Tonight, we get our first glimpse at the new-look first line of Tyler Bertuzzi, Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner in the Maple Leafs’ preseason home opener (7 p.m. EST, Sportsnet).
The forward combination Sheldon Keefe has been rolling out in camp as his fourth line — Noah Gregor, David Kampf, and Ryan Reaves — will also feature tonight.
For a full breakdown of tonight’s storylines and roster battles — including Nick Robertson, Pontus Holmberg, Joseph Woll, and Gregor (all will play this evening) — check out Anthony Petrielli’s deep dive from this morning.
Game Day Quotes
Sheldon Keefe on Tyler Bertuzzi’s first opportunity to gain familarity with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner:
That is what these games are for.
If you are focused on Bert, it is about looking comfortable with his teammates and linemates while getting comfortable with our system, getting used to blue and white, and all of these things. You sort of forget about how the list grows for those who are new.
I am excited to watch those guys tonight.
Keefe on the expectation for Joseph Woll in camp and preseason:
Pick up where he left off. That is really it.
He sort of fast-tracked his development last season to become a real legitimate option for us in goal. Thus, he has us really confident in him coming into this season.
Stay humble. Put the work first. Go out and do his thing.
Keefe on his impressions of the Domi-Nylander duo in yesterday’s game:
I thought he was good. The thing I liked the most about Willy’s game is that I thought he and Max really connected a lot. They created a lot of our best offense.
Max, in particular, showed his playmaking ability. I was really intrigued to see what with Willy, in particular, who is one of our most dangerous people on the rush. It is a real strength of Max’s game — to create and make plays under pressure, find people, and see the ice. I thought he put that on display.
Willy’s minutes probably got higher than I wanted them to be just with the nature of special teams, 6-on-5, having him on the power play and the penalty kill. I think that makes it even harder because playing center on its own means a little bit more. In your first game, to take on all of that, I thought he handled it well.
He got better on faceoffs. He struggled in the first period but was well above 50% in the second and third periods. All of that is a good night for Willy.
Ryan Reaves on his goals for preseason:
Work on the good habits and try to get the summer habits out. Stopping in position, getting to the right spots, and stopping in front of the net. Sometimes those habits can creep back into your game early. It’s just kind of working on those and getting the fundamentals down.
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup
Tyler Bertuzzi – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner
Nick Abruzzese – Pontus Holmberg – Nick Robertson
Noah Gregor – David Kampf – Ryan Reaves
Joseph Blandisi – Easton Cowan – Ryan Tverberg
Jake McCabe – John Klingberg
Mark Giordano – Mikko Kokkinen
Marshall Rifai – Topi Niemela
TJ Brodie – Matteo Pietroniro
Ottawa Senators Projected Lineup
Vladimir Tarasenko – Ridly Greig – Drake Batherson
Dominik Kubalik – Roby Jarventie – Mathieu Joseph
Angus Crookshank – Zack Ostapchuk – Cole Reinhardt
Bokondji Imama – Garrett Pilon – Josh Currie
Jakob Chychrun – Thomas Chabot
Jacob Larsson – Lassi Thomson
Tomas Hamara – Max Guenette