Game Thread – Leafs at Red Wings

Two preseason games left. It’s looking like the only thing left to settle is which depth winger is going to be on the roster to go in place of Frazer McLaren should he be injured opening night. 11/12ths of the forward core appears to be set, with Colton Orr returning to the lineup for his first preseason game.

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It’s the first of a home-and-home with the Detroit Red Wings. This is the “dress rehearsal” game for the Red Wings, according to coach Mike Babcock. Daniel Alfredsson will rejoin the Wings lineup after missing some time thanks to a groin injury, skating with Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen. The only unfamiliar faces in the Wings lineup are Tomas Jurco, a nifty stickhandling forward out of the Saint John Sea Dogs program, defenceman Xavier Ouellet, who played on Team Canada at the most recent World Juniors, and Luke Glendening, an undrafted University of Michigan centreman who played with the Wings’ AHL affiliate last season.

Here is the Leafs’ lineup:

(21) van Riemsdyk – (42) Bozak – (71) Clarkson
(19) Lupul – (63) Bolland – (41) Kulemin
(46) Broll – (43) Kadri – (12) Raymond
(37) Ashton – (11) McClement – (28) Orr

(3) Phaneuf – (36) Gunnarsson
(2) Fraser – (15) Ranger
(51) Gardiner (4) Franson

(45) Jonathan Bernier
(35) Drew MacIntyre

Close to rehearsal but not quite. I can’t figure out why Drew MacIntyre is still up with the big club rather than joining Toronto Marlies camp. I’m not super stoked on Nazem Kadri playing on the third line with David Bolland on the second, but I think Kadri is a good centreman for Mason Raymond. It’s Joffrey Lupul with Bolland that wrinkles me a little, but I’m not a believer in “developing” chemistry.

Liking that the Jake Gardiner and Cody Franson experiment begins tonight. That defence should look like the opening night, which leaves us to wonder what’s going to happen with John-Michael Liles. I’ll guess that’s a question we can answer somewhat tomorrow.

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The Wings lineup is linked here. Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek will be the starter and backup, respectively, but Howard is expected to go the full game.

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