The Islanders are obviously a beatable opponent, but don’t face the same mental and physical challenges of a back to back cross-border scenario after a high-tempo game for the Leafs last night. The key for Carlyle’s team will be avoiding the let down coming off of the high in Pittsburgh.
Joffrey Lupul, reportedly out at least six weeks with the fractured forearm, has been given non-roster IR status and Matt Frattin has been called up from the Marlies shortly after being named as a replacement player in the AHL All-Star game. I’d guess Frattin will take over the wing beside Kadri and Komarov, MacArthur goes back in his usual spot with Grabovski and Kulemin, and James van Riesmdyk starts on the top line with Kessel and Lupul after the game he had last night. Maybe MacArthur plays top line LW and JvR stays with the second line that clicked last night. There was no formal practice today so we’ll have to wait and see.
A few notes on the opponent:
– Keith Aucoin returns to Toronto as an Islander tonight. He’s been centering their third line to start the season and actually playing the point on the powerplay.
– Kyle Okposo has moved to the top line RW position, in P.A. Parenteau’s spot, who they let go last off-season. He’s playing beside Matt Moulson and John Tavares. Each have two points through their first two games.
– Tavares will have family present and said yesterday that the ACC is his favourite place to play and the Leafs are his favourite team to beat. You may recall, however, the Leafs’ ended Tavares’ 12-game point streak a year ago today with a 3-0 shutout victory at the ACC. The Leafs beat the Islanders in three of four last season.
Official lineups and starters to come when available.