It’s no secret that Toronto Maple Leafs stars Auston Matthews and Frederik Andersen are close friends. The two youngsters hang out off the ice together, vacation together… and hopefully one day they’ll lead the Leafs to a Stanley Cup championship together.
Because they’re so important to the Leafs though, it’s easy to forget just how young these guys are. Matthews is just 20, while Andersen is 28, so you can cut them some slack if they sometimes don’t come across as the most polished and professional guys. They’re young guys in their 20’s, making millions of dollars and playing hockey for a living. Life is good.
Besides, it’s good to show off your silly side every once in a while… if only because it gives us fans something to chuckle about. Case in point: today’s EPIC stare down match between the two Leafs’ stars.
Check it out:
Tense! Freddy’s steel nerves get the better of Auston and he takes home the victory! Maybe he’ll challenge head coach Mike Babcock to a match next?
Bye-bye Bye Week
In other Leafs news, the team takes to the ice tonight for the first time since Wednesday, January 10th fresh off their NHL mandated bye week. And if you thought they were going to get off easy in their first game back… think again.
The powerhouse St. Louis Blues are in town tonight to take on the Leafs fresh off their own bye week break. The Blues boast an impressive 26-17-3 record this season and have been in a dog fight with the Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators for the top spot in the Central Division the entire season. Led by sniper Vladimir Tarasenko, surprise talent Brayden Schenn and all-around defensive beast Alex Pietrangelo, the Blues are no push-over. If the Leafs expect to get two points tonight, they’ll have to work for every chance they get.
Speaking of the Leafs, they’ll ice a lineup similar to the one that we last saw when they dropped a 4-3 decision to the Ottawa Senators. Rookie Travis Dermott draws back into the team’s lineup, as does center Frederik Gauthier.
Here are tonight’s lines/pairing courtesy of TSN reporter and Leafs insider Kristen Shilton:
For anyone wondering… the goat emoji is Gauthier.
It looks like Blues head coach Mike Yeo will elect to go with back up goaltender Carter Hutton tonight, giving starter Jake Allen the night off.
Puck drops is just after 7pm ET tonight from the Air Canada Centre. Go Leafs, Go!