There will be an unusual alignment on defence for the Maple Leafs on Wednesday.
Gone are the days of a lack of right-handed shooting defenceman on the roster - now the Leafs have too many of them, which means Korbinian Holzer – a right-handed shot – will play on the left side.
“It seems to be easier for lefties to play their off side than right-handed guys,” Leafs interim coach Peter Horachek said. “Robi (Stephane Robidas) when he was healthy, was able to do it. He was comfortable with it. We’re just kind of, Holz (Korbinian Holzer), you’re it, type of situation.”
Based on Tuesday’s practice, it looks like Holzer will be playing on his off-side, with Cody Franson playing on the right, something Holzer hasn’t done on North American ice.
“It’s a little bit different,” Holzer said. “Some things are different out of the zone, into the zone, neutral zone ice. It’s just small adjustments and keeping it simple. Playing with Franny is a huge help.”
With Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf out with an upper-body injury, the opportunity for others to step and perform will be telling. It’ll be a true test to see what someone like Morgan Rielly can do with more minutes and playing in special teams situations he may not have seen before.
It should be quite the learning experience for all involved.
Paying tribute to Brodeur
The Maple Leafs will return to the state that Martin Brodeur put on that hockey map on Wednesday. With reports surfacing that the legendary goaltender will retire as soon as Thursday, many Leafs weighed in, including longtime teammate David Clarkson, who spent seven seasons with him on the Devils.
“Playing with him was great,” Clarkson said. “His numbers speak for himself, what he did for the organization. He worked so hard in practice to push us at a young age that he made you work to as hard as he did.”
“Just the sheer amount of wins and shutouts and acheivements, it’s unbelievable,” said Leafs goalie James Reimer. “He was one of the best if not the best.”
It looks as though Peter Holland (upper-body) and Leo Komarov (upper-body) will return to the lineup on Wednesday. Joffrey Lupul’s status is still day-to-day with a lower-body injury. The return of at least two players will be boost for the Leafs who are in search of some much-needed offence.