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Keys to the Game: Maple Leafs vs. Wild

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs take on the Minnesota Wild tonight in at Air Canada Centre. Here are three keys to a Leafs win.

Get in Dubnyk’s way

He’s been dubbed as the saviour of Minnesota’s season. Acquired in mid-January, Dubnyk has started all 30 games he’s dressed in for the Wild and there are no signs of him slowing down anytime soon. Dubnyk has posted a 22-6-1 record in that span, helping the Wild hold onto the first Western Conference wild card spot. A hot goaltender gets off his game by frustrating him. That’s what the Leafs must do. Toronto has to get to the blue paint and get the dirty goals.

Power play

The Wild hold the best penalty kill in the NHL with an 86.5 per cent success rate. Toronto have just one power play goal in their last 18 opportunities. A changing of fortune may be what the Leafs need to snap a five-game winless skid.

Better start and goal support

Jonathan Bernier has posted a save percentage of .910 or better in his last four appearances and has four losses to show for it. He hasn’t been getting the goal support and his frustration showed on Thursday night when he stated that his team wasn’t measuring up to the opposition. Toronto needs to get more goal support for their goaltender. It starts with getting into the rhythm early in the game. Once again, it was a slow start that puts the Leafs in a hole on Saturday and they need to nip that issue in the bud.

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