Per Khan, Bertuzzi is out with some tightness in his back. He'll be replaced by Mattias Ritola, who'll be scrapping this weekend to keep himself with the club when the preseason is all said and done. Both teams will be playing with lineups that are mostly NHL-Caliber. The Wings will have their top three lines followed by Maltby-Emmerton-Mursak on the fourth and their defensive pairings work out as follows:
If Amazon is going to take Ericsson's #6 D-man spot away from him, playing on a pair with Nicklas Lidstrom is a good place from which to attempt that. I'm looking forward to seeing the Stuart-Rafalski pair in action, hoping that they can get their chemistry together and Stu can get used to playing the opposite side of the ice.
Meanwhile, the Leafs bring their almost-ready-for-primetime players into the Joe tonight. I'll be looking for Nazem Kadri, the Leaf's last first-round pick to turn heads and see if he can convince Ron Wilson to keep him with the big club this season. Also, you'll see a number 22 in Maple Leafs blue and white tonight, and he'll be big. Don't worry though, Brett Lebda didn't bulk up in the offseason, that's Francois Beauchemin. The Curly-Hair-Apparent to Bobby Orr wears #23 now, but he won't be in the lineup, as he's expected to miss another 1-2 weeks with a shoulder injury. Maybe they'll add a chip to it while he's healing.