Preseason Preview, Game 2 – Sabres at Maple Leafs
The fresh-to-the-preseason Sabres dispatched a tired, mostly-rookie Maple Leafs squad 3-1 on Saturday night and the two teams will have a rematch tonight at 7PM EST at the Air Canada Center.
FORWARDS: 42 Nathan Gerbe – 37 Matt Ellis – 25 Mike Grier, 21 Drew Stafford – 9 Derek Roy – 12 Mark Mancari, 55 Jochen Hecht – 28 Paul Gaustad – 8 Cody McCormick,
63 Tyler Ennis – Paul Byron – 54 Zack Kassian
[[Editor’s Note: Ennis being out to attend to family matters has Luke Adam and Travis Turnbull playing tonight. No word yet who comes out for Turnbull.]]
DEFENSE: 3 Jordan Leopold – 4 Steve Montador, 6 Mike Weber – 44 Andrej Sekera, 34 Chris Butler – Dennis Persson
GOALIES: 40 Patrick Lalime and 1 Jhonas Enroth will split time in goal.
Maple Leafs Roster
Keep An Eye On…
1. The Weber-Sekera pairing. They were dynamite together as rookies in 07/08 and, if they can rekindle that magic in the preseason, may wind up together as permanent skaters with the Sabres.
2. The Ennis-Byron-Kassian line. Byron may be super-small, but he’s talented and adds an extra offensive dynamic to the chemistry-laden Ennis and Kassian. If Kassian does as well this game as he did on Saturday, he’ll continue to get a shot. If he performs poorly, he may get sent down.
3. The Stafford-Roy-Mancari line. The idea of this line is awesome – a play-making center and two big, strong wingers with loads of talent. But the motivation this line may or may not posess could be the gamebreaker here.
4. Jochen Hecht. Watch his stickhandling to get a good gauge on how his finger is. After all, Hecht has the slickest set of German hands on the planet and a lot of his wily goals come from his hands more than anything…finger and wrist injuries are a death knell for his type of play.
5. Patrick Lalime. If the team shows up in front of him, he might pull off a shutout half. If they don’t, the team will be in a hole when Enroth enters the game.
Where To Watch
Since the NHL Network broadcasts are getting blacked out here this preseason, you’ll have to watch it streaming for free on Leafs TV (the Leafs’ NHL.com video portal) or listen to it on WGR. I’d go with the radio option, personally – I’m a sucker for hockey on the radio and RJ is still king. If you’re outside of WNY, consider yourselves lucky.