It’s gameday in Toronto. There’s a St Patricks Day clash between your Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs. In a game between two teams that are known for very different aspects of their game, this is going to be a fantastic game to watch for everyone involved and it should be a great indicator for both sides ahead of the NHL trade deadline on Monday, March 21st at 3 PM.
Both of these clubs are expected to make some form of movement. Carolina is said to be in the market for a left-shot defenseman, and Toronto needs a little bit more of everything. However, we’re here to talk about the game tonight in Scotiabank Arena. The fifth-placed team in the league will host the third-placed team in the league in a game that promises fireworks.
So far this season, the Maple Leafs and Hurricanes have provided some entertainment. Back at the end of October, the Hurricanes laid a 4-1 beating on the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the first game back after the all-star break, the Hurricanes were edged out by the Leafs as they fell 4-3 in overtime. Tonight, we’ll see who wins the season series between these two hockey clubs.
For personnel tonight, it’s Frederik Andersen starting against his former team. Carolina has made some adjustments on defense too. Jalen Chatfield has been sent back down to the Chicago Wolves. Brendan Smith has been cleared to return to the lineup after taking a puck to the head and suffering a hairline fracture at the end of last month. Anthony DeAngelo is a possibility for this game too after about a month out with a core injury.
There’s been a big story coming out of Toronto recently and it’s Swedish netminder Erik Kallgren. Given how much the other two Toronto netminders have struggled and with one just plain injured, Kallgren got his first-ever start earlier this week against the Dallas Stars and got his first NHL shutout. Carolina will need to find a way to beat the former Vaxjo Laker and give their goalie-run support.
Tonight’s special teams battle is also going to be worth keeping an eye on. With the league’s best powerplay going up against the league’s best penalty kill, and the league’s 4th best powerplay combating the 5th best penalty-killing unit, there’s going to be a game within a game here. Stylistically, this is going to be a great game for so many reasons, and I know I’m looking forward to it.