Unfortunately for the Toronto Maple Leafs, one half of this memorable James van Riemsdyk goal battery will be staying home for tonight’s preseason contest. The Leafs kick off their preseason tonight at 6:00 p.m. from Budweiser Gardens in London against the Philadelphia Flyers. Unlike the Washington-Winnipeg game on CBC from Belleville last night, there aren’t a whole lot of stars on either side. Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Phil Kessel will be staying home, as is van Riemsdyk. For shame.
In net for the Leafs will be James Reimer and Christopher Gibson, as Reimer begins his quest to retain the Leafs’ starting goaltender position, behind a defence that has just two likely NHLers in John-Michael Liles and Paul Ranger. The Maple Leafs posted a full lineup on its website including line combinations:
Projected lines (no particular order)
What stands out here is the Joe Colborne, Mason Raymond and Tyler Biggs line, which could be plausible this upcoming season as a depth line used by the Leafs in an odd situation where both Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren find themselves out of the lineup. I think it’s a good mix of size and speed and offence and defensive ability, and Raymond and Colborne should work well together if Colborne takes the bulk of the possessions and Biggs draws away defenders with his size.
On defence, there’s nothing to expect for this upcoming season. Ranger is back with a former Toronto Marlies teammate in Andrew MacWilliam, and Morgan Rielly gets to begin his NHL career by lugging around Korbinian Holzer, a player that proved he didn’t have much NHL ability in his limited, yet ill-fated stint with the Leafs last season.
Here’s the Flyers travel schedule. Much of their NHL defensive corps made the trip, save Kimmo Timonen, Mark Streit and Braydon Coburn. What’s most notable is that the Flyers brought in a London Knights alumnus and the current Knights starter Anthony Stolarz, which should be a treat for Knights fans in attendance (as if they haven’t had enough nice things in the last few years).
The Leafs are stuck in 2006 and will show the game on Leafs TV rather than streaming it, so for fans outside of Ontario… you’re out of luck. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like you’ll be missing much. It’s nice to have hockey back and all, but this is a depth NHLer-slash-AHLer roster for both teams, with the most notable people in the lineup being 2012 first round picks Rielly and Scott Laughton.