Maple Leafs White vs Maple Leafs Blue
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Broadcast/Streaming: TSN4 (Leafs region), TSN App, TSN Direct, Sportsnet Ontario
Details on who is calling the game:
It’s gameday! It’s been too long since we had a game preview around here, and this is the closest thing to a preseason exhibition we will get this year. The Leafs are pitting Team White vs Team Blue in what they plan to use as a real game experience for the players and the arena operations staff.
While the game will be three 20-minute periods, there are some differences to a standard format:
The goalie situation for #Leafs tomorrow will have Andersen, Dell and Campbell each getting two periods - Andersen and Campbell will play two periods for one team each, and then Dell will play a period for each side.— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 8, 2021
In tonight's Blue & White game, Keefe says he, Hakstol and Malhotra will coach behind the bench of each team together for one period, then split up for the third, and then Paul MacLean and Greg Moore will work the benches opposite where they are— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 9, 2021
There will be a shootout at the end of the first two periods and there will be a five-minute overtime regardless of the score. Reminder: don’t take the score seriously.
White is the home team, per a contest this morning:
Wayne Simmonds says #Leafs did a five-puck shootout to determine which team gets the main dressing room at SBA for tonight's scrimmage.— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 9, 2021
Team White was victorious.
Maple Leafs Lines
No lines yet, bu the rosters are set:
First a note about this season and our coverage. There is a very good argument to be made that this hockey season is a bad idea right now. Likely several good arguments. We all saw the bubble work well, but we all know by now that this isn’t a bubble. The rules are strict, the testing extensive, and this isn’t going to be like the KHL, where players are in the game when they’ve been exposed COVID-19, just to keep the whole thing rolling. But it’s not risk-free.
But we can’t spend every day, every preview, every GDT, talking about that. If we look like we’re having fun, well, we are. But if we look like we’re pretending this is all fine and we’ve forgotten the dangers, we aren’t. We hope it all doesn’t go horribly wrong, that’s all we can do.
In a normal training camp, even on a mature team with most of the roster spots sewn up, there is some chance that young prospect makes an impression. For this season, with the Leafs already having more roster-able NHLers than they can fit under the cap, that seems nearly impossible. This game is the one chance to make that impression and end up on the opening night roster and not on the Taxi Squad or cut to the AHL.
There is the tiniest sliver of an opening because Alexander Kerfoot might not be in the opening night roster. His injury is not serious, however.
But no, this isn’t the chance for Rasmus Sandin to take a roster spot from Zach Bogosian. He needs to be better than two other guys as well to even touch a spot on the playing roster. This is not the chance for Nick Robertson to prove he can play in the top six. He has to excel over four or five guys to do that too. I know there is a constituency of fans who thinks the potential of every prospect is real now, and is better than every older player, but this Leafs team isn’t going to work like that. Not this year.
With the AHL due to start training camp soon and a season in less than four weeks, players who can benefit from attention at practices, 20 minutes a night and the top units of the special teams are going to get that. The Leafs are full of players who already know all that stuff.
This game is more about Morgan Rielly figuring out TJ Brodie than it is the prospects.
Speaking of, the power play units in practice were:
The first look at #leafs revamped power play units— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 8, 2021
The rosters are set to almost use those groups today. And we should expect to see Auston Matthews getting some PK time now.
Go, Leafs Go! Uh, beat the Leafs.