|Leafs' Nazem Kadri gets taken down by the Sens' Matt Carkner during exhibition action on Tuesday. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency)
If there is a best part about playing five pre-season games in five nights, it’s that there is little time to dwell on the day before.
So just 24 hours after a flat effort and a 5-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators, the two teams will be back in action at the Air Canada Centre Wednesday night.
In bodies anyway, the Leafs team iced by coach Ron Wilson will have little resemblance to the one that was overmatched by a Sens team missing most of its stars on Tuesday night. Only tough guy Jay Rosehill and rookie winger Jerry D’Amigo will be playing in back-to-back games for Toronto.
Notable, however, is the first action this fall of the Leafs top line - centre Tyler Bozak and wingers Phil Kessel and Nikolai Kulemin.
Wilson said Wednesday that he continues to have high hopes for Bozak, especially if he lasts a full season as Kessel’s centre.
“If Phil can be a 40-goal scorer this year, (Bozak’s) probably going to be in on three quarters of those and then a few others, so 50-60 points would be a great year,” Wilson said. “He might be able to produce more if he continues to improve the way we think.”
Another interesting forward line Wednesday will see Mikhail Grabovski between D’Amigo and Clarke MacArthur, the off-season acquisition Wilson would love to see score 20 goals.
Defenceman Mike Komisarek, who hasn’t played since injuring his shoulder in February returns to game action as does Francois Beauchemin.
Both J-S Giguere and Jonas Gustavsson - the projected top two goaltenders will have the night off giving James Reimer and Ben Scrivens a chance to show their stuff.
As for forward combinations, Wilson plans to continue to mix and match depending on who shows chemistry. He said he would like to keep Bozak and Kessel together but wouldn’t rule out re-uniting Grabovski with Kulemin at some point.
“Grabovski has been as good an any forward we’ve had in training camp to this point,” Wilson said at his pre-game press conference. “I have to make sure he’s out there with people who produce points.”
For the Senators, Brian Elliott is expected to play the entire game in net. Minor league prospect Robin Lehner recorded the shut out on Tuesday stopping 24 shots.
“If he keeps playing the way he did (Tuesday) night, it would be pretty hard to not have him here,” coach Cory Clouston told the Ottawa Sun Wednesday morning.