Detroit Red Wings @ Toronto Maple Leafs
07:00 PM at Scotiabank Arena
Watch on: TSN4
This year's preseason schedule contained one change to the usual: The final two games against Detroit are not back-to-back, and they are in Toronto first and Detroit last. The Leafs like to put a nearly complete roster on the ice for the final game, so if they do that come Saturday, it will be on the road for a change.
Tonight is about Fraser Minten, though. The point of this business about how he can make the team is that in a different world he could fairly easily. If the Leafs were less competitive but not tanking, he could be there all season. If the Leafs were less tight to the cap, he could be there with this team as it is. If the Leafs suddenly trade a forward, he can just hang around all year.
But the buzz is for him to hear – rightly – that he's been impressive to the fans and the coaches, and that we all consider him part of the near future of the team. He has the opportunity to go back to Kamloops, stay in close contact with the Leafs development staff and work on aspects of his game they think is best for him.
I don't know anything about the WHL this year, but if Kamloops doesn't go deep into their post-season, he can pull a Matt Knies and roll up to the Leafs for the playoffs. If he exits now knowing how close he was to being kept, he knows that goal is in reach. Reach for it, Fraser!
The Red Wings played last night, so they have this roster tonight:
I won't try to make lines, but aside from the superstar defender there, that is a very weak roster.
Fraser Minten centres a line, and Calle Järnkrok makes his debut.
The move of Nylander to wing is to allow Minten a spot at C, per Sheldon Keefe. No decision on where Nylander will play in-season has been made.
Based on some recent practices:
Tyler Bertuzzi - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Max Domi - John Tavares - William Nylander
Matt Knies - Fraser Minten - Calle Järnkrok
Ryan Reaves - David Kämpf - Pontus Holmberg
Morgan Rielly - TJ Brodie
Jake McCabe - Simon Benoit
Mark Giordano - Timothy Liljegren
I would guess Joe Woll plays the full game unless he's not 100% better. Otherwise this is a version of Leafs lineup that has only one missing player of note in John Klignberg – who is practising and seems nearly ready to return.
Go Leafs Go!