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 at morning skate vs. Buffalo tonight:
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) September 21, 2018
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.
Good morning! Projected lines for tonight in Toronto:
Nylander – Mittelstadt – Thompson
Girgensons – Sobotka – Oglevie
Smith – Porter – Baptiste
Olofsson – Asplund – Cornel
Guhle – Nelson
Pilut – Tennyson
Hickey – Redmond
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) September 21, 2018
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.
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.
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.