Coming off another high scoring, offensive performance against the Dallas Stars, it appears as if the Toronto Maple Leafs will make few changes to their lineup for tonight’s game against the rival Detroit Red Wings.
According to Leafs insider and TSN reporter Mark Masters, head coach Mike Babcock will go with the same lineup tonight against the Wings as he went with Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars. The Leafs, of course, ran over the Stars by a score of 7-4 thanks in large part to another two goal performance from Auston Matthews and an additional two goals from superstar John Tavares.
According to Masters, here’s the lineup for tonight’s action:
Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Patrick Marleau - Auston Matthews - Kasperi Kapanen
Par Lindholm - Nazem Kadri - Connor Brown
Josh Leivo - Frederik Gauthier - Tyler Ennis
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Igor Ozhiganov
Matt Marincin - Justin Holl
Again, it looks like rookie Andreas Johnsson will sit out in favour of Frederik Gauthier. It might be a tough pill for the young Swede to swallow, but what’s the old saying? You don’t mess with a winning lineup.
Update: Leafs insider Jonas Siegel of The Athletic has confirmed that Babcock will indeed make a change on the blue line for tonight's game. It appears as though Marincin will draw in for Ozhiganov. The 25 year old Russian Ozhiganov has played the Leafs first three games, going pointless along the way. The Leafs signed him this past offseason after scouting him in the KHL with CSKA Moscow. It's also interesting to note that Ozhiganov is a former teammate and defense partner of Nikita Zaitsev's from their time with CSKA Moscow.
Only one change expected for the Leafs tonight in Detroit: Martin Marincin in for Igor Ozhiganov.
Of course, conspicuously absent from the team’s lineup remains William Nylander. The sniper is still embroiled in an ugly contract stalemate with Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and until that resolves itself, he’ll remain unavailable to coach Babcock.
Puck drop is at 7:30 pm tonight from Detroit’s Little Caesar’s Arena. Let’s go, Buds!