Game #1 Preview Leafs vs Canadiens

The Toronto Maple Leafs will kick off the regular season tonight against their North East divisional rival Montreal Canadiens. These two teams should be fighting all season for a playoff spot, so tonight's game is actually a big one right off the bat.

Neither the Leafs, nor Habs will want this game to go beyond 60 minutes. Tonight's opener should be an entertaining, physical affair between two of the fastest teams in the league. 

John Michael Liles, Dave Steckel and Matthew Lombardi will be making their Leaf debuts tonight, while 21 year old, preseason sensation. Jake Gardiner will suit up for his first NHL game. Tim Connolly will miss tonight's game with an upper body injury, leaving Tyler Bozak to slide into his old spot between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. Clarke MacArthur will serve the first of a two game suspension tonight. The Leafs will need to rely on Grabovski, Kessel and Kulemin to lead the offense for the first two games of the season. Eric Cole and Blair Betts are expected to make their debuts as well tonight with their new team. 

Lineups

Leafs

Forwards
Kulemin - Grabovski - Frattin
Lupul - Bozak - Kessel
Steckel - Dupuis - Armstrong

Rosehill - Lombardi - Brown 

Defense
Gunnarsson - Phaneuf 
Liles - Schenn

Gardiner - Komisarek

Goalies 
Reimer 

Gustavsson

Canadiens

Forwards
Kostitsyn - Plekanec - Cammalleri 
Pacioretty - Gomez - Gionta
Darche - Desharnais  - Cole

Moen - Engqvist - Weber

Defense
Campoli - Gorges
Gill - Subban 

Spacek - Diaz

Goalies 
Price 

Budaj 

Players to Watch 

Leafs: Dion Phaneuf - The Leafs captain has said all the right things to the press regarding his belief that he can lead this team to the playoffs. It's time to show the fans and players that this Leafs team is ready and hungry. I look for Phaneuf to set the tone immediately tonight. 

Canadiens: Brian Gionta - Yes, it is on purpose. The diminutive Habs captain should be a force tonight. Gionta always plays well against the buds, and he will be the player the Canadiens look to for a spark. 

Game Time: 7:00 at the Air Canada Centre. TV - CBC. Radio - AM640 

Comments

George Prax's picture

I just wanted to say... that you suck Smile

This game is definitely going into extra time. Can't wait!