The Toronto Maple Leafs are set to face off against the Ottawa Senators once again, but they will do so with a very unusual lineup this evening.
The big story of the day is of course the current backup goaltending situation for the Maple Leafs. Due to a number of injuries and illnesses on their roster, most notably goaltender Petr Mrazek dealing with a groin injury, the Leafs have been left short on cap space when it comes to calling up another goaltender for this evening. No doubt veteran backup Michael Hutchinson would have gotten the call under normal circumstances, but the Maple Leafs quite literally do not have the cap space required to make that move.
In a very bizarre scenario the Leafs have now signed University of Toronto goaltender Alex Bishop to an amateur tryout offer, a move that will allow them to have someone on the bench to backup Jack Campbell this evening should things go bad. That being said I suspect that, barring any injuries, Campbell is likely to remain in net the entire night regardless of the score. Regardless of whether or not he actually gets to play, this will likely be something of a dream come true for Bishop who, as a 24 year old hockey player, has no doubt dreamed of playing in the NHL one day.
The rest of the Maple Leafs lineup will be considerably more normal, although fans will likely be disappointed to learn that there will once again be no Auston Matthews in the lineup for the Leafs tonight following a delayed offseason wrist surgery. Then again that should come as no surprise either given that the Leafs announced earlier this week that Matthews would not play in any of this week's games.
Here are how the Leafs 4 forward lines are projecting for tonight's Battle of Ontario:
Here are how your defensive pairings are projecting for tonight's game:
And as previously stated it will be Jack Campbell getting the start tonight, with a small miracle likely needing to occur for Bishop to actually get put into a live NHL game during his amateur tryout with the Leafs.
At the very least this should make things interesting this evening.