LGD- Battle of The Unwatchables

On Friday, first-place Toronto visits third-place Buffalo in one of the hottest games of the year.

But unless you’re a follower of the National Lacrosse League, you’re stuck with the less-exciting Toronto-Buffalo matchup of the week, with the Sabres coming to visit the Maple Leafs tonight.

The Sabres

Projected Lineup via DailyFaceoff.com

A fun game to play is, “How many Buffalo Sabres players have you never heard of?” I’m at 8. Fun fact- 25 NHL defencemen currently have more points this season than anyone on the Buffalo Sabres. Hey, Jerry D’Amigo!

Evander Kane and next year’s high draft pick, whoever that may be, should make this team a little more exciting to watch come the fall. For now…? They’re stuck with the hard-hitting Buffalo media.

(In all seriousness though, the kid did a pretty good job.)

The Leafs

Projected Lineup via DailyFaceoff.com

Defensive Pairings
Jake Gardiner 
Jake Gardiner
Dion Phaneuf 
Dion Phaneuf
Eric Brewer 
Eric Brewer
Morgan Rielly 
Morgan Rielly
Tim Erixon 
Tim Erixon
Petter Granberg 
Petter Granberg

It’s interesting how the top two defensive pairings are both made up of “young defenceman who is much better than their veteran partner.” 

Andrew MacWilliam actually slots in for Petter Granberg, while Nazem Kadri is apparently 33% of the way through what sounds like a team-enforced suspension.

Starting Goalies

There’s no photos of Lindback available yet on Getty in a Sabres uniform, so enjoy this one of him in a Predators uniform from a few seasons back.

Keep your eye on the puck, Bernier.

What to Watch For:

  • Poor defensive play
  • Poor offensive play
  • Unpredictable goaltending
  • 6-10 mentions of the draft on the broadcast

  • Bertly83

    Huh? “young defenceman who is much better than their veteran partner.”…I might be missing a joke here.

    Like him or not, Phaneuf is definitely better than Gardener and is still the best defencemen on the team. Reilly will surpass him in sooner rather than later but I don’t know if Gardener will every be better than Phaneuf.

    • Bertly83

      disagree. if gardiner was playing this well the whole year, he would have racked up a lot more points but carlyle ruined him in the first half. gardiner is better than phaneuf because he’s declining but phaneuf is still good. better decision making but gardiner drives play and has better posssession.

      • MatsSundin#13

        Jay outstanding posting as our team captain had a great game tonight. I think Gardiner will any game get his third goal of the season. What more could you expect from an offensive defence man.

  • MatsSundin#13

    Like it or not, Gardiner-Phaneuf is a solid pairing. I think Phaneuf can stay back while Gardiner creates plays without worrying too much about the back end. Dion’s preference is the right side, and he played on the left for most of this season (which may/mot have hampered his play) because of Franson’s right-handed shot. Now that we can see him with Gards, I am actually starting to like them together.

      • MatsSundin#13

        Yeah, Phaneuf’s contract is rough. If it were 1 Million less each year he might be able to sneak under the radar but he makes more than Doughty for the next 3 years :S. It’s hard not to have a target on your back when you’re making more than the best D-man in the league.

        Either way, if he does move, he’ll probably play in the top pair. I’d be really surprised if they move him and he lands in a 2nd pair.