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The Globe and Mail

Busy exhibition schedule set to start for Leafs

Maple Leafs' Jonas Gustavsson is one of six Toronto goaltenders who could see preseason action. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck


Day 3 of Toronto Maple Leafs training camp Sunday didn't come with any cuts, as there remain 70 bodies all playing on three different scrimmage teams.

Monday we'll get a little bit better idea of who's sticking around until later in the week, as Toronto plays its first preseason game of the year against the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre.

That'll be the first of five exhibition games in six nights, courtesy of the NHL's always overly busy preseason schedule.

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Coach Ron Wilson wouldn't tip his hand as to who'll be in the lineup, only saying that two goaltenders will split the duties.

He'll choose from James Reimer, Jonas Gustavsson, Ben Scrivens and Mark Owuya, as the other two goaltenders in camp are either injured (Jussi Rynnas, who has a sore ankle) or not going to play any exhibition games (Garret Sparks, who's headed back to junior).

Here are a few other highlights from what Wilson had to say today, with full audio from his scrum at the bottom:

- On the goaltending depth beyond Reimer and Gustavsson: "We'll give Scrivens a really good look here, too, because he played so well last year in the AHL and we were confident if anything happened to use him here. He's ready to play a little bit more in exhibition games."

- On blueline newcomer Cody Franson: "He's got a very hard shot, but what we're liking more than anything is his first pass capability in our zone. He gets the puck out of danger. And he's got pretty good hands, too. He's going to get lots of opportunities in the exhibition games to show us what he can do. He's definitely going to playing some point on the power play."

- On another blueliner newcomer, John-Michael Liles: "He's always played on teams that have had some good offence and he's been a real good point man on the power play. He's a quarterback. It's going to take some time because he plays a little bit differently. He's always involved in the offence. We haven't really had that, up the ice, a defenceman who dives into the play. So there's going to be some growing pains as our forwards get used to having a guy who's always involved in the attack. We're encouraging that from all of our defence. He's going to be a great example for all our players to watch. And then we'll adjust around his play."

- On the battle on the fourth line: "Brian [Burke]will clear a spot if you clearly win the job up here."

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- Worth noting too that one of the major standouts in today's scrimmage was prospect defenceman Jesse Blacker, who'll likely be logging big minutes with the Marlies in his first full pro season.

- Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin missed camp today to be at former Leaf Igor Kovolev's funeral. Here was our story on Korolev shortly after his death in the crash in Russia earlier this month.

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