The story of this years training camp has been the Rookies. Kadri, Stalberg, Bozak and after tonight 2-1 win over Detroit at the ACC, Jonas Gustavvson. Through 8 games of the 9 game preseason schedule, Stalberg leads the leafs with 5 goals 2 assists and 7 points in 7 games, Kadri is second with 3 goals 2 assists and 5 points in 6 games, and Bozak is third with 1 goal 4 assists and 5 points in 6 games.
So now the question remains of which of the 30+ players who haven't been cut will fill the 23 man roster when the regular season starts on Oct 1st?
Ron Wilson has stated he would like to carry 8 defensemen and 2 goalies. From this it can be deduced that 13 forwards will be chosen as well. Here are my picks:
(but remember that Kessel and Mayers are hurt. )
Forwards (in no particular order)
Defense (in no particular order)
Game 1 Lineup
Extra - Stempniak
This might be a surprise some people and it might not, but I have chosen to keep Stalberg and Rosehill. Both have had a great training camp, Stalberg is leading the leafs in scoring and has dominated. Jay Rosehill on the other hand has come from practical obscurity and has showcased his 4th liner potential as a bruiser/fighter but can still play the game. He is strong defensively and has the ability to chip in a point once in a while which has lead to him really impressing Ron Wilson. Choosing the Aformentioned Rosehill and Stalberg leads to Stempniak going down to the Marlies thanks to his underwhelming play.Should Rosehill not preform satisfactorily he could be bumped aside when Mayers comes back from his injury. Also, Kessel is hurt and when he comes back in November someone will have to have his place taken.
On defense and in goal I went with a more conventional lineup. Finger and Van Ryn however are injured but are expected to be back before October 1st, should one need to be replaced come gameday, Gunnarsson has been exceptional thus far and would be a good replacement.
I, like other Leaf fans would like to see players like Bozak and Kadri get a chance with the big club but there is just to much of a logjam up front and just to fit in Rosehill and Stalberg, Players like Stempniak who has a 1 way contract will have to be sent down to the Marlies.
What do you think of this lineup? Do you Agree or Disagree? Post in the Comment box below and let me know.
and now I leave you with a video of the 10 best hockey goals:
P.S how nice was that save tonight by Gustavvson on the 2 man breakaway?