams we play don’t give up any goals. You’ve got to get your head around how you’re going to play. We’ve got to adjust. We’ve got a three-game series here with LA, Carolina and Ottawa. They all make it hard on you.

Babcock on Erik Karlsson:

He’s a star. I’ve always thought he was just outstanding. When they drafted him, Tim Murray told me that he’s going to be just like Kronwall. He’s obviously a different player than Kronwall. His skating is elite. The things he can do with his feet and his mind with the puck are exceptional. He’s a fun player to watch. If you’re a young player, you want to be him. Now, unless you get touched by God, you aren’t going to be him, but he’s a special player to watch. He’s fun for the league.

Connor Carrick on Ottawa’s ability to clog shooting lanes:

They’re a team that is committed to doing it. It’s something that we see across the league. Shot blocking is definitely part of the NHL game, but there are certain teams that seem to do it better than others. Ottawa is a group where I think there is a little bit better sense of commitment than other teams. I think if we can get the puck to the point with clarity right away and not second guess that decision that gives us more time to take a look and have more certainty with what we’re doing.

Carrick on breaking down the Senators’ 1-3-1:

When we look at their percentages in terms of the number of pucks they’re able to stop in the neutral zone, I think the job is to respect that. Respect that it’s a strength of their game and something they really commit to. Respect that it’s something they probably talk about a lot in video and pratice. Understand that, given it’s a strength of theirs, try and neutralize it and get through and play on their side of it and force them to break out. I would guess that, of the 31 NHL teams, it’s pretty much the same speech. But for whatever reason, you’ve got to stare at that open ice as a player and know it’s evaporating quickly and get it in and err on the safe side in terms of what the best percentage play is.

Guy Boucher on the Leafs:

There are many [challenges], but I wouldn’t say problems. I just say that’s their strength and we’re aware of them. They’re the same strengths as last year. They’ve got a lot of youth, a lot of speed. Their offense is not a pretty offense; it’s a gritty one, which I think we saw [against the Devils]. If you look at the top two teams in the league offensively, they’re teams that rely on their grit with their skill. That’s a big difference. The Devils and the Leafs are teams that put pucks at the net constantly.

Like [against the Devils], a lot of times it’s, “Oh man, we’re not defending well.” No, not true. It’s that these guys are creating chaos in our zone — just like we do when we’re playing well — because there are pucks coming from behind the net, from the side, bad angles, unexpected pucks coming from bad angles at the net with the hacking and the jamming and paying the price there. That’s what those two teams do really well.

Matchup Stats

GF/g4.86 (1st)3.29 (12th)
GA/g3.14 (20th)2.29 (3rd)
PP%30.0% (3rd)18.9% (17th)
PK%83.3% (10th)95.2 (2nd)
Shots/g34.7 (8th)33.7 (11th)
Shots Against/g31.6 (13th)31 (12th)
5v5 CF%53.15% (8th)43.38% (31st)
5v5 SV%.912 (23rd).919 (17th)
5v5 SH%12.5% (1st)9.3% (8th)

Toronto Maple Leafs Leafs Projected Lineup

Hyman – Matthews – Nylander
Marleau – Kadri – Leo
van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Brown
Martin – Moore – Marner

Gardiner – Zaitsev
Rielly – Hainsey
Borgman – Carrick


Scratched: Rosen, Fehr, Leivo

Ottawa Senators Projected Lines

Ryan – Brassard – Stone
Smith – Turris – Dzingel
Hoffman – Pageau – Pyatt
Burrows – Thompson – Brown

Phaneuf – Karlsson
Oduya – Ceci
Claesson – Wideman