News & Notes: Oct 14, 2013

                         Photo courtesy of @HennyTweets

See that? Optimus Reim communicating with Megajon. This is big for peace talks between the Auto-buds and Decepti-Conn(Smythe)s…I tried.

The Leafs were on the ice on Monday as they prepare for their tilt with the Minnesota Wild tomorrow. Here’s what was noteworthy.

  • All of Leafs Nation held their breath as today’s practice did not feature James van Riemsdyk. Instead, David Clarkson took JVR’s spot on the top line. People began tweeting a flurry of "OMGZ PLEASE LET THIS BE A MAINTENANCE DAY", and Randy Carlyle confirmed that was indeed the case after practice. PHEWF. JVR, by the way, is tied for the Leaf-lead in goals with Joffrey Lupul (5) and sits tied with Nazem Kadri and Mason Raymond in team scoring with six points in six games.
  •  Carter Ashton isn’t wearing that full face shield anymore and is going back to a visor. Ashton got his nose broken in a fight during the season opener with Montreal’s Jared Tinordi. has Ashton listed at 6’3" and a sturdy 215lbs, but Tinordi is a yeti at 6’5" and 227lbs. Ashton is 22 and Tinordi is 21, so these guys could fill out even more. Eep.
  • Speaking of Ashton, he broke Frazer McLaren’s finger during a preseason intersquad game. McLaren took part in a full practice today, but isn’t eligible to return until the Leafs’ 11th game, as Paul Hendrick points out. That game is the Leafs’ road matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets on October 25th. You know who’s also eligible to play that day as @Captial_Blues reminded me? David Clarkson. Ohhhh riiiiggghhhttt. That lil’ chestnut.
  • David Broll looks like he’s staying on the "second line" with Lupul and Kadri.Many are still labeling this guy as just a goon type, but he’s showing more and more that’s completely wrong. Broll had two assists in two games with the Marlies before getting recalled, then added an assist on Lupul’s first goal in the Edmonton game to earn his first career NHL point. He isn’t Sidney Crosby, but he isn’t a plug either. We ranked him 20th among Leafs prospects before the season began, and his early performances are making it look like we completely whiffed on that on. Cam did an excellent write-up on why Broll is much more than an enforcer, and it’s definitely worth the read.
  • Finally – I like this kind of stuff. TSN’s Mark Masters tweeted this photo of all the sticks the Leafs had to sign before practice. That’s got to be about 100 sticks or more. No, it doesn’t really have anything to do with practice, but it’s just a cool little behind-the-scenes look at what the team does. Good tweet, good tweet.