The Toronto Maple Leafs wrap up their preseason with a home-and-home beginning tonight, and continuing Saturday, versus the Detroit Red Wings.
With Nazem Kadri out for 3-4 weeks, and Tim Connolly due to miss the final two preseason games, several Leafs’ players will be looking to capitalize on the opportunity to lock down roster spots or earn consideration as early call-ups. Among these will be Matt Frattin, looking to cement a role on the third line in place of Kadri; Jay Rosehill, who will be looking to supplant Colton Orr in the enforcer role; Darryl Boyce and Philippe Dupuis will continue to duke it out for the fourth line centre role; and the impressive Jake Gardiner, looking to crack a deep Leafs’ defense. Goaltender Ben Scrivens remains locked in a battle with Jonas Gustavsson for the backup role to James Reimer, while Matthew Lombardi — arguably the greatest benefactor of Connolly’s absence — will continue his quest to prove he is finally healthy.
It should all add up to an intriguing final two games for the boys in blue and white.
Morning links after the jump.
Grabovski Line will be pivotal for the Leafs
James Mirtle examines the overall effectiveness of the Leafs’ defacto second first line.
Must-see games of the 2011-12 season
Danny Grey of The Leafs Nation gives his take on the must-see games of the upcoming season.
Kings, Doughty agree on an 8-year, $56 million deal
Dean Lombardi appears to backed off his stance that Doughty not be paid more per season than Kopitar. Tough spot for the GM, but at the end of the day the team is better with Doughty than without him.
Doughty discusses his new contract
LAKingsInsider had a chat with Doughty shortly after the contract was announced.
Alexander Radulov is not happy. Again.
The mercurial winger has decided he does not like his coaches, and would like to be traded. Shocking, I say!
Is “Wagons East!” the new rallying cry for Detroit?
Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch reveals his team will be moving to the Eastern Conference. Eventually. Someday. Maybe.
Lawyer: Banana tosser at NHL game ‘mortified’
I’ve only one question to ask: who the hell brings a banana to a hockey game?
Shanahan: NHL will look into fighting
Have to respect Shanahan’s willingness to dive headlong into the controversial issues from the get-go. Will be interesting to see where this goes.