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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Optimus Reim stonewalls Habs, leads Leafs to 2-0 win

Lombardi and Phaneuf goals enough for a victory

After a truly shaky first period, when veterans Phaneuf and Komisarek held steady and Reimer performed solidly, the rest of the Maple Leafs joined the party in the second.

It's just one game but with players such as Connolly, Franson and Kadri out of the lineup, and proven NHLers like Boyce and Aulie with the Marlies, there is enough depth there for Burke to swing a two for one or three for two deal with a team that may be thinner.

Picking up Steckel for a fourth round pick may or may not turn out to be listed among Burke's brilliant horse trading moves, but tonight he was a big help, a force in the faceoff circle while patrolling the 3rd line wing. Lombardi on the 4th line is also intersting, as Brown and Rosehill open up room for a top six calibre forward.

Frattin doesn't really work on the Grabovski line because he is a shoot first forward and both of his linemates are better NHL snipers than he is, though he's getting there. Still, I'd like to see some responsibility thrown on him, he wants it.

Here are some line combos for Wilson to ponder for the 3rd game.

Frattin - Lombardi - Kessel
MacArthur - Gabrovski - Kulemin
Steckel - Dupuis - Armstrong
Brown - Bozak - Rosehill

Another thing I would like to have Wilson consider is occasionally dressing Franson as a fourth line winger. This could be a way to ensure defensive depth in the playoffs, though with players such as Connolly, Kadri, Crabb, Orr and even Boyce all itching to get into the Buds lineup, I can understand if other players get shots at those forward jobs that occasionally come open.

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