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.
Rosehill - Lombardi - Brown
Gardiner - Komisarek
Moen - Engqvist - Weber
Spacek - Diaz
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