The Leafs face the Flyers tonight in London in what will surely be a physical endeavor. Paul Hendrick over at MapleLeafs.com has the lines for tonight’s game:
Some pre-game notes from me:
– Kadri is getting another shot at being a little more dynamic than his previous effort. He looked shaky and nervous in the first game, so hopefully some of the nerves are behind him. Placing him with Versteeg and Armstrong is more than just a gesture of kindness for Kadri; it’s an attempt to form a regular season line. They need to show some form of creativity as a unit to stay together.
– Caputi had an amazing game last night, chipping in a goal by crashing the net for a rebound and then using his size to set up Grabovski’s goal perfectly. He needs to continue this kind of play to ensure himself a spot on the regular season roster.
– McKegg is getting his first taste of NHL action tonight. Playing him on the third line likely means that he’ll be eased into a smaller scoring role. He has incredible skill, so this is McKegg’s chance to make a great first impression to management. Ryan O’Reilly proved last year that you can make the team out of camp without being a first round pick, so McKegg will want to do the same.
– Irwin and Mueller will both be put in scoring roles again tonight. Both players failed to make much of an impact in their first game and need to make their presence felt tonight to not be caught in the next round of cuts from camp.
– Hanson is again being placed in a checking role, being put between two pairs of fists on skates in Brown and Rosehill (who is getting his third look in as many nights). This is likely reflective of what Ron Wilson sees as Hanson’s potential impact on an NHL roster, and the line as a whole has certainly staked a claim thus far to be the Leafs’ energy line to start the season.
– The top pairing of Beauchemin and Schenn could likely see a transition into regular season play. If they both have a strong night together, look for them to remain together in more pre-season action.
– Holzer is playing his first NHL game tonight. He is one of the Leafs’ better defensive prospects and some composure with the puck would go a long way towards endearing him to Leafs brass.
– Lashoff and Richmond together on the third pairing is a logical choice, as they could see a lot of time together for the Marlies this season.
– Reimer and Gustavsson will spend half the game in net each. Both played well in their pre season debuts, so they’ll both be hoping to build on that.
– 12 players were cut from camp today by the Leafs, including the controversial Mike Liambas. Richard Greenop, Justin Hodgman, Dale Mitchell, Mikhail Stefanovich, Josh Engel, Drew Paris and Andrew Enegelage have been sent to the Marlies training camp. In addition, Jamie Devane, Josh Nicholls, Kenny Ryan and Barron Smith were sent to their respective junior teams. This is the second year in a row that Stefanovich has been cut without playing a single game now. It seems his work ethic problems are still apparent.
What are the storylines you’ll be following tonight?