The Toronto Maple Leafs are playing their second-to-last game of the preseason against the Detroit Red Wings at 7 p.m. tonight (live blog starts at quarter to game time).
For many players, tonight is the last chance they get to prove they belong with the big club. Christian Hanson, John Mitchell, Luca Caputi, and Nazem Kadri will all be playing for only one or two available positions. With four players vying for jobs, tonight should be an entertaining affair.
Coming off two goals and one assist on Wednesday night, Kadri hopes to stick with the big club but is prepared for anything.
"Yeah, for sure, I'm ready for anything...and wherever I play, it's their (management) decision," Kadri told Mark Zwolinski of The Toronto Star. "I hope I can start here (NHL), but my goal is to be here."
Another spectacular performance is the only way he makes it past tonight, something Kadri knows as well.
For Hanson, Mitchell and Caputi, tonight's game will decide who gets to start this season on the ice or in the press box. Look for the line of Hanson, Caputi and Mike Brown to surprise a few people.
Tonight's Toronto Maple Leafs Roster
Kris Versteeg—Tyler Bozak—Phil Kessel
Nazem Kadri—Mikhail Grabovski—Nikolai Kulemin
Fredrik Sjostrom—John Mitchell—Colby Armstrong
Luca Caputi—Christian Hanson—Mike Brown
Francois Beauchemin—Dion Phaneuf
Tomas Kaberle—Mike Komisarek
Carl Gunnarsson—Jeff Finger
Jussi Rynnas (Starter)
(Courtesy of Ken Beckett, Hockeybuzz)
The Leafs lose 7 -3 in a lack-lustre fashion.
After a great game on Wednesday, Nazem Kadri signed his own ticket to the Toronto Marlies last night. Kadri certainly played better than many Leafs players, however after going pointless against Detroit, Kadri is certainly destined for the Marlies.
Penalties cost the Leafs with the Red Wings scoring four goals on the man advantage. Shaky play from rookie netminder Jussi Rynnas didn't help things either as the Leafs went down early.
So far this preseason the Leafs have proven one thing: Just when you think the Leafs have fixed something, it breaks.
The Leafs continue to have the same problem they have had for almost a decade, keeping the puck out of their net. After losing 7 - 3 Detroit it is clear, the Leafs need Giguere to return to form for them to have any success this season.
Follow Cale Loney on Twitter @Loney_NHL