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Game Journal: Game 61 - Lightning vs. Maple Leafs

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs

4:30 PM: Here are tonight's projected lineups for the Maple Leafs and Lightning.

Toronto Maple Leafs


47 Komarov - 43 Kadri - 15 Parenteau

40 Grabner - 39 Nylander - 11 Hyman

38 Greening - 24 Holland - 37 Kapanen

90 Soshnikov - 23 Laich - 28 Boyes


2 Hunwick - 44 Rielly

51 Gardiner - 20 Corrado

52 Marincin - 8 Carrick


31 Sparks

45 Bernier

Tampa Bay Lightning


17 Killorn - 91 Stamkos - 24 Callahan

18 Palat - 9 Johnson - 86 Kucherov

13 Paquette - 51 Filppula - 23 Brown

11 Boyle - 90 Namestnikov - 81 Marchessault


77 Hedman - 6 Stralman

25 Carle - 62 Sustr

89 Nesterov - 55 Coburn


88 Vasilevskiy

30 Bishop

4:15 PM:
Here's what Mike Babcock had to say following Monday's morning skate at Air Canada Centre.

Leafs TV

Opening Remarks:

There are too may paper transactions for me to tell you because I can't figure it out myself. We're going to have 20 guys dressed for tonight's game... Nylander, Hyman, Soshnikov, Kapanen, Smith, I think Carrick. I think they'll all be in.

As a coach, do you lean on Sheldon Keefe with all these Marlies up?

No, not really. I saw him and we talked all along about these players. One of our videos coaches has been working with them half the year too. I've talked a ton to him, I didn't phone him to say hey about this guy. What we did is try to put them in a situation to be as comfortable as we can. We tried to build structure in exhibition that they were going to use that we were going to use. Obviously things change in the NHL, it's way different. I talked to them this morning about that piece of cellophane when you watch a Marlies game that's across the offensive blueline that keeps creating those turnovers they can't see. I said that piece of cellophane is now down, we're not going to turn it over on the O zone blueline. They're kids, they're going to play.

How important is Red Berenson to the development of Hyman?

Obviously that's part of it but part of it is just working hard every day and competing. Obviously he's an older player, he's been in college and stuff like that. He has gotten better every day down there with the Marlies and we've been impressed with him. Him and Sosh will penalty kill tonight, the other guys will be on the power play. Everyone is going to get a full opportunity. Now, obviously they're playing a really good team. I watched them last night, they were great. These guys are going to have their hands full to say the least, but they're going to be going fast if nothing else.

What are your expectations tonight?

To win... We've got to find a way. The puck is going to drop and it's all great but at game time you want to win, that's what you want to do. You want to find a way to win. We've got to stay out of the box, Tampa's got a good power play and we've got to make sure their players have no room. Stamkos looks like he's really going, he's skating as good as I've seen since he hurt his leg so that line's going. Obviously Johnson's group, I don't know if he's playing he got hit in the head there last night, and [Filppula's] group and Namestnikov. There's four real centres that our guys are going to have to play against. They're going to have their hands full.

Is the plan for the young guys to stay for the rest of the year?

Lou is probably better to ask that. We're just going to kind of monitor, but what we want to do is we want to be set up to have and make sure that they have a good lineup in the American Hockey League. There's a whole bunch of rules I can't explain to you so whatever that means.

What do you know about Brooks Laich?

A real good man, a real good man, a real good person. Obviously is in the last year coming up of his deal. I know he treats people real well and he'll be a good guy to be around our kids.

When do you think Laich will join the team?

I think today. I think he's playing tonight.

Have you ever had a team this young?

Well yeah in junior, I coached in junior for a long time. Eight years of junior I coached but I never had a team this young in the American League. Obviously it's exciting, you watch them and it's exciting but they're also kids. I'm going to come and watch just like you.

What's the most intriguing part of what's left in the season?

I want to know who's a real player. Just because you did it in the American League doesn't mean you're going to do it here. I want to know who's got upside and who's got hockey sense and who's got determination and who lives right and who's going to be a Maple Leaf for a long period of time and who's not. I think we've done a real nice job of acquiring prospects and picks, this was our plan and we want to set ourselves up for a long run so we're not talking about trading guys at the deadline but talking about who we acquired at the deadline. That's our goal. Originally right from the get-go I've always I don't know how long it's going to take but I know we're going to have a real good team here and that's the plan.

4:00 PM: The Maple Leafs get set to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Air Canada Centre on Monday night.

The Leafs are coming off of a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. Matt Hunwick had the lone Leafs goal in the loss while Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 Canadiens shots. Garret Sparks will get the start in goal for the Maple Leafs on Monday night.

The Lightning come to Toronto after beating the Boston Bruins by a 4-1 score on Sunday. Alex Killorn and Steven Stamkos had single goals from Tampa Bay while Ryan Callahan chipped in a pair. Ben Bishop stopped 32 Bruins shots to seal the win. Andrei Vasilevskiy is expected to start on Monday.

Stay tuned for comments from Coach Babcock and projected lineups.

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