Game Day Preview | Blue Jackets at Maple Leafs – Game 1

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Stanley Cup Qualifying Round – COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS at TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Qualifying Round Game 1 | Channel: SNet | 8:00 PM EST


Welcome Ladies and Gentleman and Leafs fans from around the world. The moment you have all been waiting for. Live from the sold-out (well, would be) Scotia Bank Centre in Toron-to Can-a-daaaaaaaaaaaaa. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s tiiiiiiiime for game 1 of the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round between the Columbus Blue Jackets and your Toronto Maple Leafs. (Thank You Bruce Buffer)

If you really want to feel it you can listen to Bruce call it


The last Game Day Preview that we did was on March 10 for the Leafs game vs the Lightning. 145 days ago. 10 days shy of 5 months. It’s been a long road getting here for everyone. Thank you all for hanging tough and persevering through these challenging times. I am excited for Hockey, the Leafs to be back.



The Match Up

Sheldon Keefe enters his first NHL style playoff round with the highly skilled, high flying Maple Leafs. Nobody questions the talent and ability of this team. Top-end skill for days and more than enough firepower to chase the best goalie’s from the game. The lingering question on this group is, do they have the will? The will to buy into the program, to do what it takes to win series upon series in pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup.

It’s a long challenging road to navigate. Multiple opponents on multiple nights with the best teams throwing something different at you every night to neutralize and overcome your strengths. What we have seen from this talented team is that when they are skating and scoring they are a very dangerous group. However, when that doesn’t happen they don’t seem to have something different to throw at their opponent. A fresh, best of 5 series seems to favour them in this regard if they come out flying. With the long layoff, the first few games look to be fast and loose which plays right into the Leafs wheelhouse particularly versus an offensively challenged Blue Jackets team.

Veteran NHL coach John Tortorella leads his Blue Jackets squad in their road to the playoffs. A demanding and detail-oriented coach, Tortorella will have his Jackets ready to take on the Leafs challenges and look to grind them down and wear them out on the defensive side of things. With a solid goaltending duo in Korpisalo and “Elvis” Merzlikins and a defensive group led by Jones and Werenski the Leafs will have their work cut out for them. Now, mentioned earlier was the Jackets being offensively challenged. That doesn’t mean they can’t score and one way that they are very effective is scoring off the cycle. This is a very weak spot for the Leafs and definitely plays to the Jackets favour.

I favour the Leafs as is my bias but it really is anyone’s series. A literal will vs skill matchup. Who you got?



PROJECTED LINEUPS

Leafs Team Logo

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS PROJECTED LINE UP

FORWARDS

11 Zach Hyman – 34 Auston Matthews – 88 William Nylnder

65 Ilya Mikheyev – 91 John Tavares – 16 Mitchell Marner

89 Nick Robertson – 15 Alexander Kerfoot – 24 Kasperi Kapanen

73 Kyle Clifford – 33 Frederik Gauthier – 19 Jason Spezza

DEFENSE

8 Jake Muzzin – 3 Justin Holl

44 Morgan Rielly – 83 Cody Ceci

23 Travis Dermott – 94 Tyson Barrie

GOALIES

STARTER – 31 Frederik Andersen

36 Jack Campbell

Scratched: Johnsson, Rosen


TONIGHT’S MATCH UP FROM @MAPLELEAFS


Columbus Blue Jackets Lineup Logo

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS PROJECTED LINE UP

FORWARDS

71 Foligno – 10 Wennberg – 13 Atkinson

42 Texier – 18 Dubois – 28 Bjorkstrand

14 Nyquist – 38 Jenner – 19 Foudy

50 Robinson – 20 Nash – 52 Bemstrom

DEFENSE

8 Werenski – 3 Jones

44 Gavrikov – 58 Savard

27 Murray – 46 Kukan

GOALIES

STARTER – 70 Korpisalo

90 Elvis Merzlikins

Scratched: Nutivaara, Gerbe


Big debut for Maple Leafs rookie Nick Robertson


Tonights Game Prediction

We check in with James at @OffsideTalk for his Game Day Prediction


PUMP UP

What would a game day preview be without a little pump up music? Today’s title is perfectly named for our beloved Maple Leafs. This is a guitar cover of Green Day’s “Fire Ready Aim” by fellow Leafs Fan and excellent guitarist Taylor (TaylorMadeMusic on Youtube)


My prediction for tonights is game is: Leafs 4 CBJ 2

Scoring for the Leafs I have MickyHi5 with 1, Matthews with 1, Rielly with 1 and Willy with 1

Leave your Game 1 and Qualifying series predictions below in the comments.

GO LEAFS GO!!!!!!!