Preview and GDT: Maple Leafs at Flyers (7:30 p.m., TSN)

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Team Records: Leafs – 1-0-0 at Flyers – 0-0-0
2012-13 Season Series: 2-1 for the Leafs; 12-9 cumulative score.
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The potent Leafs offense would be wise to test Steve Mason early and often tonight.

The Flyers will have the rest advantage to go along with the added momentum that comes with playing in their home opener. The Leafs got off to a good road start last night, with three or four positive shifts to begin the game, before opening the scoring thanks to a few powerplay opportunities. They coughed up the lead and fell behind rather quickly later on in the first, but the good start is something to replicate.

Troy Bodie was a bright spot on the third line, while JvR, Raymond, Kadri and Kessel were all dangerous throughout the night.  Lupul was a little quiet, but we can’t expect that to last.

Let’s hope to see both Ranger and Gardiner, if both remain in the lineup tonight, start to settle down. Ranger was shaky at points, while Gardiner had a hand in two goals against. It could have been three if not for a nice save from Reimer five minutes into the proceedings. Early on in the first, Gardiner got turned around at his own blueline by Rene Borque. It was a nice chip play by Borque, but Gardiner got caught on the wrong side and Borque walked right in for a good look at the net.

On the first Hab goal, Bozak and Kessel’s slow reaction on the 4 on 4 – a few moments of puck watching – were in part to blame. Also contributing to the breakdown was Gardiner, who ended up standing beside Ranger and one Hab while Eller stood alone in front. Gardiner tried to make an aggressive play on Galchenyuk, tying up his stick as the young Hab was attempting a tip on the initial point shot, but he wound up taking himself out of the play.

On the Canadiens’ third goal late in the third, Gardiner bobbled the puck at the blueline – which isn’t a big deal on its own, it seemed to be a result of a bouncing puck off a bad or deflected pass – but the real problem was letting Eller skate by him unfettered.

James Mirtle wondered if Gardiner may even come out as soon as tonight in favour of Morgan Rielly:

Gardiner is a key part to this defence core’s success this season, but he could find himself back in Carlyle’s dog house all over again before long if he doesn’t tighten up his game. His ability to do what he does best while taking care of his defensive responsibilities was evident in the Bruins series, and the Leafs are relying on a big season from him. I’d give Gardiner the chance to settle in before yanking him for those reasons.

As for the Flyers, it could be the same old story as years past. Flyers fans are hoping a healthy Andrej Meszaros and the addition of Mark Streit stabilizes their defence, and that one of Ray Emery or Steve Mason can somehow escape the clutches of the Philly goaltending graveyard and emerge as a decent starter.

Up front, this is a deep and dangerous team the Leafs are facing:

Scott Hartnell – Claude Giroux – Jakub Voracek
Brayden Schenn – Vincent Lecavalier – Wayne Simmonds
Max Talbot – Sean Couturier – Matt Read
Jay Rosehill – Adam Hall – Zac Rinaldo

The ability for the Flyers to roll three good, balanced lines will test the Leafs’ defensive mettle tonight.

It looks like Jay Rosehill will dress in the place of Scott Laughton to account for Colton Orr’s presence in the lineup. We could also see a middleweight bout(s) between Rinaldo and an Ashton, Fraser or Bodie.

Jonathan Bernier will make his regular season debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs in goal, looking to answer back after a pretty good performance from Reimer last night.

Projected Lineups (unofficial, will update closer to game time):

Maple Leafs Lines vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Toronto Maple Leafs vs The Philadelphia Flyers Lineups, Oct. 2nd, 2013
Left WingCenterRight Wing
JvRBozakKessel
LupulKadriRaymond
BodieBollandKulemin
AshtonMcClementOrr
Left DefenseRight Defense
PhaneufGunnarsson
Gardiner (Rielly?)Franson
FraserRanger (Rielly?)
Goalies
Bernier
Reimer

Philadelphia Flyers Lines vs. Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs vs The Philadelphia Flyers Lineups, Oct. 2nd, 2013
Left WingCenterRight Wing
HartnellGirouxVoracek
SchennLecavalierSimmonds
TalbotCouturierRead
RosehillHallRinaldo
Left DefenseRight Defensem
TimonenSchenn
CobournStreit
GrossmanMeszaros
Goalies
Mason
Emery
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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]
  • mcloki

    I’d want Ranger in there against a larger Philly team. They like to buzz the net.

  • Burtonboy

    Is Vorachek back ? Last I heard he was injured

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy I heard probable

  • Burtonboy

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy Thanks

  • wiski

    Forgot all about Vinny,curious to see how he looks in orange.

  • mr_hanie

    Its interesting Philly has built a team with depth at center but weak on D and goaltending. Its the opposite
    of a lot of GM’s

  • Burtonboy

    wiski Like a fuckin big pumpkin. lol

  • Burtonboy

    Got a feeling Orr ,Bodie and Fraser are gonna have a busy night.

  • Airfreshener

    Can use center depth to acquire those things?

  • mcloki

    Burtonboy The league will tell the ref to really clamp down on this game. That long deadly silence in the Forum/Bell Center last night probably scared the brass a whole bunch.

