Frazer McLaren has been called up for tonight’s game basically because of this from a few days ago:
Here’s where it kind of makes sense: The Leafs aren’t going to have a functional fourth line whether Frazer McLaren is up or not, so they may as well have him around to go out and maybe fight if something happens during the game and there’s the sense that a score needs to be settled. With the importance of the two points for two teams trying to fend off those behind them and clinch a playoff berth in the East, it seems unlikely the two teams will be anything but business, but there is no shortage of chippy-ness on that Flyer roster and there is (obviously) the risk of it boiling over.
Here’s where it doesn’t: You can only make four recalls after the deadline passes and McLaren is now the first.
This game could be a lot of fun to watch, featuring two offensively-inclined teams lacking defensive stability, both hot in their last 10 games. The Leafs should have the edge in net, where the Flyers are slightly improved by their standards but still sit 24th in save percentage. Could we see something close to the 10-goal game between the Caps and Flyers? Hopefully Jonathan Bernier can prevent that from happening. Claude Giroux enters with six points in his last two games and will need a healthy dose of Dion, who has had good nights against some of the league’s most dangerous offensive threats this season, including a few notable Saturday shut down efforts on Crosby and Ovechkin.
David Clarkson is questionable tonight with a leg strain injury. If he can’t go, one imagines Carlyle moves Bodie up onto the Holland and Raymond line while McClement and McLaren become the 11th and 12th forwards. It really should be Ashton getting a chance next to Holland, though. We’ll know come game time.