Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 7:00 EST
Scotiabank Arena - Toronto, Ontario
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM
Opponent’s Blog: Pension Plan Puppets
Columbus Blue Jackets (13-10-0, 26 points, 5th Metro, 9th East)
Toronto Maple Leafs (17-7-2, 36 points, 2nd Atlantic, 3rd East)
Last time these two teams met, the Jackets defeated the Maple Leafs 3-0 in a best of five play-in series in the 2020 bubble. In that matchup, it was defensively stingy Columbus against the dynamic offense of Toronto. Since then, the Leafs have drastically improved play in their own zone. They’ve also been helped by fantastic goaltending. They currently sit third in the league in goals against and save percentage.
The Blue Jackets snapped their losing streak against the Sharks at home on Sunday, but now they travel to Toronto for a road game. The Jackets have struggled while away from Nationwide Arena. At home, they are 5th in the league in goals for. On the road, they are 22nd. They also average giving up an additional 1.42 goals per game on the road. For a shot at two points tonight, they’ll need to clean up play in their own zone.
Player to Watch
The young Swede potted another two goals against the Sharks. He’s 5-3-8 in his last 7 games and seems to be getting more comfortable in that Blue Jackets sweater. Who are the only NHL defensemen with more goals this season? Makar, Ekblad, and Josi. He leads all Columbus defensemen in CF% at 5v5 and leads the regulars in xGF% and HDCF%. Here’s your reminder that he’s only 21 years old and has plenty of room to grow.
Blue Jackets Notes
It feels like Brad Larsen is at a crossroads when it comes to bottom six lineup decisions. He sat Yegor Chinakhov in favor of two rookies in their late twenties. Meanwhile, Emil Bemstrom, who scored four goals in five preseason games and had an all around good training camp, is currently in Cleveland after recovering from an injury. Bemstrom is also one of the better defensive forwards in the organization and could contribute to a team struggling in that regard. There may be a case for leaving Bemstrom in Cleveland, especially with Danforth playing well, but it’s hard to justify leaving Hofmann in over Chinakhov.
Maples Leafs Notes
Mitch Marner missed the last two games after a collision at practice last Friday. The star winger had recorded 20 points in his last 17 games. As of the writing of this article, his status against the Jackets is unknown, but he hasn’t skated since the incident.
Jason Spezza will likely be unavailable after kneeing Neal Pionk in the head in Winnipeg Sunday night. He has a hearing with NHL Player Safety this afternoon.
12/7/21 - CBJ @ TOR
12/27/21 - TOR @ CBJ
3/7/22 - TOR @ CBJ
|3.08 (13)||GPG||3.22 (11)|
|2.35 (3)||GAPG||3.26 (25)|
|25.7% (5)||PP%||20.0% (11)|
|82.4% (15)||PK%||84.1% (8)|
|52.7% (5)||5v5 Shot Attempt %||47.7% (25)|
|51.4% (10)||5v5 Unblocked shot attempt %||47.2% (25)|
|7.5% (21)||5v5 Shooting %||8.7% (7)|
|.935 (3)||5v5 Save %||.909 (29)|
|Auston Matthews, 15||G Leader||Boone Jenner, 11|
|Tavares & Marner, 15||A Leader||Jakub Voracek, 18|
|John Tavares, 26||P Leader||Oliver Bjorkstrand, 19|
|Wayne Simmonds, 38||PIM Leader||Kuraly & Sillinger, 17|
|10-3-1||Home / Road||4-7-0|
|Max Domi||Boone Jenner||Jakub Voracek|
|Gus Nyquist||Jack Roslovic||Oliver Bjorkstrand|
|Gregory Hofmann||Cole Sillinger||Justin Danforth|
|Eric Robinson||Sean Kuraly||Alexandre Texier|
|Zach Werenski||Jake Bean|
|Vladislav Gavrikov||Andrew Peeke|
|Gabriel Carlsson||Adam Boqvist|
|Michael Bunting||Auston Matthews||Jason Spezza|
|Alexander Kerfoot||John Tavares||William Nylander|
|Nick Ritchie||David Kampf||Ondrej Kase|
|Kyle Clifford||Pierre Engvall||Wayne Simmonds/td>|
|TJ Brodie||Morgan Rielly|
|Timothy Liljegren||Jake Muzzin|
|Justin Holl||Rasmus Sandin|