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Keys to the Game: Maple Leafs vs. Blues

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs host the St. Louis Blues tonight at Air Canada Centre. Here are the Leafs three keys to a win.

Get the matchups

The Maple Leafs have been bad on the road, having won just one game in their last 17. At home, it’s been a different story. Perhaps one explanation could be the last line change, allowing for better head-to-head matchups. St. Louis is loaded with talent and will be a tough task for the Leafs. Getting the right line matchups could be key.

Many returns

It will be the first game for many former Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre, including defenceman Carl Gunnarsson and recently traded forward Olli Jokinen. Meanwhile Joakim Lindstrom will be playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Signing a one-year deal in the off-season after spending three years in Sweden, Lindstrom was traded from a cup contender to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has a lot to prove and there is no better time to prove it than Saturday night. If guys like Roman Polak and Lindstorm step up, it will bode well for Toronto.

Top team

There are few stat categories where you won’t find St. Louis in the top-five. One of those is the power play where the Blues rank fourth. The Leafs have struggled mightily on the penalty kill and need a perfect showing on Saturday. Keep the Blues from scoring on the power play and leave it to playing a better five-on-five game.

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