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[Preview] Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings: One last party across the river

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It’s a bit like going to the kegger at the frat house when you’re thirty. You’re too busy winning for this old scene.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs
How many years back, and Z is a Red Wing? Those days are gone.
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings: Game 77

Time: 7:00 pm Eastern Time

Location: The Joe, just before it crumbles to dust.

Broadcast/Streaming: Hockey Night in Canada - streamed on in Canada - NHL network - Fox Sports Detroit

Opponent SBNation Site: Winging it in Motown

The last game in the Joe! Oh how sad or nostalgic or something. I don’t care, to be honest. The broke city of Detroit was, er, induced to spend millions on a new arena, just as Gary Bettman likes, so all is as it should be, right? Nostalgia is for people who enjoyed high school.

I’m sure Brendan Shanahan and Mike Babcock will feel things. Particularly when the Leafs win the game, which they had better oughta. But no one else cares much.

The last Colorado game there was a dreary affair illustrating just how far two violent rivals can fall in a short time. It wasn’t the fun kind of nostalgia; it was the uncomfortable kind.

The Leafs have gone in a different direction, they’ve moved on. It’s not you, Detroit, it’s us.

Luckily for Michigan hockey fans right now, they can just pop up to Plymouth if they want to see some elite play. The Detroit Red Wings aren’t delivering it.

Toronto has moved to a new way of looking at themselves as a team, and a new way of playing the game. They’ve found the hidden gems in all the world’s places, and short of finding a Swiss guy to add to the team next year, they have most of them represented. They might all be a bit raw and unpolished, but their still beautiful, perfect blue diamonds out there on the ice.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The lines are fairly stable these days and the last game saw very little defence shuffling. These lines are from that game.

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - Connor Brown

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner

Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - William Nylander

Matt Martin - Brian Boyle - Kasperi Kapanen

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Connor Carrick

Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev

Matt Hunwick - Roman Polak


Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Detroit Red Wings

Lines are updated with new information!

Forward Lines

Gustav Nyquist - Henrik Zetterberg - Tomas Tatar

Justin Abdelkader - Dylan Larkin - Andreas Athanasiou

Darren Helm - Frans Nielsen - Riley Sheahan

Drew Miller - Tomas Nosek - Ben Street

Defence Pairings

Danny DeKeyser - Nick Jensen

Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green

Xavier Oullet - Robbie Russo


Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Anthony Mantha broke his finger in a fight during the Tampa game, so is likely out for the rest of the lingering pain of Detroit’s season. I feel for the players and some of the fans, having had to watch all this tanking business last year with the Leafs. It’s tough. And you look at that lineup and just say, could you find some more older guys?

What’s that? The Red Wings aren’t tanking? This is their lineup on purpose?

Oh, sorry. I just assumed. Well then, what on earth were you thinking? Could you play Double A and Larkin a little deeper down the ice time depth chart? Can you make sure they fail and feel bad? Could you tell me why you waived Marchenko? He’s not the best ever, but he can play hockey.

Now I really feel for the Detroit fans because having an incompetent management is really tough. They have all of my deepest sympathies. <<<< This is the April Fools part of this post, by the way. The lineup above is actually real.

Right, the playoff streak thing. Almost forgot that. The last time the Red Wings missed the playoffs this song was a hit:

You’re welcome.

If any news about the lineup rolls out, we’ll update you.

Updated Detroit lines look even more Grand Rapids Griffins like. It works for Tampa, I’m not sure it will work for Detroit.