The ‘B’ lineup will go for the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight in Detroit for their second-from-last preseason game (7:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet One).
The players to watch tonight: After a good showing in light minutes with the NHL group on Wednesday, the Rasmus Sandin – Martin Marincin pairing will play a lot more this evening as they look to clinch their opening-night lineup spots on the team’s bottom pairing.
Up front, Dmytro Timashov and Nic Petan are going to see a lot of ice as well as the two look to fight their way onto the 23-man roster for Oct. 2. Kenny Agostino and Pontus Aberg have everything to play for as well in their final game before cuts are made.
In net, Michael Hutchinson will likely go the distance for the Leafs in his final preseason performance. He played with the Leafs‘ B group on Monday in Montreal and pitched a 38-save shutout; another strong performance tonight might influence the Leafs‘ thinking on whether they go with him in the backup role to start the year or if they look elsewhere once the cuts are made and the waiver wire fills up across the league.
Game Day Quotes
Babcock on the Sandin – Marincin pairing:
You want them to really help each other out. They are looking to try to be our third pair. We put them in this game here tonight so they would play big, big minutes so we could watch them together and just see where it is at.
We’ve got four and we are trying to get a feel for the rest. That is what we are doing here again. We moved Gravel and Holl into the other group so that we see them against some NHL players tomorrow and we get a read on them. We’re trying to figure out what we have in anybody, but partnership is real important.
Babcock on why they played so few minutes last game:
When you get a bunch of new players, you don’t know how to use everybody and you’re in the process of learning how to use everybody. I don’t know if the minutes were good or not good. They played good, that’s all I know. They played in the right situations. I was happy with them. I don’t spend a whole lot of time worrying about that sheet.
Babcock on the battle for the left side of the fourth line:
Timashov played seven minutes in the game and I thought he played seven great minutes. I am watching him and I watch them to play 20 minutes tonight, but I want them to play like they’re on the fourth line. If you get out there and you start toe-dragging and turning the puck over — wrong answer. You want to play hard. You want to track. You want to be physical. You want to hang onto pucks. You want to take care of the puck. We miight have an opportunity of you.
Sometimes looking at the groups isn’t giving you the right read. It’s what I am trying to do and what I’m trying to see. We’ve put guys in certain spots to play them more to see them more, if that makes any sense.
Babcock on naming a captain:
We’ve been through the process now. We’ve been together for a while. We’ve got good players and good people. We have a real good leadership group. We are going to end up with guys who don’t wear letters that are a big part of our leadership group. That is just part of it. We met as a management team and we’ve met our leadership group. We’ve gone through all this stuff. We are just on course for what we were planning on doing the whole time. Nothing has changed.
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
Timashov – Gaudet – Petan
Archibald – Brooks – Bracco
Clune – Engvall – Aberg
Agostino – Elynuik – Read
Sandin – Marincin
Harpur – Schmaltz
Kivihalme – Liljegren
Agostino – Petan – Bracco
Engvall – Brooks – Aberg
Detroit Red Wings Projected Lines
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) September 27, 2019