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Photo Credit: © John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Close to the real thing

The Leafs are rolling into tonight’s pre-season tilt with the winless Canadiens with what appears to be their opening night roster. Of note, Miro Aaltonen and Calle Rosen appear to be leading their respective races at this point in camp.

Lineups…

Leafs:

Hyman – Matthews – Nylander

Marleau – Kadri – Komarov

JVR – Bozak – Marner

Martin – Aaltonen – Brown

Rielly – Hainsey

Gardiner – Zaitsev

Rosen – Carrick

Andersen

Kaskisuo

Habs:

Pacioretty – Drouin – Gallagher

Hudon – Plekanec – Lehkonen

Galchenyuk – Danault – Hemsky

Byron – De La Rose – Froese

Mete – Weber

Alzner – Petry

Streit – Benn

Lindgren

Montoya

Quick hits…

  • According to Mark Masters, this could be the lineup the Leafs use to open the season come Oct. 4 against the Jets. The interesting things here, of course, would be Calle Rosen leapfrogging Martin Marincin as the team’s third left-handed defenceman alongside Connor Carrick, and Miro Aaltonen sliding into the fourth line centre role over Dominic Moore. Both Moore and Marincin would certainly still be reserves on the team, but both Aaltonen and Rosen have showed well in camp so far. This would also mean Kerby Rychel ends up on waivers before the beginning of the season.
  • Leo Komarov seems to have played his way on to the team’s second line with Patrick Marleau and Nazem Kadri. Before camp, it was assumed Komarov would slide down to a checking line with Matt Martin while Connor Brown stayed with Marleau and Kadri, but as of right now, Brown is on the fourth line. It’ll be difficult for Brown to produce in that role, but it does nicely balance some scoring ability on all four of Toronto’s lines, especially if it’s Aaltonen rather than Moore as the fourth pivot.
  • The Habs have had themselves a dreadful start to 2017 with an 0-4 pre-season so far. Does it matter? Probably not. But still, after the bizarre off-season this team had, any added stress for these division rivals manifested from an ugly start rolling into the season is a good thing for the Leafs. Montreal will be rolling with something close to their real team. The odd thing about this lineup is Galchenyuk playing left wing on the third line and Jonathan Drouin filling in as the top centre. I imagine this positional drama is something that’ll carry on for a decent chunk of the season in Montreal.
  • Another interesting Hab to watch will be Victor Mete, a player you likely won’t recognize unless you pay close attention to this team. Mete was drafted by the Habs in the fourth round of the 2016 draft and proceeded to put up 44 points in 50 games in the OHL. With Andrei Markov and Mikhail Sergachev out of the picture, Mete catapulted up the depth chart this summer and has a legit chance to crack the team. With names like Karl Alzner, Jeff Petry, Shea Weber, and David Schlemko figuring to log the most minutes, the Habs badly need someone who can move the puck on their blueline.