The Toronto Maple Leafs and John Tavares are in town to play the Islanders. Here’s what you need to know about tonight’s game.
Islanders vs. Maple Leafs matchups are going to forever be wild. This isn’t the first time that John Tavares has returned to the Coliseum, he played there twice last season. And every time he steps on Long Island, fans will remind him of the summer of 2018.
Tonight won’t be any different. The boos will rain down on him every time he touches the puck. The chants will reverberate an amplify through the Coliseum when he isn’t.
But the biggest act of defiance in the face of Tavares’ departure won’t come from the stands. It’ll be in the record books. Since Tavares’ departure, the Islanders have gone 60-30-8 for 128 points while the Leafs have gone 55-34-12 for 122 points.
The Islanders aren’t that basement dweller that everyone thought they’d be when Tavares left. In fact, the Islanders are quite clearly fine without him.
Coming into the game, the Islanders are riding a 12 game point streak while the Maple Leafs are struggling with back-to-back losses. The Leaf’s most recent loss was a 5-4 regulation loss to Robin Lehner’s Chicago Blackhawks where the Leafs registered 57 shots for. After the game, Tavares told the media that the Leafs weren’t good enough and that everything starts with him.
Stop me if you’ve heard that before.
Home teams always get a boost with the betting lines. The Isles hold a 9-0-1 record over their last ten games while the Leafs are 4-3-3 over their last ten. Courtesy of the Action Network, the Islanders are favored to win with a -125 betting line.
New York Islanders
Derick Brassard goes back to center the third line with Leo Komarov who was taken off IR after missing a few games with an illness and a neck injury. Bailey gets bumped up to the second line and should feature more predominantly in an offensive role.
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Where to Watch
Tickets: You can get tickets here on StubHub. They start as low as $29.25 (at the time of writing).
TV: Sportsnet, MSG+