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The Leafs’ recent stretch has been nothing if not interesting. After coming away with a 4-2 win whilst playing a terrific game against the NHL leading Tampa Bay Lightning, they followed it up with an abysmal effort versus the basement dwelling Florida Panthers, dropping that game 3-1.

One thing that has always been consistent with the Toronto Maple Leafs, as long as I’ve been a fan, is that I’ve never known exactly what they are, or, in other words, which team will show up that night. Consistency has been incredibly inconsistent.

With that in mind, it’s anybodies guess what we’re in for tonight. This team could breeze past the 24th placed Arizona Coyotes, or they could get blown out of the water.

It appears as if Martin Marincin will dress for his 9th game tonight, as Jake Gardiner is experiencing back spasms and will sit for the first time since the 2015-16 season. This will be a chance to see what might be in store for the future of the Leafs’ blueline, as it’s quite possible that the team may not be able to afford to re-sign Gardiner for next season, and he may walk as an unrestricted free agent this summer. It’s also a chance for the group of people that think losing Jake Gardiner is addition by subtraction to get a chance to see just what that may look like, even if it does just end up being a game or two.

It’s more of a guessing game as I write this, but the expectation is that Travis Dermott will move up to Gardiners usual spot alongside Nikita Zaitsev, while Marincin will be paired with Igor Ozhiganov.

Frederik Andersen is your expected starter.

My prediction? 2-1 Leafs.


This post first appeared on Leafs Hub, please read the originial post: here

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