The Maple Leafs visit the Blue Jackets tonight in Columbus. Here are three keys to a win in Toronto’s final road game of the season.
The Blue Jackets have been on fire in their quest to end the season strong. They are 12-1-1 in their last 14 games including a four-game win streak at home. The key to their recent success has been goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who has made at least 30 saves in eight of his last 11 games. The Leafs need to focus on creating traffic in front of Bobrovsky in an effort to get him off his game.
Top line performance
The Maple Leafs top line has been rolling as of late and will have to be on their game against the Jackets. The good thing is Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk have had success against Columbus, registering a combined 10 points in two meetings between these teams this season. James van Riemsdyk is also in the midst of a season-high three-game goal scoring streak. The Leafs best line has to perform if Toronto is to stand a chance.
Simply put, James Reimer has to be the better goaltender in this battle. Reimer has been on fire as of late, having made 89 saves over his last two games, the best of any two-game stretch in his career. Reimer has struggled against the Jackets in his career, having lost both games and being pulled in one of those. Reimer has lots to prove against the Jackets.