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Gameday: Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leaves

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Final game of the regular season

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Well it’s alright
Even when push comes to shove

Well it’s alright
If you got someone to love

Well it’s alright
Everything will work out fine
Well it’s alright
We’re going to the end of the line

Yes, it’s the end of the line. Can you believe? Doesn’t seem that long ago that the season was started. The Columbus Blue Jackets are riding a 6 (!) game losing streak, but take a moment to appreciate that this is the best season in franchise history. Be happy that regardless of what happens today, later this week the Blue Jackets will participate in the playoffs for the third time in franchise history.

The Blue Jackets are guaranteed to face the Penguins as the 3 seed. They have nothing to play for but pride - and momentum, if that even exists. The Maple Leaves became the final Eastern Conference team to clinch a playoff berth last night against Pittsburgh. They are currently tied with Boston for 3rd place in the Atlantic Division. A win or OT/SO loss clinches 3rd place. A regulation loss means Toronto must face Washington in the first round.

In that game against Pittsburgh, rookie phenom Auston Matthews scored his 40th goal of the season. 40! As an 19 year old rookie! That’s why he’s your presumptive Calder winner, folks.

Toronto is without the services of goaltender Frederick Anderson, who left the game last night after an unnecessary collision with Pittsburgh goon Tom Sestito. We should see former Blue Jacket Curtis McElhinney in goal for Toronto.

No changes are expected in the Jackets’ lineup, with the possible exception of Joonas Korpisalo in goal. Rookie blueliner Gabriel Carlsson will remain in the lineup. In yesterday’s postgame press conference, Torts seemed quite impressed with the young Swede’s game. There was speculation that Sonny Milano would return to the Jackets yet this season, so we’ll watch for news today of him coming to Toronto rather than Cleveland.

Here’s What You Need to Know

Sunday, April 9, 2017 - 6:00 EST
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
TV: Fox Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 WBNS FM
Opponent’s Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Columbus Blue Jackets, 49-24-8, 106 points, 3rd Metro, 3rd East

at

Toronto Maple Leaves, 40-26-15, 95 points, 3rd Atlantic, 7th East

Season Series

02/15/17 TOR 2 @ CBJ 5
03/22/17 TOR 5 @ CBJ 2
04/09/17 CBJ @ TOR

Stats

Toronto Columbus
3.06 (5) GPG 3.01 (6)
2.85 (22) GAPG 2.36(2)
24.2% (2) PP% 20.1% (11)
82.3% (9) PK% 82.2% (10)
50.22% (16) EV Corsi % 50.39% (13)
100.6 (11) EV PDO 101.5 (3)
Auston Matthews, 40 G Leader Cam Atkinson, 34
Mitchell Marner, 42 A Leader Alexander Wennberg, 46
Auston Matthews, 69 (nice) P Leader Cam Atkinson, 61
Matt Martin, 123 PIM Leader Brandon Dubinsky, 91
21-12-7 Home / Road 21-12-7
7-3-0 Last 10 2-6-2

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Brandon Saad Alexander Wennberg BJORKSTRAND
Nick Foligno Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell Boone Jenner Sam Gagner
Matt Calvert Lars Karlsson Josh Anderson
Gabriel Carlsson Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Kyle Quincey Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Toronto Maple Leaves
James Van Riemsdyk Tyler Bozak Mitchell Marner
Zach Hyman Auston Matthews William Nylander
Leo Komarov Nazem Kadri Connor Brown
Matthew Martin Brian Boyle Kasperi Kapanen
Jake Gardiner Nikita Zaitsev
Morgan Rielly Connor Carrick
Matt Hunwick BJORKSTRAND Killer
Curtis McElhinney
???