NHL Preseason: Senators @ Leafs Preview

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Bay Street Bullies are at it again tonight, this time welcoming the Kanata Ottawa Senators to the Air Canada Centre for their sixth game of the preseason. Let’s hope nobody on either team does anything stupid and people get suspended for real games again. Puck drop is set for just after 7 p.m. and the game can be seen on Leafs TV (in the Toronto area) and heard on TSN 1050. Here are your lineups via the Leafs’ website, the Senators’ website and Bruce Garrioch’s Twitter account:

 

LEAFS

 

James van Riemsdyk

Tyler Bozak

David Clarkson

Nikolai Kulemin

Nazem Kadri

Joffrey Lupul

Carter Ashton

Joe Colborne

Troy Bodie

David Broll

Jay McClement

Jamie Devane

Carl Gunnarsson

Dion Phaneuf

Jake Gardiner

Mark Fraser

Morgan Rielly

Paul Ranger

James Reimer

Jonathan Bernier

 

SENATORS

 

Clarke MacArthur

Kyle Turris

Mark Stone

David Dziurzynski

Zack Smith

Chris Neil

Colin Greening

Stephane Da Costa

Andre Petterson

Corey Cowick

Jim O’Brien

Buddy Robinson

Jared Cowen

Patrick Wiercioch

Michael Sdao

Joe Corvo

Mark Borowiecki

Cody Ceci

Robin Lehner

Andrew Hammond

 

  • It looks like the Leafs and Senators have two radically different approaches to this game, as the Leafs are playing probably 15 players who will be on the opening night roster (not including Clarkson, who would be on the roster if he wasn’t going to be suspended). Meanwhile, I haven’t heard of most of the guys the Sens are playing. In other words, don’t read too much into the result of this game.
  • I’m most excited to see how the Kulemin-Kadri-Lupul line does tonight. With Clarkson out for the first ten games of the regular season, it looks like Randy Carlyle will be playing Kulemin on that wing for now. Kulemin really didn’t get much time playing in a scoring role last year, as he played the toughest minutes of any forward on the Leafs. He could be a great fit on that line using his speed and physicality to create space for Lupul and Kadri.
  • It’s interesting that Carlyle is playing Colborne and Ashton together again. I think at this point, with Frazer McLaren likely to miss the start of the season with a broken finger, Colborne and Ashton are fixtures on that fourth line. I hope that’s the case anyway. At least Carlyle wants to get another look at them playing together on the same line, which is a good sign.
  • Morgan Rielly has played in every preseason game thus far except for Saturday night’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. I’m sure the Leafs want him to get as much game experience as possible before they make a decision on him. I’m of the opinion a player who is ready to play and contribute should be on the big club, regardless of his age, but there may be too many extenuating circumstances to keep Rielly up. With the Mason Raymond signing, the Leafs now have less than $1-million left in cap space, but if they send Korbinian Holzer to the Marlies (which is almost a certainty), that would open enough space to just barely keep Rielly as one of the seven defensemen. However, T.J. Brennan would only cost the Leafs $600,000 to keep with the big club, compared to Rielly’s $1.744-million. It probably just doesn’t make sense for the Leafs to keep Rielly up with the current cap situation.

Topics: NHL Preseason, NHL Training Camp, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs

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