Toronto Maple Leafs vs Arizona Coyotes

The prodigal son returns as Auston Matthews leads the Toronto Maple Leafs into his hometown of Arizona to take on the Coyotes at the Gila River Arena this Saturday night. The action begins at 7PM EST and will be televised on Fox Sports, CBC HNIC, and Sportnet Now. Radio broadcast also supplied by Sportsnet Fan590AM and KTAR.

How to Watch

Where: Gila River Arena - Glendale, AZ.

When: Saturday, February 16, 7PM EST.

How (TV/Radio): FoxSports, Sportsnet Now, CBC | Fan590AM, KTAR.

Toronto Maple Leafs (Away)

Head Coach: Mike Babcock {All-Time 680-398-19-155 TOR, DET, ANA}

Auston Matthews returns to his home state to take on the Arizona Coyotes.

Most advantages in this game are for the Leafs. Especially in the offensive categories. The Leafs rank fourth-overall in goals scored and third overall in shooting percentage - where 11.2 per cent of their overall shots find the back of the net. They are also second in the league in faceoff wins with more than 52 per cent success in the circle.

The Leafs have also had incredible success this season on the road, going 18-7-2 outside of Toronto. The Coyotes have struggled at home this season, currently sitting with an under-500 home record of 10-13-3. There is nothing for the Leafs to feel intimidated by heading into enemy territory.

It is expected that go-to goaltender Frederik Andersen will star this game for the Leafs. Andersen is 26-11-2 on the season at the time of writing. He was a 2.56 goals against average and a .923 goals against average. He has one shutout on the season thus far.

Arizona Coyotes (Home)

Head Coach: Rick Tocchet {All-Time 107-136-43 ARI, TBL}

The biggest disadvantage to note heading into this game is the overall roster available to the Coyotes. While the Leafs will hit the ice 100 per cent healthy (with the exception of Nathan Horton), Arizona will be down several key/core players. A full injury report in listed below and among some of the notable injured players are forwards Michael Grabner and Brad Richardson, defenseman Jason Demers, and goaltender Antti Raanta. The Maple Leafs are not a team you want to be playing your B-squad against.

Statistically, a few other offensive numbers raise as eyebrow for this matchup. The Coyotes are ranked 28th overall in the league for goals scored - and that’s when mostly healthy. The Leafs rank fourth. Arizona has also struggled in the faceoff circle, ranking 30th in the league with under 47 per cent success. Toronto is second in the league for faceoffs. Puck possession does not seem to be in Arizona’s favour in this matchup. They seem more likely to be chasing the Toronto offense around the ice.

Luckily for the Coyotes, the bright light is that most of the game should be played at even strength - or even with a man advantage. The ‘Yotes tend to stay out of the box, ranking sixth in the league in fewest penalty minutes. They also have the first-overall ranked penalty kill should they find themselves in the box. The Leafs are ranked first-overall for fewest penalties taken but when they do take them, their penalty kill is not as successful. This is where Arizona needs to take advantage.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is most likely to get the start in this game against Toronto. Kuemper is 13-15-5 on the season. He has a goals against average of 2.73 and a save percentage of .913. Like his opposition Frederik Andersen, Kuemper also has one shutout on the season.

These two teams last played each other back on January 20 in Toronto. The Coyotes came away with the win. The final score was 4-2.

What's At Stake?

These points are far more valuable to the Coyotes than the Leafs right now. The Coyotes have 55 points right now in the Western conference - four points back of the Minnesota Wild and the second wildcard spot. They are on a two-game winning streak at the time of writing.

The Leafs still sit comfortably in the third place position of the Eastern conference - only one point back of the second-place New York Islanders. A playoff spot is essentially a lock at this point.

Questions to answer

Can the Coyotes stay out of the penalty box and take advantage of any and all Toronto penalties?

Going 8-3-2 since New Year’s day, Can Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper keep up with the workload given to him?

Will Arizona crumble at home where they are 10-13-3 against a Toronto team that is 18-7-2 on the road?

Toronto Maple Leafs Injury Report

F Nathan Horton - IR (back).

Arizona Coyotes Injury Report

F Mario Kempe - day-to-day (upper-body).

D Kyle Capobianco - IR (lower-body).

F Brad Richardson - IR (upper-body).

F Nick Schmaltz - IR (lower-body).

F Michael Grabner - IR (eye).

G Antti Raanta - IR (lower-body).

D Jason Demers - IR (lower-body).

F Christian Dvorak - IR (lower-body).

Toronto Maple Leafs at Arizona Coyotes Predictions and Odds

The odds will be updated as they are made available.

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