The preseason kicks off TONIGHT in Toronto as the Philadelphia Flyers take on the Toronto Maple Leafs, and while exhibition hockey isn't all that exciting by the time we get to Game Nos. five and six, the first game always carries with it the anticipation and the symbolism of the new season.
For us, with a bagillion new players to get used to and plenty of roster battles still up in the air, this first preseason game brings even more to be excited about. Even better, the game is on Comcast Network locally and NHL Network nationally. Awesome.
Which guys will we get to see tonight?
With a special thanks to Canadian Press reporter Chris Johnston in Toronto, here's a look at the Flyers roster for tonight. Some players will be scratched from this lineup, but this is the list of who will be at Air Canada Centre tonight.
Forwards: Brayden Schenn, Adam Mair, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds, James van Riemsdyk, Ben Holmstrom, Matt Read, Harry Zolnierczyk, Tom Sestito, Zac Rinaldo, Mike Testwuide, Eric Wellwood, Michael Nylander.
Lots of intriguing names here, obviously. Both non-roster invitees, Nylander and Mair, look to be playing. Several of the guys in the running for the 13th forward spot are playing. Just about everybody in the running for the final spot (or two) on defense is playing.
And of course, if there's a battle for the backup goalie spot (who knows if there is given Bobrovsky's waiver situation), each man will begin to make his case tonight. We'd expect each guy to play about half the game or for there to be some kind of two period/one period split.
Here's the Leafs lineup, if you care (you shouldn't, they're the Leafs):
Lots of punch (literally) in that Leafs lineup with Rosehill and Orr. If both of them dress, and if both Rinaldo and Sestito dress for the Flyers, that could be something to watch. Or, the Schenn-Rinaldo rematch. Although as we all know, this is a tamer, more offensively oriented Zac Rinaldo these days... or something.