After beating the Ottawa Senators in both games last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be icing a very young squad in game three of the preseason against the Montreal Canadiens tonight (7:30 pm, TSN4).

Game 1 and Game 2 were fun to watch after a long layoff from hockey consisting of months of front office news. It’s always nice to see and talk about players playing actual games.

The team is going through a reformation process with regards to systems play and defensive accountability, and you could see signs of it with both teams yesterday. While pre-season hockey is sloppy and full of flubbed passes and broken play, the determination both squads played with has to remain a constant. Relying on opportunistic offense to offset indifferent defensive play has been a failing tradition of the Maple Leafs over the past three seasons.

The Maple Leafs will be debuting young players Mitch Marner and Nikita Soshnikov tonight while Frederik Gauthier enters the action for the first time this preseason. 

The organization’s top prospects—William Nylander and Mitch Marner—will play on a line together alongside a gritty veteran presence in Leo Komarov. It looks as though the Leafs‘ prized duo will have the best goalie in the world to beat tonight in projected Montreal starter Carey Price.

Mike Babcock will be familiar with this setup on defence tonight from his time in Detroit; there is no right shot shot on the defence, with 6 left shot defence playing. That presents challenges on the break out and in the defensive zone in general. Players are on their backhands when in battles on the wall and/or are digging for pucks; will have to receive passes on their backhand or behind them in order to get a forehand pass off. Not ideal.

The game will be televised on TSN4, and in Quebec on RDS.

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015
Left WingCenterRight Wing
Left DefenceRight Defence

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

Left WingCenterRight Wing
De la RoseMitchellKassian
Left DefenceRight Defence

Mike Babcock Pregame Presser: