Maple Leafs open their 2023 Global Series with a tilt against the Red Wings

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
8 months ago
After five days without Maple Leafs hockey, Toronto is finally back in action this afternoon as they take on the Detroit Red Wings in Sweden as part of the 2023 NHL Global Series. Toronto and Detroit aren’t the only two teams in Sweden this weekend. Ottawa and Minnesota also made the trip, and they will be playing two games as well.

Maple Leafs’ lineup:

The Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t played a game since last Saturday at home when they defeated the red-hot Vancouver Canucks 5-2. Today, they take on a Detroit Red Wings team that played yesterday and lost 5-4 in overtime to another Atlantic division opponent, the Ottawa Senators. Ever since Sheldon Keefe and his coaching staff adjusted the forward lines, there’s been more production from all four lines, and it’s been evident.
According to David Alter of The Hockey News, these were Toronto’s latest lines at practice on Wednesday:
No changes to the lineup from their previous game. John Klingberg has yet to practice over in Sweden with the team, and according to Sheldon Keefe, the 31-year-old has a low chance of playing today due to whatever injury he has been reportedly dealing with.
With that bit of news about Klingberg, Toronto will likely be going with a Benoit – Lagesson third-pairing, with McCabe on the second pairing with Mark Giordano. Keefe also confirmed Friday morning that Ilya Samsonov would be in between the pipes for the Maple Leafs, likely indicating that Joseph Woll will go on Sunday against Minnesota.

Opponents lineup:

Detroit, as mentioned, played yesterday against the Ottawa Senators, and below were their lines for the game. Given it’s back-to-back games with no practice in between, I would assume Detroit will roll out the same lineup today, with maybe a slight change or two. As you can see below, former Maple Leaf Justin Holl did not suit up for yesterday’s game, so you could expect him back in the lineup to face his former team.
Outside of the expected players in their lineup, Detroit is without their starter, Ville Husso, who didn’t make the trip to Sweden because he and his wife welcomed their newborn.
Another former Maple Leaf, James Reimer, started yesterday’s game, and according to Detroit’s head coach, Alex Lyon will be the team’s starter against Toronto.

Players to watch:

It wouldn’t be right not to highlight the Swedes on the Toronto Maple Leafs who are set to play here in Sweden, especially one who has been one of the best players in the league this season.
William Nylander, Calle Jarnkrok, and William Lagesson will have my attention today. These three players are all playing in their home country (Nylander’s Swedish, but born in Calgary), and you know this is a special moment for all the Swedish players who made the trip to play these games. However, those three Swedes aren’t the only ones who will have my attention. I’m looking at Toronto’s third line again to continue their success since being put together as a line. Robertson, Domi and Jarnkrok are on a four-game goal/point streak and have given Toronto some much-needed secondary scoring as of late.
You can catch the Maple Leafs and Red Wings this afternoon in action on TSN4. Puck drop is scheduled for 2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PT.

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