Home 2013 Preseason Preview and GDT: Preseason Game #6 – Senators at Maple Leafs (7...

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
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. Contact him at [email protected]
655 comments
Thedoor29
Thedoor29

cant wait till friday doing my annual detroit preseason game and bringing my 5 year old to his first game

wiski
wiski

Hey Bon, Eating mangos before smoking marijuana can heighten it's effects

Optimustic
Optimustic

The last two game vs. Detroit should be interesting.  The players on both teams need to be getting a hate on for the opposition to revive the rivalry.   Ooooohhh Baby!

Zep2
Zep2

JVR has looked terrific so far, Lupul looked good and Kadri quiet tonite

On D, Ranger made a couple of poor pinches that hung Riemer and Rielly out to dry

Carlyle must have given Rielly the green lite - he was pushing fwd all nite. He was probably a -2, but not all his doing

For a a couple of big m id round picks, Devane and Broll can play the game a bit

Right now, Devane looks to have Fraser Macs spot and  Ashton takes Clarksons

whalz
whalz

Lost to the Baby sens tonight, good bc now cuts will be made tomorrow..JC, BROLL, HOLZER, Smith are my picks....Keep Ashton and Devane up.

JC had a horrible gm tonight, too many giveaways and no offense.,

GeorgeCastanza
GeorgeCastanza

Fuck I hate Ottawa !  That jersey is repulsive and that organization shouldn't exist.  *spit*

Cameron19
Cameron19

Would be OT in regular season. 

Belfour20/JB-45
Belfour20/JB-45

leafs gave up 37 shots but honestly did any of them look scary to anyone? 

mike_84
mike_84

almost had that tied up

GeorgeCastanza
GeorgeCastanza

C'mon Kadri. Bury one . Fuck I hate these turds preseason or not.

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@Zep2  Liking Devane for subbing on McLaren.. Raymond will take Clarksons spot and Ashton will be on 4th line with Colborne starting in press box.. 

Reilly makes the team for at least first 9 games.. and continues to improve (he will be better defensively if paired with the right partner-  not with Ranger who gambles too much to be paired with Rookie).. 

JVR has dominated in the preseason.. 

wiski
wiski

@whalz I didn't notice 71 out there at the end of the game, possible capspace type of injury? ;)

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@whalz  Colborne at $600k will not be cut.. he will be given more chances as extra forward or TRADED... he wont clear waivers

whalz
whalz

I think your on to something Wiski, I'm gonna BBM nonis right now.

whalz
whalz

I agree with you, he's a cheap option but man I'd trade him with LILES in a heartbeat to get some cap space...Not impressed at all with JC...Ashton and Devane have showed more

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@Optimustic @CanuckUKinToronto  and great skating.. good to watch... just tighten up the giveaways and shots and we will come out ahead way more than the opposition this year.  JVR looks like he and Kessel will kick some ass this year

CanuckUKinToronto
CanuckUKinToronto

@wiski @CanuckUKinToronto @Optimustic  Yes.. great skating .. I would love to see Lupul back with Kessel as the pretty much delivered nightly when together.. Kadri and JVR work well and I would bet Raymond will be on that line while Clarkson is out