Buffalo at Toronto: Preseason game two
Time: 7 pm Eastern Time
Location: Meridian Centre, St. Catharines, ON
Bad news first: Jack Eichel will not be playing. I know the match up you really wanted to see was Eichel-Matthews, and there is no other rivalry or connection between these teams at all. So, sorry for that. We’ll make the best of it.
Here are your rosters for these games, including numbers since no one knows who any of these guys are. Lines will likely be available closer to game time, so check the comments.
Sparks is expected to start, and some of those defenders are expected to try to find the pressbox in St. Catharines.
That is a lot of AHL names on that roster, many more than on the early projected roster for Friday’s game. Some of these guys will be cut soon, and this is their last chance to shine.
Friday’s game will be the first nearly a real roster game, but this one should still be interesting and fun.
Courtesy of the Buffalo Sabres, who are never shy about providing concise and clear information.
82 Marcus Foligno - 22 Johan Larsson - 21 Kyle Okposo
9 Evander Kane - 27 Derek Grant - 70 Alexander Nylander
26 Matt Moulson - 19 Cal O'Reilly - 52 Hudson Fasching
48 William Carrier - 43 Daniel Catenacci - 10 Cole Schneider
4 Josh Gorges - 47 Zach Bogosian
81 Mac Bennett/45 Brendan Guhle - 6 Cody Franson
41 Justin Falk - 46 Erik Burgdoerfer
31 Anders Nilsson (starter)
33 Jason Kasdorf
1. O'Reilly, Kane, Okposo, Moulson, Bogosian
2. Nylander, Franson, Foligno, Larsson, Schneider
Oh! Sorry, there is that Nylander vs Nylander business, isn't there? Well, it sure looks like that name is on both rosters! Here’s best Nylander yesterday talking about the pair of them, and answering the question, “Have you ever played against each other?”
Game one was so much fun, with the dazzle of Marner covered up for a lot of pretty standard preseason game flaws. Mix up some juniors and some AHLers with a few NHL vets and that's what you get.
But there was another thing dazzling about that game in retrospect. The speed. So, so much speed! I watched some of an Ottawa-Buffalo game, and it was slow, dull and well, Chris Neil scored by accident because he was sort of waving his stick around.
The Leafs, by contrast looked like they were on fire, ready to go, and in "can't we start the season now" mode.
Improved net presence an objective for Toronto tonight. Martin, Hyman and Gauthier to figure prominently in that regard. #TMLtalk— Paul Hendrick (@HennyTweets) September 29, 2016
One of the fun things about this year is the chance to get to know Jim Hiller, the assistant coach. He had a lot to say yesterday after practice—Auston Matthews first practice with the Leafs.
Morgan Rielly also chatted to the media, and the Leafs posted a long clip of him saying very thoughtful things. Some fans are speculating that this is a hint about who the next captain would be, and I can see it after watching this:
Tonight's game is for the fans of both teams in St. Catharines, but we expect Leafs fans to be loudest, but because it is in a non-NHL rink, there will be no stats for the game.
That’s it for now, but in the meantime: Go Leafs Go!