The Leafs, who are coming off two losses in a row, sit just one point up on the Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers in the race for the final wildcard spot. But the Leafs also sit just three points behind the Bruins with four games in hand.
That being said, the Islanders have seen a resurgence as of late. Since the team fired former head coach Jack Capuano, New York has won eight of their 12 games under Doug Weight.
The Leafs will look to their young guns to get their offence back on track as Mitch Marner has led the way for the team over the past six games. Over that span he has three goals and six points to lead the Leafs. While he’s only played two games against the Islanders in his short career, Marner does have a goal against them.
It should be a fast-paced game with its fair share of offence. But expect Mike Babcock’s Leafs to come out with something to prove after having the past two days off following a 3-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
New York Islanders at Toronto Maple Leafs
Air Canada Centre – 7:30 p.m. EST
Broadcast channels – TSN4 and MSG+
2016-17 Season Series:
October 30 – Islanders 5 – Maple Leafs 1
February 6 – Islanders 6 – Maple Leafs 5 (OT)
New York Islanders – 25-19-10 – 60 Points
Road Record: 7-11-4
Hot Players: Anders Lee, Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey
Key Injuries: Cal Clutterbuck, Mikhail Grabovski and Travis Hamonic
Anders Lee-John Tavares-Josh Bailey
Anthony Beauvillier-Brock Nelson-Ryan Strome
Andrew Ladd-Alan Quine-Jason Chimera
Shane Prince-Casey Cizikas-Nikolay Kulemin
Nick Leddy-Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Hickey-Adam Pelech
Calvin de Haan-Dennis Seidenberg
Toronto Maple Leafs – 25-18-11 – 61 Points
Home Record: 13-9-4
Hot Players: Mitch Marner, Tyler Bozak, Auston Matthew and William Nylander
Key Injuries: Joffrey Lupul and Nikita Soshnikov
Leo Komarov-Nazem Kadri-William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Bozak-Mitch Marner
Zach Hyman-Auston Matthews-Connor Brown
Matt Martin-Ben Smith-Josh Leivo
Morgan Rielly-Nikita Zaitsev
Jake Gardiner-Connor Carrick
Matt Hunwick-Roman Polak
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]Tyler Bozak, who has been one of the hottest Leafs over the past six games, is tied with Sid Smith (183) for 29th on the Leafs all-time assists list. With one more assist, Bozak will tie Tod Sloan (184) for 28th on the franchise’s all-time list.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]Josh Bailey has 11 goals and 38 points this season. With just one more tally, the Islanders forward will tie Benoit Hogue and Ed Westfall (105) for 26th on the Islanders’ all-time list. Two more points and he will also tie Alexei Yashin (290) for 22nd on the team’s all-time points list.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Islanders and Leafs have met 150 times over their existence. The Leafs lead the all-time series 68-65-7-10, but the Islanders have out scored Toronto 533 to 485 over that span.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Islanders are coming of a win and are 6-2-2 in their last 10. With Weight as their head coach, the Isles have an 8-2-2 record in 12 games and have climbed the Eastern Conference standings – sitting just one point out of a wildcard spot.
[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap]The Maple Leafs are looking to stop the bleeding, coming off two losses in a row. They’re 4-4-2 in their last 10 and sit just one point up on the Islanders and Flyers for the final wildcard spot.
The winner of this game will have some bragging rights as they will hold the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Don’t expect either team to give up opportunities that easily, but it’ll take a big performance from either Greiss or Andersen to pick up two very big points.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.