  • Leafs rule

    Burtonboy Yes busy I would bet ,Thinking Rosehill will b ,awww fuc ,let the best team win the game ,That would be the leafs lord ,right ?

  • mr_hanie

    Airfreshener Some GM’s say depth at center is the key to winning. Nothing else matters. Oilers are another team built that way.

  • Burtonboy

    We will see. lol

  • Airfreshener

    mr_hanie Airfreshener I’m of the belief you go nowhere without preventing goals from being scored.

  • Dan39

    mcloki Burtonboy Oh God, I hope not. This has potential to be a good, hateful game.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/TSNResearchhttps://twitter.com/TSNResearch/status/385492915411116032
    Steve Mason has faced TOR 4 times in career(2-2-0)both wins in TOR both losses at home, 2 losses 4G-14 shots, 4G-11 shots, pulled both times

  • mr_hanie

    Airfreshener mr_hanie Scoring goals and offense puts paying customers in their seats. Different ways to build teams.

  • wiski

    NHL Centre Ice has a free preview until Oct 19 just so you know

  • Dan39

    CanuckUKinToronto mcloki He just got nervous, I’m sure. i mean he left hockey for personal issues for a few years – it’s not a surprise that in the first game he got a little uhhgg you know whatever it is mentally.

  • wiski

    Burtonboy Let the tradition continue

  • Airfreshener

    mr_hanie Airfreshener 😉 winning makes people happy to win, you have to score more goals than you let in, how people interpret that is up to them. Id rather see a game with 5 goals total than 10. Just my humble opinion though.

  • wiski

    Burtonboy Rosehill needs a hello for that hit on Loops last year

  • mcloki

    Burtonboy wiski That may the first joke I’ve heard from you BB. Nice one.

  • wiski

    CanuckUKinToronto mr_hanie Bob won the vezna lol

  • Burtonboy

    mcloki Burtonboy wiski I come up with the odd one every now and than :)

  • Airfreshener

    Dan39 mcloki Burtonboy It will be. The attention makes the league money.

  • Burtonboy

    Airfreshener Dan39 mcloki Burtonboy Actually the GM’s and the League tried to eliminate staged fighting back in 2009 by handing out game misconducts for it. The PA wouldn’t agree

  • Airfreshener

    Burtonboy Airfreshener Dan39 mcloki Im not a advocate for staged fighting either. I love it when a game gets intense and emotion based fights occur much more entertaining.

  • Burtonboy

    Airfreshener Burtonboy Dan39 mcloki Neither do I but I see the players side of it though. Too many assholes like Prust and Kalata have to be held accountable somehow. I just don’t like carrying a player who does nothing but fight.

  • wiski

    Projected lines
    http://blog.mapleleafs.com/mondays-leafs-practice-lines/

  • bear19

    CanuckUKinToronto mr_hanie  
    disagree on Lindy..helluva goalie.

  • Dan39

    wiski Burtonboy Well Orr will have his own motivation. He certainly dealt with Prust after being on the receiving end of a concussion from him and Rosehill clean dropped him last round… Orr’s going to want to set that straight.

  • dlb eh

    i agree that Lupul wasn’t getting a lof of chances last night, but he did have some high energy shifts and high tempo stickhandling and mucking along the boards on a few forechecks.  so the heart’s pumping.
    i’ll go out on a branch and say Gardiner and Lupul and Bernier will make the difference tonight, in our favour.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/markhmastershttps://twitter.com/markhmasters/status/385505705622384640
    Luke Schenn jokes about Kessel’s slash-happy pre-season: ‘He’s been working on his golf swing all summer … he was still in golf mode’

  • wiski

    Happy birthday to Kessel

  • Alec Brownscombe

    -Keon- Yeah he’s ready

  • GreekGod

    -Keon- Alec Brownscombe 
    Phaneuf is my only concern tonight. He played way too much last night and it showed towards the end of the game. It might spill over to tonight.

  • wiski

    -Keon- wiski yours today mine was yesterday, happy bday big fella

  • Knights2Leafs

    Alec Brownscombe
    Can we match up Ashton against Giroux/  Or Phil if he’s got his golf swing going.

  • Jmessih

    Alec Brownscombe -Keon- unfortunately

  • Knights2Leafs

    Alec;
    Just catching up and didn’t get to read much of the last thread.  Did you get a chance to ask how they see Blacker’s progression?

  • peterbleafs

    Flyers 7 Leafs 1, this is not a night for anything good to happen.  Book it.

  • wiski

    peterbleafshttp://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1494769  with philly

  • wiski

    -Keon- wiski the rusty-nails were flowing 😉

  • GreekGod

    peterbleafs 
    Not much of a B Leafer are you?

  • Cameron19

    mr_hanie Airfreshener The Oilers do not have depth at center.

  • Jmessih

    wiski peterbleafs prob not in top 6 tho

  • Knights2Leafs

    Cameron19
    Or at least any healthy depth.

  • Bring the Cup Home

    2-1 leafs tonight.  bernier with a rock solid outing.  kessel with his first goal.  franson with the other.

  • wiski

    Jmessih wiski peterbleafs scratched tonight