Maple Leafs Nylander, Canucks Pettersson

Canucks Game Day: Top Scorers Visit Back-To-Back Leafs

Canucks Game Facts

Tonight: Vancouver Canucks at Toronto Maple Leafs

Where: Scotiabank Arena

When: 4 pm pacific

TV/Radio: CBC Hockey Night in Canada – Sportsnet / AM-650

When they play the Maple Leafs, the Canucks will benefit from an opponent playing the 2nd half of a back-to-back set for the second consecutive game. The Maple Leafs hosted the Calgary Flames on Friday night and prevailed in a shoot-out.

The Canucks took care of Ottawa 5-2 on Thursday evening, one night after the Senators had defeated the Leafs in Toronto 6-3.

Key Factors:

Starting goalkeepers: Thatcher Demko for Vancouver, Ilya Samsonov for Toronto.

Vancouver is a juggernaut offensively with the best goals-per-game performance in the NHL this season at 4.54. They’re giving up just 2.00 per game, 2nd best in the league behind the Boston Bruins (1.92).

As a team, Vancouver has an nine-game point streak.

The Maple Leafs give up the 5th most goals per game in the league at 3.64. Their “goals for” ranking is just below that, so one might expect a busy scoreboard on Saturday.

For the first time since the mid-1970’s, the Leafs have given up four or more goals in all eight of their home games to start a season. They’re 4-and-4 thus far at Scotiabank Arena.

Who’s Hot? And Not …

In the last game Canucks captain Quinn Hughes added a point to his season total of 21 which leads the NHL for blueliners. He’s four points ahead of Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He’s tied atop the D-man goal scoring chart with five and number-one in assists with 16. Partner Filip Hronek is close behind with 14.

Centre Elias Pettersson leads the NHL in scoring with 24 points. He had three points against the Senators.

J.T. Miller is tied for 6th overall with 20 points, just behind captain “Huggy”. MIller, Phil Di Giuseppe and Andrei Kuzmenko all tallied two points in Ottawa.

William Nylander is the hottest Maple Leaf. Whatayaknow, it’s a contract year, and there had been early season talk of him being traded. He had three points vs Calgary, has five over his last two games and eight over his last five.

Auston Matthews has three goals over his last five games and leads the NHL with 13.

Special Teams

The Canucks power play went 1-for-3 against the Senators on Thursday and ranks fourth in the NHL with a 32.7% success rate.

The Maple Leafs are listed right behind the Canucks on the man advantage, clicking 29.6% of the time. They went one-for-one vs. the Calgary Flames on Friday. The Toronto PP has given up three shorthanded goals while Vancouver has yet to relinquish one.

Both penalty kills have been substandard thus far, with Toronto’s far worse. The Canucks kill penalties successfully 78.3% of the time while the Maple Leafs are at 72.7%. Nylander scored a shorthanded goal vs. Calgary.

Coming In:

Canucks: 10-2-and-1 for 21 points, tied for 3rd most in the NHL with the New York Rangers. Only the Vegas Golden Knights and Boston Bruins have more. The Canucks beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2 two nights ago.

Maple Leafs: 7-5-and-2, coming off last night’s 5-4 shoot-out win over the Flames.

Earlier Canucks:

— The Hugeness Of The Canucks Bo Horvat Trade

— Canucks Win 6-2 As The Oilers Completely Unravel

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.