Preview and GDT: Preseason Game #6 – Senators at Maple Leafs (7 p.m., Leafs TV)

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The Leafs will ice their top 6 forwards and what seems to be (as of today) their opening night defence group against a fairly weak Senators lineup in game #6 of preseason at the Air Canada Center tonight.

Nikolai Kulemin will flanking Kadri in David Clarkson’s projected spot. I think he’s the best fit for filling that role in Clarkson’s absence; of all of the productive line combinations Kadri centered last season, I thought the best iteration was him with Lupul and Kadri. Kulemin played one of his best stretches of hockey since his 30-goal campaign in his stint beside Kadri last season. He was doing all the small things right (first in on the forecheck, defensively responsible), battled hard as he always does, and can keep up with the pace of the other two. His play opened up some space for Lupul and Kadri to work their magic.

On defence, this group of 6 does not instill total confidence in me for when the real games start:

Phaneuf – Gunnarsson
Fraser – Gardiner
Rielly – Ranger

Phaneuf and Gunnarsson have proven capable of being a better than adequate top pairing, and Rielly and Ranger could potentially eat up weaker competition off the bottom pair, hopefully without costing the team too much in their own end of the rink. I’m not confident Fraser-Gardiner would be up to the task against the other team’s second scoring line. Maybe Ranger plays his way onto that second pairing and makes us forget about Franson, but to be honest Ranger and Gardiner seemed to be (while a very talented pairing) hazardous together. It might be best to ease Ranger into NHL action.

Part of my concern is Fraser clearly being out of his element when he flirted with top 4 minutes toward the end of last season. The other part is that Gardiner may need to play with someone capable of compensating for his loose defensive play. In principle, I like the idea of Gardiner being complemented by a stay-at-home guy who can win battles and make a short pass over to Gardiner. I’m just not sure this combination is up to the task under a 20 minute workload against good competition.

James Reimer will get the start, looking to build on his strong performance on Saturday in Buffalo (38 saves, 15 stops in the shootout).

Maple Leafs Pre-Season Lines

Maple Leafs Pre-Season Lines vs. Ottawa Senators
Forwards
JvRBozakKessel
LupulKadriKulemin
DevaneMcClementBroll
AshtonColborneBodie
Defense
PhaneufGunnarsson
GardinerFraser
RiellyRanger
Goalies
Reimer
MacIntyre

Senators Pre-Season Lines

Senators Pre-Season Lines vs. Maple Leafs
Forwards
MacArthurTurrisStone
DziurzynskiSmithNeil
GreeningDa CostaPetersson
CowickO'BrienRobinson
Defense
CowenWiercioch
BorowieckiCeci
SdaoCorvo
Goalies
Lehner
Hammond
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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • Mind Bomb

    Game Day !!!!!!! 
    Leafs 19 Ott 0

  • Komas Taberle

    I want to see Devane destroy Neil, Ashton annihilate Smith and Broll brutalize Dzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzsleepy.

  • Uncle Otis

    Komas Taberle 
    Devane vs Kassian rematch on tap
    Kassian wont get the jump this time :)

  • Cameron19

    CanuckUKinToronto Ugh, nothing major, but still a joke.

  • Jordan29

    so just preseason for kessel?

  • maple1967leafs

    shannys on nhl network

  • maple1967leafs

    he talks about the 1st game when kessel swang his stick

  • Cameron19

    maple1967leafs He went back and found other incidents?  I thought you had to be a repeat offender for that to be used?

  • maple1967leafs

    Shanahan is  a prick

  • Jordan29

    Glad kessel is not done for the regular season. I think Clarkson should also appear. Rule said you cant leave the bench to join a fight but he didnt do anything

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIChttps://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC/status/382620059874521088
    Kessel’s suspension is for remainder of preseason

  • theacs1966

    Fuck me, those Olympic jerseys are ooglay.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Woooooooo, finally shanny does something right!

  • mcloki

    An Scott walks away Scott free. Send Devane out there and pummel Spezza. Maybe we can get Spezza suspended fora few games.

  • theacs1966

    Dangle_My_Berries I don’t care about this suspension, we already know what Kessel can do.  I like the fine the bush league coach got.

  • Mind Bomb

    Jordan29The coaching staff was still selecting there people, they  told Clarkson to go on
    for a Line change, at least thats what going to come from the NHLPA
    Lawyers :) He had a legal right to be on the ice, as the mapleleafs
    coaching staff were exercising their  right to a last line change

  • theacs1966

    Mind Bomb Jordan29 Ya, he thought it was all over and just went out to clean up all the gloves and sticks.  Sounds good to me.

  • Mind Bomb

    theacs1966 Mind Bomb Jordan29 Just call Saul :) Thats who we need lol :)

  • theacs1966

    maple1967leafs Is swang a word?  An English word?  I thought the past tense was swung?

