Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning: Trade deadline day game

Everyone is jumpy on Erik Karlsson day. Will Namestnikov be dealt?

Toronto Maple Leafs at Tampa Bay Lightning: GAME #63

Time: 7:30 Eastern Time

Location: Amalie Arena

Broadcast / Streaming: TVAS SUNS SNO

Opponent SBNation Site: Pension Plan Puppets


What are the Toronto Maple Leafs thinking about today as they face the trade-deadline malingering Tampa Bay Lightning? They’re examining the worth of fourth-liner Tomas Plekanec, who got traded to the Leafs from the Habs yesterday in exchange for a couple of AHL players and a second-round pick. We’ll get to see Plekanec tonight in the lineup, likely a bit gassed for his first game in bleu et blanc, because I’ve never seen a new Maple Leaf not look exhausted after his first encounter with a Mike Babcock morning skate.

Pension Plan Puppets is pretty bullish about the new addition, pointing out that Plekanec will bring defensive responsibility and playmaking to Toronto’s bottom six. They project him playing on a fourth line between Leo Komarov and former Penguins prospect (and erstwhile Marlie) Kasperi Kapanen.

Plekanec is used to playing in a shutdown role, and leads Montreal’s forwards in shorthanded time on ice this season. Per Natural Stat Trick, he’s spent most of his 5 on 5 time this season on a line with Brendan Gallagher, followed by Charles Hudon, Paul Byron, and Artturi Lehkonen; rather than Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk, or Jonathan Drouin. He will not carry a line offensively, but he’s known as a dependable two-way centre, and he remains a talented playmaker.

Auston Matthews has been injured since a February 22nd game against the New York Islanders. He was caught in an awkward hit sandwich between Adam Pelech and Cal Clutterbuck, and is day-to-day with an upper body (likely shoulder) injury. In his absence, the first line is still young and lethal, with Mitch Marner centering Matthews’ wingers Zach Hyman and William Nylander.

Edit: Yzerman did the thing.

Comparison Chart

Will the Bolts be playing distracted today, given the trade deadline? We’ll know a lot more at 3 PM. Up until then, this is our best guess about the lineups.

Tampa Bay Lightning:

Forward Lines:

????-  Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan

Alex Killorn - Brayden Point - Nikita Kucherov

Chris Kunitz- Tyler Johnson - Yanni Gourde

Adam Erne - Cedric Paquette - Cory Conacher

Defense Pairings:

Victor Hedman — Anton Stralman

Mikhail Sergachev — Dan Girardi

Braydon Coburn — Andrej Sustr


Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

Lineup Notes:

Will Vladdy be traded? What’s that top line going to look like? What is life? We get to see brand new Leaf Tomas Plekanec, anyway.

Edit: I was right. Tonight’s game will be weird.

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Forward Lines:

Zach Hyman - Mitch Marner - William Nylander

Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Connor Brown

Josh Leivo - Tomas Plekanec - Kasperi Kapenaen

Defense Pairings:

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev

Travis Dermott - Roman Polak


Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney