The Toronto Maple Leafs currently sit five days out from their home opener on October 2nd with what appears to be one vacant roster spot remaining: fourth-line left wing. Naturally, the coming week will be pretty vital in figuring out which candidate seems fit to fill it, with the most important (and for some players, final) showcase taking place in Detroit later tonight.
Set to ice their “Bubble Lineup” for one last litmus test, Mike Babcock has made his expectations abundantly clear to his remaining roster hopefuls. And to properly communicate them, I’ll let him tell you himself.
Mike Babcock on the fourth line candidates playing tonight in Detroit: “I want them to play 20 minutes tonight, but I want them to play like they’re on the fourth line. So if you get out there and you start toe-dragging and turning the puck over – wrong answer.”
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) September 27, 2019
That last sentence is particularly intriguing. Babcock’s comments this morning, like pretty much everything he says to the media, were likely directed at a few players in specific. Players like Dmytro Timashov, for example.
When praising the 22-year-old for unexpectedly forcing his way into the roster conversation with …
Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation