The Phoenix Coyotes come into Toronto on Tuesday night reflecting their coach's detail-oriented approach and riding a hot hand in goal.
That's precisely the opposite of the Maple Leafs of late.
Toronto is coming off a 5-2 loss at home to Ottawa, a game in which the Leafs made careless plays and took undisciplined penalties.
The Leafs have won just once in the last four games, during which they have been outscored 19-5.
The Coyotes usually play hard for most of the 60 or more minutes in a game, so they'll provide a good barometer for the Leafs .
Coach Ron Wilson flippantly said Monday that a "goalie wearing two pads and a mask" will be in the crease for his team at Air Canada Centre.
But it's a hard decision with James Reimer out indefinitely with an apparent concussion.
No scoring backup
Jonas Gustavsson was terrible exactly one week ago in the same building, although when he exited the game, his teammates hadn't supplied him with as much as a goal.
Ben Scrivens has been terrific in road wins in St. Louis and Columbus, but has allowed 10 goals in 118 minutes of play this season at ACC.
According to reports from the morning skate, Scrivens will likely get the call Tuesday night.
Also of concern for the club are the subpar totals, compared to last season, of trio Mikael Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and Clarke MacArthur.
"They've got to find ways of getting more pucks to the net instead of overpassing it," Wilson said from the team's practice facility in Etobicoke in suburban Toronto.
The Coyotes have a number of players on their roster who have spent significant time in the Toronto area, either in childhood or junior hockey play — Cal O'Reilly, Raffi Torres, Paul Bissonnette and Patrick O'Sullivan, for example.
None has been more important to the club so far this season than Kingston, Ont., native Mike Smith, who is coming off his first shutout of the season.
Smith made 31 saves to improve his save percentage to .931 in a 3-0 result in San Jose. Since allowing six goals in the season opener, the netminder's goals-against average is 1.88.
Smith has allowed less than two goals per game since returning from a knee injury midway through last season while with Tampa Bay, including some noteworthy relief in the Eastern Conference final.
Signed as a free agent in the summer by the Coyotes, Smith is 2-0-1 against Toronto in his career with a .922 save percentage and 2.59 GAA.
O'Sullivan, Boyd Gordon and Radim Vrbata were the goal scorers against the Sharks.
Coyotes on road winning streak
Phoenix (8-4-3) heads into the game winners of four straight on the road.
Coach Dave Tippett told the team's website Monday that staying out of the penalty box and improved faceoff results have allowed the Coyotes to bounce back from last year's dip in penalty-killing effectivenes. They sit fourth in the NHL when short-handed.
Tippett is once again working with other teams' castoffs, and he praised former Montreal and Anaheim player Kyle Chipchura for his solid two-way work.
The rosters have changed wholesale during the span, but Phoenix has outscored the Maple Leafs 26-11 in winning the last five games of the series, including 5-1 at home in last season's only meeting.
Toronto returns to action Thursday in Nashville before returning home for a Hockey Night in Canada matchup on Saturday against Washington (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).