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Saturday, October 1, 2011

2011-2012 Maple Leafs opening night 23-man roster

With the first game of the new NHL season just days away, it;s time for the Leafs to get down to 23 men from the current 29. So let's take 3 right off the top. Kadri and Lombardi will start the season on the injured list, and Scrivens will be given the starting job with the Marlies.

Now we have 2 goalies in (Reimer / Gustavsson), plus 24 skaters competing for 21 skating jobs. Looking at the remainder, let's examine who is locked-in and who may be on the bubble.



Of these MacArthur is out the first two games on suspension, but will be back on Grabovski's top line after that. So let's count these 8 as in, and move to the next tier.


The next question is, with the 5 strong defencemen named above (Phaneuf, Schenn, Liles, Aulie, Komisarek), do we go with 7 or 8 on D. I believe we go with 8, dressing 7 and keeping one in a suit. Which would mean these 3 also make the team:


Considering the injuries and suspension of front, going with eight D makes even more sense. So now we have 2 goalies and 8 D, plus 12 of 13 forward positions filled. Here's where things get tough, as there are 3 players battling for the final forward position:

Jay Rosehill
Joey Crabb
Philippe Dupuis

If Connolly or Bozak isn't sharp and ready for opening night, look for Dupuis to get in, otherwise the Marlies are likely to get an extra boost for the early season, picking up both him and Rosehill, with Crabb being the 13th Leafs forward.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the injury list have a couple more names added to it, as that buys time, and increases depth on the practice roster.

Soon we shall see...

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