The NHL-best Toronto Maple Leafs head to Vancouver to face off against the Canucks in North Division action. Toronto leads the league with an 18-5-2 record for 38 points. The Canucks are second-to-last in the North Division with a 10-15-2 record and 22 points. Vancouver managed a 3-1 win over Toronto in last night's game.
Toronto Looking for Bounce-Back WinToronto has one of the most powerful offenses in the NHL, tied for first with 3.52 average goals per game. They have two of the best scorers in the league with Mitch Marner, who has 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists), and MVP candidate Auston Matthews with 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists).
The loss against Vancouver is out of character for this strong Toronto team, but part of a growing trend. They recently swept a three-game series against Edmonton, shutting out their opponents twice and outscoring the Oilers 13-1 over three games. Immediately before that series, however, they split a series with a struggling Calgary squad, and dropped a 6-5 game to the lowly Senators shortly before that. When they're on, they're on, but perhaps they let their guard down against relatively weaker teams.
Pierre Engvall scored the lone goal for the Leafs, and Marner was limited to just one shot on goal. Matthews couldn't hit with five shots on goal. Matthews hasn't recorded a point since Toronto's 2-1 win over Calgary on 2/24, and missed two goals after that game to deal with a wrist injury.
Canucks Have Chance to Stun League LeadersVancouver has had a rough year and sits near the bottom of the North Division. Last night's win over Toronto was their second win in seven games, and their first win over the Leafs in four matchups so far.
Jake Virtanen scored two goals in the win over Toronto, and Bo Horvat added one of his own. Thatcher Demko saved 31 of 32 shots for a .969 save percentage. Brock Boeser went without a point, but leads the Canucks with 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists).
The Canucks function at a deficit on the year, having allowed 15 more goals than they've scored (91 vs. 76), for an average of 2.81 goals scored per game, and allow 3.37 goals per game. They rank 20th in the league for the powerplay at 18.4%, and 12th for the penalty kill at 80.8%.
Thatcher Demko anchors the goaltending tandem, allowing 2.93 goals per game and posting a .911 saver percentage. Braden Holtby is struggling on the year, averaging 3.56 goals allowed per game, and posting a .893 save percentage.