Leafs down another winger; lose Kulemin, recall Abbott; Reimer gets the start vs. OTT

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Nikolai Kulemin broke a small bone in his ankle blocking a shot in yesterday’s practice and will miss 2+ weeks of action.

With Clarkson still on the shelf for 8 more games due to suspension, the Leafs are looking paper thin at right wing all of a sudden. They’ve called up Spencer Abbott to replace Kulemin in the top 9 forwards. Jamie Devane was recalled in wake of Mark Fraser’s injury, as the Leafs have opted for 14 forwards and 6 defence for the time being. Morgan Rielly will step into Fraser’s place, and is expected to play alongside Cody Franson tonight.

Fraser was moved to the long term injured reserve yesterday, freeing up $1.275 million in cap space, which Spencer Abbott ($650,000) and Jamie Devane ($701,000) are now occupying.

An undrafted signing out of the University of Maine who tallied 13 goals and 33 points in 50 games for the Marlies last season before adding 5 points in 5 games in the playoffs, the 25-year-old Abbott didn’t look out of place in his preseason appearances. At 5’9, 170-pounds, Abbott does not bring the same physical and penalty killing elements Kulemin offers night in, night out. He’ll be missed, and the Leafs are going to have to find a way to cope without the depth of their two best two-way, grinding wingers.

The lines seem to be shaping up along these lines for tonight’s Battle of Ontario (just a guess):

JvR – Bozak – Kessel
Lupul – Kadri – Abbott
Raymond – Bolland – Bodie
Ashton – McClement – Orr

Phaneuf – Gunnarsson
Rielly – Franson
Gardiner – Ranger

Reimer
Bernier

James Reimer is expected to get the start in net against Ottawa, an opponent he holds a lifetime 8-1-1 record against.

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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]
  • Zep2

    2 games in ,can you spell ADVERSITY

  • 2minutes

    Colts will be a busy boy tonight with that line up. Absolutely insane not to dress Devane tonight.

  • lieffan

    Zep2 I’m scared

  • PEIleafnation

    yah neil the rat will be running at will

  • Alec Brownscombe

    @lieffan Zep2 Gonna need some more herculean efforts from the goaltenders to get through this with a decent record

  • InNonisWeTrust

    2minutes Bodie can fight as well and he’s shown that he can play strong defensive hockey

  • Loric76

    Ok enough stupid bad luck injuries already

  • PeterZeroOne

    Alec Brownscombe Zep2 Sens played last night, so the Leafs have a slight advantage there.  Though they managed to throw 46 shots at Miller… that could be trouble.

  • 2minutes

    But he hasn’t. While I think he will end up getting into it tonight, Devane is still the guy I’d be going with.

  • Zep2

    PEIleafnation I wonder if someone like Ranger wont take the opportunity to have a go at Niel.
    Hes stong as bull, so is Franson by the look of it

  • InNonisWeTrust

    2minutes he dropped the gloves against Kaletta and then Drew Bagnall the night after in the pre season.

  • http://www.gregcaughill.com/ DarthBurke

    Another Nazem Kadri hat trick would go a long way towards helping us win tonight!!

  • JR from Halifax

    TheCanucksnaphook Fucking grinch

  • GreekGod

    TheCanucksnaphook 
    4-1 Leafs. Kadri with two, Kessel, and Gardiner score tonight

  • Doorman

    TheCanucksnaphook BOOOOOOOOO!!!

  • Leafs rule

    TheCanucksnaphook What??? no fin way ,u missed breafast didnt U ,sens suc ,LEafs 4 turds 1 U …..

  • Komas Taberle

    PeterZeroOne Alec Brownscombe Zep2 I watched the game, allmost every shot came form the outside.

  • Leafs rule

    Doorman TheCanucksnaphook He has got me an other s riled now ,bet thats the plan loland now hes laughin ,the pwick ;lol

  • Leafs rule

    DarthBurke re; Kadri hat trick  ,hes due unles neil gets him

  • wiski

    So does this mean a Ranger and Gards combo?

