Fake Game #7 Preview Red Wings vs leafs

With less than a week to go before opening night the Toronto Maple Leafs will head to Detroit and face off against their old Norris division rival Detroit Red Wings. Having grown up hating the Wings, it’s become an absolute shame that these two teams don’t face each other as much as they used to. This game late last season brought back so many memories of the great old rivalry. There are plenty of rumours out there regarding Detroit moving to the east, so the day may soon be here when the truce between these two fanbases dissolves. The Red Wings are currently the talk of the preseason due to this hit Brendan Smith threw Wednesday night. Brendan Shanahan held a hearing with Smith Thursday afternoon, and the younge defenseman was suspended eight games for a hit that looks just terrible. Tonight’s meeting will be the first of a home and home series ending the preseason for both teams. With a rash of injuries down the middle (Bozak, Connolly and Kadri) and Matthew Lombardi still being held out of game action, the Leafs have recalled Mike Zigomanis to fill the void at centre for these next two games.

Preseason sensation and Leaf fans flavour of the month, Jake Gardiner is expecting to play in both games as he attempts to crack the opening day roster. Jonas Gustavsson is expected to play the entire game tonight.

Lineups

Leafs

Forwards

Lupul - Dupuis - Kessel

Kulemin - Grabovski - MacArthur

Frattin - Boyce - Armstrong

Brown - Zigomanis - Orr

Defense

Liles - Phaneuf

Aulie - Schenn

Gardiner - Komisarek

Goalies

Gustavsson

Reimer

Red Wings

Forwards

Abdelkader - Helm - Bertuzzi

Filppula - Zetterberg - Franzen

Nyquis - Emmerton - Holmstrom

Conner - Andersson - Ferraro

Defense

Lidstrom - White

Kronwall - Stuart

Exelby - Janik

Goalies

Howard

Pearce

Players to Watch

Leafs: Jake Gardiner - Considering the depth on the Leafs blueline it will be highly unlikely that Gardiner makes this team out of camp, but I’ll be interested in watching him try. A superb skater with above average vision, he is a joy to watch when he on the ice.

Red Wings: Ian White - The ex-Leaf was signed as the replacement for the retired Brian Rafalski. Can the dimunitive White live up to those expectations? He’ll be looked upon to help the power play and transition game of the Wings.

Game Time - 7:30 at the Joe Louis Arena. TV - LeafsTV. Radio - AM640