The Toronto Maple Leafs will end training camp with a blue and white intrasquad game tonight at 7 p.m. ET (TSN and Sportsnet).
Here is how the logistics of the night break down:
List of teams (with jersey numbers)
Rules of the game
- The game will be refereed by an NHL referee team
- There will be three periods of 20 minutes, with a shootout at the end of the first and second periods
- The teams will play a five-minute overtime period, sudden death, three on three, regardless of the score after settlement.
- The starting goalies will play 40 minutes each
- The first and fourth lines – Thornton – Matthews – Marner & Barabanov – Spezza – Simmonds – will play for Team Blue
- The second and third lines – Vesey – Tavares – Nylander and Mikheyev – Engvall – Hyman – will play for Team White
- The first and fourth pairings – Rielly – Brodie & Sandin – Dermott – will play for Team Blue
- The second and third couples – Muzzin – All & Lehtonen – Bogosian – will play for Team White
- Jack Campbell play two periods for the white team
- Frederik Andersen play two periods for the blue team
- Aaron Dell change team and play a period for each team
- Sheldon Keefe, Dave Hakstol, and Manny Malhotra will lead one period for each team in the first and second periods and then separate for the third
- Paul MacLean and head coach Marlies Greg Moore will work the opposite bench
Joe Thornton – Auston Matthews – Mitch Marner (Blue Team)
Jimmy Vesey – John Tavares – William Nylander (white team)
Ilya Mikheyev – Pierre Engvall – Zach Hyman (white team)
Alex Barabanov – Jason Spezza – Wayne Simmonds (blue team)
Morgan Rielly – TJ Brodie (Blue Team)
Jake Muzzin – Justin Holl (White Team)
Mikko Lehtonen – Zach Bogosian (white team)
Rasmus Sandin – Travis Dermott (blue team)
Storylines to watch
- The focus on shootout practice, both at training camp this week and in tonight’s intrasquad game, probably has a lot to do with how many points the team left on the table in this category in recent seasons, including a 1-5 shootout records in 2019-20. Some of that requires a few more saves (.615 save percentage, 21st in the NHL last season), but a 21.4% hit rate for the Leaf shooters last season (24th in the NHL) is. really inexcusable given the offensive talent of the team. . Since every extra point goes to your team or a division rival, it’s even more critical this season than your average year.
- It is likely that we see the combinations of lines above, except for Alex Kerfoot taking back his place of Pierre Engvall if Kerfoot is healthy enough to play, on opening night Wednesday. But Nick Robertson has another NHL rookie (Barabanov) and a 900km signing (Jimmy Vesey) ahead of him on the left wing depth chart. Robertson insisted on playing for the Leafs camp, skipping a world junior tournament where his country won gold, to better prepare for the NHL season. He should be hungry to give the supervisors something to think about.
- While he is right handed, so are Joey Anderson. He hasn’t received much attention in this camp due to his inclusion in the second group, but he looked like an NHL player in New Jersey last season, and he could offer a fourth-row energetic presence. if Barabanov was not involved in a business. claim a place in the early stages of the season.
- The starting powerplay units were unveiled yesterday, and the biggest surprise was the captain John Tavares join William Nylander on PP2, allowing both Joe Thornton and Wayne Simmonds to start on the first unit. Sheldon Keefe was reminding us yesterday that last year’s top unit is unlikely to be gone forever, and how they balance the minute share is something to watch out for. They’ll probably want Matthews out there for ~ 1:30 of most power play, and that leaves nothing but crumbs for your $ 11 million captain and over $ 6.75 million goalscorer on the other unit.
The two units will be on opposite sides in this game, which could be part of the reason they lined up this way with Tavares and Nylander on the second unit, as it would have been difficult to have a competitive game. ‘they had kept last year’s best unit on one team. We’ll know better depending on how the team trains this week, but Keefe has said he intends to establish two units from the start. With Mitch Marner in the bumper position on PP1, Thornton on the half-wall, and Nylander and Tavares moved in unit two, this removes two natural shooters from the unit. That said, Simmonds (net front) and Thornton (half wall) have been major strengths in the power play throughout their careers in their respective roles (there are some great ideas from Simmonds on the front front role. in the match day quotes below). We’ll see what the dynamics look like tonight; with Hyman in front of the other unit’s net, they’ve got a bit more mud in net than where they left off in the playoffs with Nylander and Kapanen in those roles.
- Pierre Engvall will receive an opportunity to center the third row instead of Kerfoot. His waiver exemption lasts for another seven games, but he also earns $ 1.25 million, which is $ 175,000 above the burying cap threshold if sent to the taxi team. The Leafs are hoping he can play a role in the center of the ice this season; Whether Spezza can be a full-time center this year remains to be seen, and they’ll likely want to give Spezza a few nights off throughout the year. Travis Boyd, and in a lesser extent Adam Brooks, are also in this mixture.
- Along with our first looks at Thornton, Vesey, Simmonds, Barabanov up front, the Leafs have major internal competition in the works for their third and fourth pair of defense with newcomers. Mikko Lehtonen and Zach Bogosian in competition with Rasmus Sandin and Travis Dermott for a few minutes. There is a lot to keep an eye on this.
Match Day Quotes
Wayne Simmonds on his role as a power play in net and how he has honed his skills over the years:
I’ve been fortunate enough to play behind guys like Ryan Smyth, who was one of the biggest goals in goal in the NHL, and Michal Handzus as well. I chose the brains of these guys a lot throughout my three years in Los Angeles. Smitty would help me tremendously.
Coming to Philadelphia, I had the chance to work with Scott Hartnell and learn a few tricks of the trade from there. One guy I’ve watched my entire career is Corey Perry – the way he does things in net, his quality and his patience. These are guys that I got to know.
Watching goalies and being able to change the angle of the screen – be it a low screen or a high screen – and play games too… I went to Philadelphia nine years ago now, and started playing in front of the net. Not only are you there as a screen, but you’re there to tip and make those low plays and puck pickups. The evolution continues for me to improve myself every year. I am a student of the game and seek to learn whenever I have the chance.
Keefe on Simmonds as an asset on the net front:
He has a great tradition of producing in the front of the net, whether it is scoring himself or just contributing because of the problem a good presence in net can cause for goalkeepers and penalty killers. . We want to give him this opportunity. This obviously broadens its role with us, and this is important.
We think he has a lot to offer. Prioritizing the clean front is something we wanted to do from the start. We see this with Simmonds on one unit and Hyman on another. We want to try. I thought William Nylander made great strides in this role last year, and John Tavares is very good at it as well. We have options. At the beginning, we want to give it an overview.
TJ Brodie on his twinning with Morgan Rielly:
He’s an easy guy to play. He does everything so well. It is quite easy to read it. He is so skillful. You just let him do his thing there.