Leafs-Sabres Satuday Game Thread



This jersey design needed to begin in somebody’s head as an idea. From there, they needed to draw it up, and after several drafts, present it to at least a small panel of people, you’d assume. Then enough of them agreed it was good-looking enough to represent their team on the ice, and that fans will buy it. A group of folks, after the abomination that the New York Islanders call a third jersey, went "Hey you what screams attitude? Grey!" How is this even a jersey in the National Hockey League?

*sigh*………so the Leafs are playing Buffalo tonight.

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Here is Toronto’s lineup for tonight’s game:

Mason Raymond – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
David Broll – David Bolland – Nikolai Kulemin
Carter Ashton – Joe Colborne – Troy Bodie
Trevor Smith – Jay McClement – Jamie Devane (it’s pronounced de-VAN, damn it!)

Dion Phaneuf – Carl Gunnarsson
Paul Ranger – Jake Gardiner
Stuart Percy – Mark Fraser

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James Reimer
Drew MacIntyre

A few observations here.

MayRay is getting a look with Kessel and Bozak tonight. The rumour out there is that the Leafs already have a one-year $925k contract in place for Mason Raymond. He has played in more on a depth role this preseason, particularly on a line I like with Bolland and Kulemin. This audition on the Bozak-Kessel line will be one to watch because if he can keep up with them and be an offensive threat, it shows a little versatility and gives the Leafs, or another team, more incentive to sign him. And oh yeah, that little chestnut – another team is still allowed to sign him. It’s only a tryout deal he’s on.

Speaking of the aforementioned Bolland-Kulemin combination that I like and hopefully stays intact, David Broll will be joining them on the second unit. Now, many fans are hating on Broll a bit because "here we go again! Another goon on the Leafs!" As we’ve said on this site before however, Broll’s potential to be more than just a fighter is very real. He’s had a good preseason, and could very well see a call-up or two this season. Hell, if Orr and McLaren stay hurt, he could even make the opening night lineup.

There’s always one line in preseason games that I call the "Um you three line," which is what the third unit appears to be. Colborne and Ashton have some experience together with the Marlies, but Jeffler tells me they didn’t play together much. Then there’s Troy Bodie who hasn’t played in the league since 2010-11, and has 11 NHL points in 107 NHL games. Like Broll, Bodie could potentially fill one of the injured fisticuffs slots. Oh, and Colborne might get traded. Again, that lil’ chestnut.

I don’t have much to say about Toronto’s fourth unit other than it’s pronounced de-VAN and if you screw it up again I have one of those Morgan Freeman from the Dark Knight spying computer things and I will find you and bring you to justice.

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Paul Ranger is always of note on defence, especially with the deteriorating Cody Franson situation. Stuart Percy getting an extra look again tonight, too. Percy’s chances of making the team are slim to none due to the numbers game, but a mid-season call-up is very possible. 

Drew MacIntyre is playing the role of backup to James Reimer because Jonathan Bernier has that weird rash thing and that’s the role he’ll play if there’s an injury anyway. Joffrey Lupul is expected to return to the lineup for the second half of the home-and-home series tomorrow.

Watch the game on CBC or listen to it on TSN 1050 Radio.

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