Tuesday night the Leafs take on the Carolina Hurricanes who are currently on a 4 game win streak. Although they had a slow start to the season, the Hurricanes have turned up the heat as of late led by Victor Rask, Jeff Skinner, Sebastian Aho and Noah Hanifin all of whom are young talent brought up through the Hurricanes organization. The Canes are in a similar position as the Leafs are this season as they are still in the rebuilding process, but it looks as if the storm is about to clear and the sun will be shining sooner rather than later in Carolina.
Both teams have similar records and point totals but that’s about it. The Leafs offence has better numbers this season, but the Canes defence has been much better than the Leafs. The Canes are giving up on average 2 less shots on net then they take which is good compared to the Leafs who give up on average 1 more shot then they take. That may not sound like a lot but when you’re shooting over 30 shots a night, the workload on your goalie every night could tire them out over the long term. Another thing that impresses me about the Hurricanes is the amount of penalties they take.. or lack there of. On average they take about 7 less PIMs a game than the Leafs, that’s probably why they have the leagues best PK this season.
|0.778||Home W% vs Away W%||0.278|
|3.17||Goals Per Game||2.59|
|3.28||Goals Against Per Game||2.82|
|32.6||Shots Per Game||29.9|
|-1.06||Shot Differential Per Game||2.06|
|27.2||Hits Per Game||19.4|
|12.2||PIM Per Game||7.1|
|13.5||Opponent PIM Per Game||8.8|
Carolina still has 32 year old goalie Cam Ward who this season has put up some decent numbers at 2.36 GAA and a .916 SV%. I would look for him tonight to play another solid game in net, I’m excited to see what these Carolina youngsters have up their sleeve tonight compared to the Leafs rookie class. The Leafs on home ice this season have played awesome and have a .778 home winning percentage, where as the Canes on the road are not nearly as good only winning .278% of their games.
I expect to to see a high paced game from these teams and for the Leafs offence to take back off after the 2-1 loss to MTL on Saturday night. I am not going to say if you know who will score tonight, just as long as he keeps playing and working on both sides of the puck. I project a 4-2 Leafs win.
Things to keep an eye on:
Who wins the goalie match up?
What group of youngsters will stand out for their team?
Will Babcock switch the lines back up tonight after the loss on Saturday?
Will the Kadri line be used as the shutdown line again tonight against the Skinner line?
Let me know what you think about tonight’s game! Comment below or on Facebook, or tweet me @TMLHockeytlk