Welcome back to The Warmup.
Here, you'll get everything you need to know – including keys to the game, where to watch and listen, and more – before the Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs meet for the first time this season.
The Blue Jackets are back on the road, only a few days removed from a forgettable four-game (0-4-0) trip that began in St. Louis and ended in Washington, D.C. They're taking on a Maple Leafs team that's banged up, but dangerous nonetheless.
Where to watch, listen and stream tonight's game...
WHO: Blue Jackets (13-10-0) vs. Maple Leafs (17-7-2)
WHERE: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ont.
WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Columbus (Jeff Rimer, Jody Shelley)
RADIO: 97.1 FM (Bob McElligott, Dylan Tyrer)
STREAM: ESPN+ (out of market only)
The Blue Jackets got the win they needed on Sunday night – despite it being anything but a masterpiece. Sure, they scored six times and beat the San Jose Sharks (who were ending a long road trip of their own), but as Brad Larsen was quick to point out, they out-scored their mistakes and got two points.
It's a different beast tonight in Toronto. The Maple Leafs are off to one of their best starts in recent memory and sport the NHL's fifth-best power play (25.7% entering tonight's action). While they'll be without Mitch Marner tonight due to a shoulder injury, Toronto's offense still boasts the likes of Auston Matthews, William Nylander and John Tavares. The Blue Jackets will have their hands full tonight.
ALL-TIME: The Blue Jackets are 15-14-1 in 30 all-time meetings with the Maple Leafs, including a 9-6-1 record on the road. The two teams did not meet in 2020-21, and most recently tangled in a five-game Stanley Cup Qualifiers series, ultimately won by Columbus in Game 5.
KEYS TO THE GAME
What do the Blue Jackets need to do to win tonight? We're glad you asked.
- No Freebies: We'll give the Blue Jackets credit – they don't just turn the puck over. They're guilty of some all-timers. Lately, it's been happening far too often (and it's cost them some games). To have any chance against the Maple Leafs tonight, the Blue Jackets must manage the game better.
- Special Teams Success: The Maple Leafs are pretty darn good on the power play. Columbus, on the other hand, has been strong while shorthanded. Simple formula? Don't test your penalty kill too much tonight, because Toronto will make you pay.
- Stuck in Neutral: One way to slow down the Leafs? Don't let them counter – which also means "don't turn it over." Toronto feasts on mistakes and can turn the puck up-ice in the blink of an eye, which makes the Blue Jackets' stability through the neutral zone a key tonight. If they're in position and ready to defend, they'll cut down on odd-man rushes and dangerous chances.
From the head coach...