The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to remain undefeated in the preseason as they take on the Buffalo Sabres tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST (broadcast on Sportsnet 360 and streaming on their site for Rogers users).

William Nylander won’t be in the lineup tonight, but should feature tomorrow versus the Montréal Canadiens.

2015 first-round pick, Mitch Marner, will be in the lineup—likely on the wing. Connor Brown appears to be playing his off-wing (the left), and will look to continue building on his strong pre-season showing so far.

On tonight’s fourth line there are two players who are looking to improve upon their poor pre-seasons so far: Sam Carrick and Matt Frattin are looking to crack a lineup with more depth than in previous years, and will have to produce with limited 5v5 ice time and likely no powerplay opportunity.

Frattin, in particular, needs to play to his capabilities or he is going to be playing overseas in the near future.  It’s a shame to witness a player with the physical attributes and, seemingly, the tools necessary to be a good light power forward in the NHL dwindle his career away. Frattin is a great skater with a good shot and is strong as an ox, but there seems to be something lacking in the effort and determination department.

The Buffalo Sabres will be without Jack Eichel, but will have Ryan O’Reilly, Sam Reinhart (playing wing) and former Toronto Maple Leaf, Cody Franson, playing (likely) on the top pairing on defence.

Bernier is tabbed to get the start, with Antoine Bibeau perhaps coming in for relief. Bernier didn’t want to come out the last game he played because he was feeling good, but I’m sure the Leafs are more worried about overworking important veterans and exposing them to potential injuries.

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Buffalo Sabres Projected Lineup
Friday, September 25th, 2015
Left WingCenterRight Wing
Left DefenceRight Defence
Harrington Rielly
Goal: BernierBibeau

Buffalo Sabres Projected Lineup

Left WingCenterRight Wing
MoulsonR. O'ReillyGionta
ReinhartC. O'ReillyBailey
Left DefenceRight Defence
Goal: Lehner

Mike Babcock Game Day Presser

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