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Keys to the Game: Maple Leafs vs. Coyotes

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs


The Maple Leafs take on the Arizona Coyotes tonight at ACC. Here are the three keys to a Leafs win.

Amp up the desperation level

The Maple Leafs are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak (0-6-1) and the Coyotes find themselves in an identical slide (0-5-2). Toronto have been playing the right way defensively, but have been unable to produce the offence necessary to grab wins. Toronto has six goals over their last seven games compared to 12 goals registered by the Coyotes. The desperation level has to increase for this game. Both teams need it. Jonathan Bernier gets the nod in goal, he 3-0-0 all-time against the Coyotes, with a .967 save percentage, a 1.14 goals-against average and one shutout.

Showcasing

Arizona has openly admitted to being in the process of a rebuild. Many players like Antoine Vermette and Keith Yandle will be looking to showcase themselves since we are weeks away from the NHL trade deadline. Vermette leads the Arizona with 31 points and Yandle has 30 points. Vermette scored the game-winner against the Leafs in their previous meeting this season, a 3-2 result in favour of the Coyotes.

Special Teams

The Maple Leafs should be proud of their power play last night, despite not getting any goals for it. They put forth a lot of pressure. Keeping that up against the Coyotes should turn results in Toronto’s favour. Arizona has the fourth-worst penalty kill in the NHL at 75.6%. Arizona has gone scoreless on the power play while giving up at least one power-play goal in their last two games.

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