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Preseason LGD: SDA at SBA

It’s (sort of) Game Day!

The Leafs look to continue streaking through this pre-season as they welcome the Buffalo Sabres to Scotiabank Arena.

Scotiabank Arena, if you were curious, is where the Toronto Maple Leafs and 2018 draftee Semyon Der-Arguchintsev play these days. RIP ACC. Welcome SBA and SDA.

Leafs Lines

Most of the Lucan, ON crew is back on the ice tonight, with a handful of changes. Most exciting out of this lineup is, of course, John Tavares making his debut in the Leafs’ actual barn, and Semyon debuting on the fourth line between Mueller and Dymtro Tymashov.

Sandin-Liljegren is a super intriguing third pairing that could be an exciting little teaser for what’s to come for the Leafs down the line. It’ll be interesting to gauge the development of both players not just as individuals but as a pairing.

Sabres Lines

Buffalo doesn’t win a lot of things, but they’re currently beating the Leafs in number of Nylanders currently signed. Sigh.

Other than that, this is a pretty unremarkable lineup that will likely get owned by John Tavares and Mitchell Marner from puck drop onwards. Which should be fun.

Starting Goalies

Linus Ullmark and Curtis McElhinney will likely duel things out to start this game. But, as always, expect a goalie change somewhere down the line here.

The fact that McElhinney has started both games that he’s split with Garret Sparks is interesting, at least. It may be indicative of Mike Babcock’s “tie goes to the vet” mentality in figuring out his backup goalie situation. For better or worse (hint: it’s for the worse) it looks like the position may still be McElhinney’s to lose.

Notes

Nobody shove this kid into a locker if you run into him this afternoon. The Leafs need him as their fourth line centre tonight.

Puck drop is at 7:30pm ET on SN1.

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  • Matmarwill

    I agree. Keeping Mcbackup over Sparks is a shortsighted mistake. Even though mcbackup might be able to start 15 games a season, he would not be able to replace Andersen if the latter is injured, which Sparks could do. Sparks has earned the right to play in the nhl, being the best ahl goalie last year. He is TEN years younger than Mcelhinney. He gives needed depth and can challenge andersen when he’s crappy, which he was in the last playoffs.

    I am tired of Babcock’s boneheadedness. Sparks is an obvious good choice for the buds’ backup. Babcock made the right choice last spring in playing kappy and johnsson over komarov. He needs to make the right choice here, so that the leafs dont lose Sparks via waivers or trade.