  • Knights2Leafs

    Shift_Disturber1 
    Yeah, cumulative effect, but so far I think it’s manageable.  That’s what we need depth for.  I don’t think the Turds have much sympathy for us after last year.

  • wendelsway1

    -Keon- Yep….that’s what good teams do….and Leafs are a good team  :)

  • gunner_36

    Sucks about Kulimen, I thought he was really good the first game. But why Spencer Abbott? I didn’t think he did much in any of the games I saw him.

  • Leafs rule

    Knights2Leafs Shift_Disturber1re I don’t think the Turds have much sympathy for us after last year.>> f them turds and the boat they came over on GO LEAFS GO

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/MLHS_Chrishttps://twitter.com/MLHS_Chris/status/386540666613813248
    I can’t wait to hear HNIC talk about how great MacArthur was for the Leafs and ignoring the giveaways, lazy back checking, soft play.

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/DaveAMcCarthyhttps://twitter.com/DaveAMcCarthy/status/386542039661170688
    Craig Anderson starts vs https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash for 2nd straight night. MacLean: He played well last night vs https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Sabres&src=hash. Really it was a pretty easy decision.

  • GreekGod

    Shift_Disturber1 
    I hope so

  • Leafs rule

    TheCanucksnaphook Leafs rule Doorman I hear that ,but we the power to step up ,they just havent told you …..lol yet

  • Waiting4LSC

    I would have liked our Big Mac on D to take Fraser’s place.

  • gunner_36

    TheCanucksnaphook Zep2 PEIleafnation Yep, Neil is a good fighter, you’ve got to give credit where it’s due. I mean he was good enough to tie up Orr and Chara and end both fights in a draw. I don’t think Ranger or Franson would do too well with Neil.

  • JMAC17

    Shift_Disturber1 so far its reported he will be scratched

  • Komas Taberle

    -Keon- They shoud ljust have the bagpipers play one song and drop the puck, no more old timers please.

  • wiski

    TheCanucksnaphook Try go leafs go 😉 4-2 sens wont work

  • JMAC17

    wiski Hope RC keeps them far away from Spezza and Ryan!

  • gunner_36

    InNonisWeTrust 2minutes And got destroyed.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Shift_Disturber1
    With both Clarkson and Kulie out we need some offense.  Both Ashton and Devane is not enough.

  • GreekGod

    TheCanucksnaphook Shift_Disturber1 -Keon- 
    I agree. If anything keep Abbott in the press box.

  • wiski

    TheCanucksnaphook -Keon- DM your buddy Henny

  • GreekGod

    Knights2Leafs Shift_Disturber1 
    Offense from Kulie? Devane can produce points. All these two need to do is crash the net. We got our top scorers still in place.

  • Knights2Leafs

    TheCanucksnaphook
    Phook, he’s surprised me with his slickness.  We need one smurf like guy to stare down guys like Conacher

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/TorontoMarlieshttps://twitter.com/TorontoMarlies/status/386544852168888320
    Gates are open at Ricoh Coliseum for Game 1! Marlies v. Griffins @ 3p :: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23MarliesLive&src=hash http://t.co/s17IF0Ewpn

  • Knights2Leafs

    GreekGod
    Kulemin is our leading scorer.

  • gunner_36

    Shift_Disturber1 gunner_36 But we already called Devane up, right? Move Ashton or Raymond up and put Devane on the 4th line. We rolled 11 forwards in the playoffs last year.

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590https://twitter.com/DavidAlter590/status/386545172089409536
    I’m light of Kulemin news, he has officially been placed on the IR… Retroactive to Wednesday being his first day. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash

  • Knights2Leafs

    TheCanucksnaphook
    Well, I agree with the earlier comments about Ashton.  Playing with a face mask is a huge disadvantage.  I’d rather Devane and Abbott over Ashton tonight.

  • Loric76

    autocorrect got away with one…guessing he meant “In light of…”

  • wiski

    Loric76 Wasn’t he hurt yesterday?

  • Loric76

    wiski Loric76 that’s what I thought…maybe you go back to the last game?

  • wiski

    Loric76 Well hello there 😉

  • wiski

    -Keon- Luck if you can check your coat for a fiver these days. 😉