Thursday Practice: Carlyle presser, Smithson in, Gardiner-Franson reunited


Tuesday’s practice lines with Jerred Smithson in the fold:

On defence, Gardiner-Franson has been reunited with Gardiner moving back to his natural left, while the returning Mark Fraser joined Paul Ranger on the bottom pair. Gardiner-Franson was the team’s second pairing in the playoffs and the tandem was really effective at moving the puck against the Bruins. Franson was playing better defence in the playoffs than he has been in recent games, but his ability to take care of business in the defensive zone and make a D-to-D pass over to Gardiner to orchestrate the breakout seemed to be an effective combination; and once on the offensive zone blueline, this is a really dangerous pairing. Let’s hope Gardiner’s presence helps Franson settle in as Rielly-Franson was an up-and-down pairing.

The suggestion based on the practice pairs is that Morgan Rielly will sit tomorrow night against the Devils.

Smithson interviews after Thursday practice: