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Photo Credit: © Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Looks like we have a roster for the first preseason game

Guess we won’t have to wait too long to see Mitch Marner back in a Leafs uniform…

YAY!!! Players!!!

This roster also provides us with a number of interesting first looks, as Tyson Barrie, Jason Spezza, Jordan Schmaltz, and Kevin Gravel will all make their Leafs debuts. I’m willing to hear debate on how interesting some of those debuts maybe, but Barrie and Spezza are worth the price of admission.

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It will also be interesting to see how far some prospects who are challenging for spots on the Leafs are fairing as the game includes Adam Brooks, Mason Marchment, Egor Korshkov, Jeremy Bracco, and Pierre Engvall. Seeing up and comers like Duszak and Lindgren should be interesting as well. Hell we’re so starved for hockey this point I’m not sure I’d complain if the game turns into the Nicholas Baptiste show and we’re watching Marlies for 2/3rds of the game. HOCKEY IS BACK!!!

It also looks like we have something resembling line combinations for the game:

As someone who enjoys complaining about line combos, I have very little objection to what is being used. The Tavares line is something that seems like it will be a thing until Hyman returns. That Spezza line is damned interesting, and as much as I’d rather see Korshkov with someone other than Gauthier, it’s pretty interesting too. The 4th line looks like it will continue to be the Marlies top line this year, but we’ll see if any of them can make cases for their situation, and seeing Engvall on the second line probably makes him one of the front runners from the Marlies for earning a Leafs gig.

As for defense, we’ve got what looks like a locked in pairing of Muzzin and Barrie and two strong pairing contenders for the bottom pairing. Duszak and Lindgren is also intriguing as both will want to make a case for more icetime on the Marlies this year, but neither really has a chance in hell at the Leafs right now.

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Andersen going in Game One of preseason is a little odd, but maybe we’ll see Kaskisuo get the bulk of the work.

As pointless as it is trying to breakdown and draw meaning from early preseason lineups, this is more just a case of me missing this over the summer. We’ve got a picture of what Babcock has had in his head all summer and now we’re going to see how well they can all work together. I can’t help but think as much as I want the Kapanen experiment to work, we could see a new face on that line in the coming days, and I’m way too into what’s going on in that third pairing battle, as I think all four of those players will be living and dying by the chemistry they can form with their assigned partner.

TRAINING CAMP FEVER, CATCH IT!

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