Per the Globe and Mail: “The lineup for the Leafsâ€™ first preseason game against the Boston Bruins at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday will contain plenty of youngsters like Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak, Phil Oreskovic, Jay Rosehill, Andre Deveaux as well as veterans Colton Orr, Wayne Primeau and Jason Allison, who is trying to make a comeback. Look for Allison to centre a line with Jiri Tlusty and Nikolai Kulemin on the wings. Joey MacDonald will play half of the game in goal.”
While head coach Ron Wilson did not release the entire lineup, and likely will not until game-time, he did say “it’ll be a big lineup.” Big, not exactly in names, but in size, and in looking at the few names that were mentioned, that could be an understatement.
Jay Rosehill – 6’3 210lbs, Phil Oreskovic – 6’3″ 217lbs, Andre Deveaux – 6’4″ 217lbs, Colton Orr – 6’3″ 220lbs, Wayne Primeau – 6’3″ 230lbs, Jason Allison – 6’3″ 205lbs.
It seems as though the comments of “making sure our [players] aren’t picking their teeth out of the boards every night” is standing true if the rookies get to play against the Boston Bruins tonight with these men backing them. I’m sure if Bozak, Kadri, Tlusty or Kulemin are bumped hard enough tonight, someone will pay dearly.
These men hit hard. During a scrimmage at the new practice facility, Ben Ondrus was hammered into the boards so hard it broke the door, but instead of being delayed for an hour as they had it fixed, the team just opened a new door, walked through, and stepped onto their second ice surface. Talk about being spoiled.
With the lineup featuring some heavy bodies, Ron Wilson has assured us that they are there to deliver a whole lot of pain. “Some guys are itching to show us what they can do,” he said. Keep in mind, the coaching staff had to tell all the players to refrain from dropping them in team scrimmages.
Tonight kicks off a 4 day Leafs pre-season event as they will play PhiladelphiaÂ tomorrow night, Pittsburgh on Friday night, and Philadelphia once again on Saturday. And I, for one, can’t wait.
Micheal A. Aldred