The Toronto Maple Leafs have a chance to find out exactly what they are made of this week, with matchups against the Nashville Predators, Florida Panthers and Montreal Canadiens.


The Leafs will start the week off on Tuesday night when they play host to the Predators, who have been playing better of late after getting off to a slow start. The Leafs will need to take advantage of the Preds weak penalty kill. Pekka Rinne got off to a slow start but has been much better in the month of November, where he is 4-0-2, has allowed only seven goals, a .957 save percentage and 1.14 goals against average. If Rinne is in net, the Maple Leafs are going to have to get traffic in front of him. Toronto will also need to be aware of the Predators defensemen and where they are on the ice since the defense corps likes to join the play in the offensive zone.

The Preds will have to keep an eye out when going to get the puck along the boards, the Leafs have shown that they aren’t afraid to throw their weight around. Nashville will also need to watch out for the speed of the “kids” and top the top six of the Leafs since that is where most of their point production. Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, Tyler Bozak and James Van Riemsdyk have accounted for most of Toronto’s point production. The Preds need to come out with some energy and get the first goal, they are a much better team when they get that goal. They’ll need to be good on the penalty kill because the Leafs power play can be dangerous since they move the puck really well.

On Thursday night, Atlantic Division opponents, the Panthers come to visit the ACC. The Leafs will need to get traffic in front of the net for deflections and screens. Toronto will need to get the first goal and keep the pressure coming; the Panthers aren’t the best team when trailing after two periods. Frederik Andersen or Jhonas Enroth will need to step up and make some saves since Florida can take advantage of its limited chances. The Maple Leafs will need to keep an eye on Jonathan Marchessault, the leader in goals and assists for the Panthers. They’ll also need to use its speed to create in transition and have odd man rushes.

Florida has a chance to get its offense going since Toronto is a young team, and will give up its chances. They’ll need the big name players like Aaron Ekblad, Jaromir Jagr and Reilly Smith to start producing in the offensive end of the ice. Florida will need to play a good game at even strength as the Leafs have really good special teams. They will also need to keep an eye on the top two lines of the Leafs since that’s where most of its offense comes from.

Toronto will try to compete with the Canadiens on Saturday night at the Bell Centre. The biggest obstacle for the Leafs will be trying to get some goals, especially if Carey Price is in the net for Habs. Price has won his first ten games that he has played in and Montreal only has one regulation loss, which came against the Columbus Blue Jackets. They’ll need to get some traffic in front of the net, go for the deflections, look for rebound chances and screen the goalie. The Leafs will need to take advantage of its power play chances since the Habs penalty kill isn’t the best in League. Toronto needs to take care of the puck and limit mistakes because Montreal will make you pay.

The Habs have a chance of winning this game because they have the Carey Price Factor, if he starts. Montreal needs to keep the neutral zone turnovers to a minimum, otherwise the Leafs can use they’re speed in transition and create off man rushes. They need to get the first goal of the game since that almost is a guarantee that the Habs will win the game. Montreal has a balanced attack and the defensemen can put up some points. If the Canadiens should get a power play then be aware of the Shea Weber bomb from the point.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.