Game Day : Habs vs Leafs

The time has finally come. The countdown is finally over. The much anticipated start to the season is just hours away. Let's take a look at what's in store for tonight.

Two original six teams, a life-long rivalry between two storied franchises. Couldn't ask for more.

After a less than mediocre season in Toronto last year, the Leafs will be hitting the ice tonight with something to prove. With a few additions upfront , Versteeg, Armstrong and Brent ( who is this guy), the Leafs look to create more offensive chances. They also made a few tweaks on the blue line adding Lebda and Lashoff. If the Leafs can avoid an 8 game losing streak to start the year, then I guess you can say their off season was a success.

Montreal will be travelling without two of their key defenceman, Markov and Hamrlik. They'll also be without Cammalleri (Suspension) and Carey Price (Flu, game time decision). Toronto will also start the season with injuries on the blueline, Ledba (Shoulder) and Jeff Finger (Undisclosed).

Players to keep an eye on:

-Tomas Plekanec
82GP 25G 45A 70PTS 5+/- 50 PIM 3 PP 1 SH 4 GWG 216 SOG

-Phil Kessel
70GP 30G 25A 55PTS -8+/- 21 PIM 8 PP 0 SH 5 GWG 297 SOG

Also keep an eye out for Lars Eller. With Cammalleri out of the line up, expect to see him playing along side Plekanec and Andre Kostitsyn.

It's going to be a tough win for either team to pull off tonight. I expect it to be fast paced, full of hits, and Komisarek will probably spend more time in the penalty box than on the ice. I can't think of a better way to kick off the 2010-2011 NHL season.

Enjoy!

-Kathryn Pateridis

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Links worth a visit:

Kevin Mio's gameday Preview at http://habsinsideout.com/main/37457

Kyle Roussel 's latest blog post at http://www.cowhideandrubber.com/

12 Comments

George Prax's picture

Really looking forward to this. I've been looking forward to it for about 4 months actually, haha. Should be a tight game, physical, lots of goals. My prediction yesterday was 5-4 Habs in a shootout and I'm sticking by it. Hoping Plekanec has a huge night as well.

Kathryn Pateridis's picture

Seems like Price's chances of starting tonight are looking better. But I agree with

@metricjulie
"You know I'd reaaaaaaally rather Auld start tonight and be 100% healthy than Price who's just "well enough" to play. FRICK."

George Prax's picture

I kinda see both sides of the argument. Doesn't really send a good message if Price sits out the first game, but if he's playing at 70% we could very well lose, especially considering how the team seemingly hates playing in front of him for some reason. But he's just sick, so whatever. If he's well enough to play, I want him to play.

Kathryn Pateridis's picture

Problem is, if he doesn't come up with a Win. What do you think callers to the Team990 are going to be saying? Seems like another excuse in the works.

Kathryn Pateridis's picture

When I say callers to team990, I mean Habs fans that are simply Habs fans, not fans of hockey or have any knowledge pertaining to the game.

Kathryn Pateridis's picture

@rdsca
Jean-Sébastien Giguère sera le gardien partant des Maple Leafs ce soir (via @LucGelinas)

George Prax's picture

Arpon Basu said they were using the following defense pairings:

Beauchemin - Phaneuf
Kaberle - Schenn
Gunnerson - Komisarek

HabsFan1980's picture

I'd like to see Pricey start...AND...I'd like to see him win! My prediction re: Plekanec is that he will light up the Leafs net! It could be a tough win, though because French goalies are the best! I can't wait!!!

Kathryn Pateridis's picture

Arpon also says:
D pairings: Spacek-Subban; Gill-Gorges; Picard-O'Byrne

Phil T's picture

The Picard - O'Byrne pairing is brutal ;/

Kathryn Pateridis's picture

Confirmed. Carey to start. You got your wish Elizabeth!

George Prax's picture

Good! Hopefully he's near 100%.