Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vegas Golden Knights – Game #16 Preview, Projected Lines & TV Info

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vegas Golden Knights

Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. EST | Arena: Air Canada Centre | TV: Sportsnet Ontario | Radio: Fan 590

Game Day Quotes

Mike Babcock on what he is looking for from William Nylander, who might play center tonight:

Competition level. One thing about Willy: If he competes, he’s going to get the puck a lot and be dangerous. He got off to a real good start. This last segment, kind of like our team, he fit in good. He wasn’t as competitive as he needs to be. Willy wants to be a star. He’s a good kid. He has a good ability to evaluate himself and his play. But we need him to be better, so it’s time to dig in.

Babcock on whether this is his first “crisis point” as Leafs head coach:

I don’t know if you remember my first year. We never won. I’d say that was a crisis.

This is what I would say to you: In our five-game segment, we went 1-4. You’ve got to go three of five to make the playoffs. We’re down two points, any way you look at it, because we’ve got a 4-1 segment. What I like to do is just be steady on the rudder. Do we need to fix this? Absolutely.

We weren’t very good on the trip. I liked us at times. I didn’t like us at other times. I thought the game in St. Louis, in the second period, they absolutely dominated us. We looked like we had no juice left whatsoever. Is there a reason for that? Sure, there could be lots of reasons. But I’m not big into that. I’m big into the games today. I don’t care where you’ve been or where you’re playing or how far you’ve gone, you dig in and you compete hard. You play right. We’ve been in our own way, I really believe, for the last five or six games — not playing right without the puck, turning over the puck. We took a run at that and I think we proved to ourselves we couldn’t win like that. Let’s fix it.

Babcock on what’s impressed him about Vegas:

That they win every night. What I’d tell you is they did a real nice job of cornering the market on the league and kind of shutting the league down and getting what they wanted. They’re set up to be better in the future, obviously, but they’ve got good depth in their roster. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of fall off. I think they’ve played well. They’ve been good without the puck. Their power play is real dangerous. They’ve got a feel-good thing going on and they’re playing well.

Babcock on the missed challenge for goaltending interference against St. Louis:

We should’ve challenged it for sure. I’m not sure it would be [interference]. I looked at it a lot. In St. Louis — this is all part of it — we couldn’t see because the monitor on the bench is behind you. We couldn’t see that good. But our coaching staff was telling us to challenge it. We didn’t hear it on the bench. Since that time now, we are not only hooked up to the assistant coach, we’re hooked up to the medical trainer, too. If one doesn’t work, the second will work, so it’ll never happen again. How’s that?

Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant on getting Brendan Leipsic back in the lineup:

It’s a little bit [about the opponent, Toronto]. He was due to get back in the lineup. When we came out, it wasn’t like we planned on not playing the guy. Most of the time you’re going to get guys injured or guys banged up a little bit. But we’ve been healthy, knock on wood, with our forward group. He just didn’t get back in. So I thought tonight was the perfect time to get him back in.

Gallant on all the injuries for Vegas in net and whether he’s experienced anything like it before:

I was in Florida when we lost two [goalies] in one game. Besides that, no. It’s next man up. The guys are playing hard and the guys are playing well. I’ll say one thing: The goaltenders haven’t lost us a game this year. They’ve been great.


Connor Brown on the Golden Knights:

The type of players they’ve got on their team — it’s a lot of guys who were on third lines before who check really hard and skate really hard, so I think as much as they’ve been able to score, they’re a really good checking hockey club.

Matchup Stats

GF/g3.75 (2nd)3.08 (15th)
GA/g3.63 (29th)3.00 (17th)
PP%24% (6th)
17.1% (20th)
PK%80% (18th)82% (10th)
Shots/g31.9 (13th)29.1 (29th)
Shots Against/g32.4 (19th)32.3 (18th)
5v5 CF%51.57% (9th)45.44% (30th)
5v5 SV%.894 (30th).923 (14th)
5v5 SH%11.1% (1st)8.7% (13th)

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

Hyman – Nylander – Brown
Marleau – Kadri – Komarov
Martin – Bozak – Marner
JvR – Moore – Leivo

Game time decision: Auston Matthews

Rielly – Hainsey
Gardiner – Carrick
Borgman – Zaitsev


Scratched: Kapanen, Polak

Vegas Golden Knights Projected Lineup

Marchessault – Karlsson – Smith
Perron – Haula – Neal
Lindberg – Eakin – Tuch
Leipsic – Bellemare – Nosek

Schmidt – Sbisa
McNabb – Engelland
Miller – Theodore


Injured: Fleury, Subban, Dansk