  • MikePerri

    mcloki I have not read anything official but the rumour mill is saying the head coach is getting a fine. There is really nothing Shanny could do with regards to Scott.

  • theacs1966

    MikePerri mcloki It’s on the TSN site.

  • mcloki

    It’s a small fine. 25000. So for 25000 I can have my opponent lose 2 players for 13 games. I pay that fine all fucking day long.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/wyshynskihttps://twitter.com/wyshynski/status/382622388476583936
    Again, first change, last change, quick change, short change, I don’t care. Player sparks line brawl. Coach gets fined for it. The end.

  • juliesucks

    theacs1966Fack you

  • mcloki

    Conduct unbecoming a player in the ?NHL. The coach put a bounty on Kessels head. Yah nothing wrong.

  • theacs1966

    juliesucks theacs1966 That should be, fuck me” .  Wish someone would, it be better than being on here.

  • Mind Bomb

    mcloki  I bet Pegula is paying that as well bro

  • mcloki

    I pay that fine all day long. It’s worth it. I’d do I right before the playoffs so Crosby gets suspended for 3 games.

  • theacs1966

    CanuckUKinToronto AFter he pounds the shit out of Gallagher.

  • Mind Bomb

    theacs1966 juliesucks Hahhah, Dude check out the advertisments here, plenty of Options, Asian, Couger :)

  • Cameron19

    It’s a harmless suspension in the end, but wow, what a joke the league is.  Shanahan is ridiculously awful and stupid.

  • theacs1966

    Mind Bomb theacs1966 juliesucks Wait.  There’s sex on the internet?

  • juliesucks

    Mind Bomb 
    That’s covering most of my hobbies.

  • TOHockeyNut

    The next time a goal tender swings his stick at a players ankles (happens all the time) it will no longer be slashing it will be a 3 game suspension for intent to injure. 
    Is this not the ruling that Shanny just made?

  • reenergized

    Mind Bomb theacs1966 juliesucks All i have is some fat chick … I like your browser better

  • ProfessorRance

    Cameron19 Agreed. If it were three regular season games I would have lost it.

  • newkb

    Cameron19 maple1967leafs According to Shanahan, the second time he swung his stick he became a repeat offender.

  • maple1967leafs

    TOHockeyNut  only if he had SWUNG it the game before :)

  • ProfessorRance

    theacs1966 Dangle_My_Berries Wish he was suspended 10 games too.

  • theacs1966

    reenergized Mind Bomb theacs1966 juliesucks I don’t have any ads?

  • Burtonboy

    newkb Cameron19 maple1967leafs Cripe there are a lot of repeat offenders in the NHL …Like 700 of them

  • peterbleafs

    I wish LeafsTV would just die.

  • maple1967leafs

    TOHockeyNut i hopes me grammer is improving

  • TOHockeyNut

    maple1967leafs TOHockeyNut How many times have you seen a goalie do the 2 handed chop (as best as a goalie can do with his gloves on) at the ankles of a player in front of the net. Most goalies would be repeat  offenders.

  • Cameron19

    maple1967leafs TOHockeyNut Friggin’ ridiculous.  Wasn’t aware we could invent prior history to make rulings now. Where was that every time they say “the player has no prior history”.  I guess that doesn’t apply to Leaf players.

  • Black_Hawk

    I think kuly on kadri and lupul line is a good idea

  • vji67

    Cameron19 Interesting. You strike me as pretty level-headed about hockey related things normally, so I’m genuinely surprised about your take on this. 
    I mean, I’m as die hard of a Leafs fan as anyone here, but I kind of understand that Shanahan and the league *had* to do something in this instance. If they don’t suspend Phil they face endless scorn from the hockey universe for being “bias towards the Leafs” (which is impossible, but still) and as much as I hate to admit it (b/c I love Phil and completely 100% condone his actions on Sunday. No joke.) they have to send a message about players using their stick the way Phil did. Granted, it’s a bit ass backwards that this kind of stuff has gone unpunished before, but the level of attention, scrutiny and analysis this brawl got was out of this world. One way or another the league was going to have to address it and potentially dole out punishments. 
    So, an undisclosed fine to Ron Rolston (considering there was probably nothing they could technically pin on Scott for his actions) to discourage those kind of antics and 3 meaningless preseason games for Phil to discourage that kind of stick work seems pretty fair in the end.

  • Tim Horton

    Jordan29 The rules says you can’t leave the bench to join an altercation, not necessarily a fight… I think he is screwed.

  • theacs1966

    ProfessorRance theacs1966 Dangle_My_Berries I’m not even pissed it was Kessel.  I”m pissed because a dump truck tried to beat up a guy who never fights and is much smaller, the definition of gutless, and if his coach told him to mug Kessel, ya, he should be suspended.

  • Black_Hawk

    I expected worse so that shows u how big a joke the league is when it comes to leafs