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Keys to the Game: Maple Leafs vs. Jets

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs head to Winnipeg to take on the Jets, marking what will be the last of a season-long seven-game road trip. Here’s what Toronto needs to do to end it on a winning note.

New-look Jets

Winnipeg has been playing their best hockey since coming back to Manitoba. The Jets have exceeded expectations and that’s largely due to their new found depth in goaltending. Michael Hutchinson has taken the number one goaltending spot from Ondrej Pavelec. Hutchinson has an NHL best save percentage (.937) and goals against average (1.87). James Reimer is expected to start for Toronto. The Mantioba native has only won three of his 10 games against the Jets

Depleted defence vs depleted offence

The Winnipeg Jets have several core defencemen out due to injury, while the Leafs have a similar issue on offence with Joffrey Lupul, Nazem Kadri and Peter Holland all out with injuries. It’ll be up to the rest of the Leafs forwards to get to the net and create traffic.

Hold lead and special teams

The Jets have not shown a tendency to be very resilient. In fact, they have lost all 12 games this season they have had where they went into the third period in a deficit (0-9-3). Grabbing a lead and holding onto it will boost the Leafs’ confidence in that category. Meanwhile special teams needs a bit of a pick me up. The Leafs have given up a power-play goal in four consecutive games. That is a season high.

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