Only three teams in the preseason had more points than the Leafs (Boston, Washington, Dallas), and you know what’s the best part about that? Nobody really cares.
It was only a few years ago that some kids named Bozak, Stalberg, Kadri, and Gustavsson wowed Leafs Nation with a strong preseason and had fans thinking “hey, maybe this team is better than we thought.” We all know how that ended.
The Maple Leafs and the Red Wings both decided to save their best for the regular season and ice watered down rosters for the last game of the pre-season. Beyond that, I will spare you a lengthy introduction and jump right to the game:
Just one more of these before it’s time for the real deal.
With a back to back wrapping up the preseason schedule leading into a back to back to start the season on Tuesday/Wednesday, the Leafs may opt for a rookie heavy lineup tonight in what Randy Carlyle has described as an opportunity to assess some call-up options.
The Maple Leafs dropped a 5-2 decision to the
Swedish Olympic team Detroit Red Wings tonight. While firm judgement should never be made based on preseason, many of the goals tonight were a testament to the skill that the Red Wings possess and a poor effort from the Leafs. It will be great to renew one of Toronto’s oldest rivalries this season against one of the league’s oldest set of players.
The preseason will wrap up with this weekend’s back-to-back against old-but-new-again rival Detroit.
David Peake/Toronto Sun
Dave Poulin stopped by the Brady and Walker Show on the Fan590 this morning (you can listen to the full audio here), touching on the subjects in the title above as well as JvR, the goaltending battle, Cody Franson, and the Leafs’ cap situation.
James Reimer stood on his head but a plethora of turnovers proved deadly for the Toronto Maple Leafs , as they fell 3 – 2 to the Ottawa Senators on Monday night. Reimer made 34 saves while Senators starter Robin Lehner made 25 in defeat. James van Riemsdyk scored an absolute beauty and Dion Phaneuf collected the other tally for the Leafs who are now 4 – 1 – 1 in the preseason.
Because the league is hilarious, Phil Kessel served the first game of his suspension for his Paul Bunyan antics on Sunday while David Clarkson took his spot on the top line, as he waits for his 10-game suspension to begin on October 1.
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.
Photo Credit: Tumblr
Nothing to see here. Just a boring Sunday night game in the middle of preseason.
It’s a quick turnaround for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as they play the home leg of their preseason series against the Buffalo Sabres tonight. Jonathan Bernier will get the start anyway for the Leafs tonight, and Joffrey Lupul is expected to make his preseason debut. Here’s the primer for tonight.
It was technically-poor hockey, but between the scrums, fights and disorganized play, this was a pretty fun game to watch. Rather fitting for the game to end in a 15-round shootout that included this:
(Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
The first Hockey Night in Canada of the season. Feels good man.
Here’s the rundown of the storylines going into tonight’s matchup vs. the Sabres:
The Leafs took a 3-2 decision in tonight’s preseason match on a late scrappy goal by Dave Bolland (he’s good at those). There was some injury concerns after Nazem Kadri blocked a shot with one of his patented nifty mittens, but early reports indicate it is just a bruise.
Based on the personnel on offer, preseason could become at least a little more interesting tonight.
Randy Carlyle will be icing a few line combinations of intrigue, including a potential “shut down line” combination of Dave Bolland, Mason Raymond and Nikolai Kulemin. How Raymond fares on that unit will be a worthwhile talking point; this seems to be, based on the projected opening night lineup, the spot he is vying for. The line looks good on paper, with a nice balance of two-way acumen, speed, and some grit between Kulemin and Bolland.
Jesse Blacker and Tyler Biggs will join Marlies training camp after getting released from the Leafs training camp roster today.
The Leafs dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Philadelphia Flyers in a sloppy second game of preseason. Remarkably, Phil Kessel took 6 minutes worth of aggressive stick infractions.
Photo: By MLHSer mcloki
The Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Philadelphia Flyers at the Air Canada Centre this evening in the second game of a preseason back-to-back. They won the 1st game in London, 4-3.
The Leafs kicked off preseason with a 4-3 win over the Flyers.
Of course, you shouldn’t read too far into game one of the preseason with only three or four regulars playing for the Leafs, but it is fun to get a look at the likes of Gauthier, Rielly, Leivo and other youth playing all situations hockey at a higher level.