When you’re 3-0 and just came off a tough win against the Blackhawks, few teams are more of a welcome sight than the New Jersey Devils. I’m also pretty sure that’s the first time welcome sight and New Jersey were used in the same sentence. The Devils will spend the season living and dying by how much Cory Schneider can prop up this lottery team, so if he’s on his game, it might be interesting. A game against the Devils is also a chance to revisit the best of Taylor Hall, so let’s do that now:
Anyway, enough of that we’re a Leafs blog and we’ll focus on the Leafs, who we have good reason to believe will be 4-0 after tonight. We’re getting Moore in for Fehr, which seems like it’s gonna be a regular rotation until further notice, and Carrick is hurt just enough that giving Borgman/Rosen another go together seems preferable. I can live with that, especially since they’d probably be the top pairing for the Devils.
I’ll take this space to address any Josh Leivo concerns that may exist at this time. While I like Josh Leivo, it’s worth noting that Babcock for right or wrong reasons doesn’t see him as a player that he’d insert into the bottom part of his lineup. He’s not going to come in for guys like Martin, Komarov, Brown, who provide defensive and physical qualities that Babcock appreciates. In the absence of coming in for them, who does Leivo replace? The preseason argument could have been for Zach Hyman, but there is little doubt that Zach Hyman is exceeding all expectations, so that’s not going to happen either. Unfortunately for Leivo he’s stuck waiting for an injury to Marner, Nylander, van Riemsdyk, Marleau or possibly Brown before he gets playing time. That sucks for him and it would be great if they can find a trade to accommodate him, but there really isn’t any reason to expect him to play unless you think that Babcock is going to magically wake up one morning and not want to play Matt Martin ever again. That’s probably not going to happen, and so far this year Matt Martin has done everything you can legitimately expect from him, so he’s not playing himself out of a job either. Maybe we just cool it and appreciate depth. I know that’s not going to happen, but I thought I’d try anyway.
Here are the lines via Daily Faceoff
- It’s early in the season so all signs point to a Schneider vs. Andersen matchup, but I guess a case could be made for this being a team you wouldn’t mind McElhinney going up against. The reality is probably that McElhinney will only see in game relief, if needed until Pickard is ready to be called up, but food for thought.
- There is apparently a player named Jesper Bratt and he has 5 points in the 3 games for the Devils. I’m as shocked as you are, but with his breakout the Devils are almost up to two lines of NHL talent.
- Lou gets to face his old team. I guess that’s something if want to find a story line against the Devils.
Anyways, the game starts at 7:30 ET on Sportsnet. There will probably be some offense.