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Opening Night Liveblog: Habs-Leafs, Flyers-Bruins

Hockey's back! And TCL is right here with you to take it all in. It's opening night, and we'll be right here with you every step of the way. Join us as we cover the Montreal Canadiens at the Toronto Maple Leafs, as well as the Philadelphia Flyers at Boston. Just enter your comments and follow along in the discussion below, or click here to open the widget in a new window!

 

 

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Game 1 : Canadiens @ Maple Leafs

It's TIME!

Original Six showdown in Leafs Town tonight.  Welcome back everyone! IT'S HOCKEY SEASON!

The Montreal Canadiens are in enemy territory tonight, opening their season in Toronto. This will be the first of six meetings between the two rivals and tonight's game will put all of the off season banter between fans to rest.  Habs, Leafs, TCL hockey!

After another let down season in Toronto you can be sure that the Leafs have something to p...

Thank You Notes

Two days left until the real games start, where has the time gone?  I know a lot of you thought I was gone forever, but I’m not the Atlanta Thrashers or playoff hockey in Toronto. To be honest though, I’m just more of a regular season guy, like Alex Ovechkin. 

Now with that said, there’s just a few thank you notes I’d like to hand out before we get started.

The first person I want to thank is Stephen Marche, who wrote an article last week suggesting that Toronto is the worst sports city in the WORLD. One of the main criteria was that fans in Toronto show up in masses to support mediocre teams. The fact is that Toronto fans are ignoring strateg...

How will Lombardi's return affect the Leafs?

With Matthew Lombardi's long recovery from post-concussion syndrome nearing completion, Tyler Bozak or Nazem Kadri could be the odd-man out in Toronto.

Lombardi, who was centering the fourth-line at practice this morning, is aiming to make his Leafs debut for the Oct.6 season opener against the Montreal Canadiens. While his role with the team will be limited initially---he will start on the fourth-line, according to head coach Ron Wilson---he'd eventually work his way to the third-line in a slow transition to ensure he could handle increased ice-time, if all goes according to plan.

While the addition of Lombardi would add depth to the Leafs' line-up, the question a...

Cold As The Cold Wind Blows

The arena lights up and the players fill their lockers while the zamboni cleans the ice. Training camp is upon us and with that, a new season. But there's an unfamiliar chill in the air. Three players are dead, but the show must go on and Wade Belak was all about the show. You could describe Belak as a funny, happy, nice, mean and tough guy and from the surface, it seems that you'd be right. Belak seemed to be enjoying his retirement after playing his last game just a season ago for the Predators. He seemed to be all booked up though, including an appearance on CBC's third season of Battle of the Blades and that's precisely why Belak was ...

What To Expect: MGK Line

Not a soul could have predicted it before the start of the 2010-11 season, but the trio consisting of Clarke MacArthur, Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin was the Toronto Maple Leafs' most productive line since the lockout.

In fact, the line amassed 110 points, which ranked as the second most productive line in the National Hockey League last season. Considering the fortunes of the Leafs in the past decade, the fact that all three players had breakout campaigns in the same season while also establishing chemistry was nothing short of a miracle.

However, with the Leafs missing the playoffs for a sixth-straight season, the short-term significance of the MGK line me...

Leafs Continue To Lag Behind The Habs

No the icon attached to this blog isn't a mistake and the title isn't a joke, you've come to the right place. Yes it's true that I lost a bet to Prax and as punishment I owe him a blog for the Montreal Canadiens. The bet started at the beginning of last season when I was fooled enough by Brian Burke and company to believe that the Leafs would finish ahead of the Habs in the regular season standings. Prax quickly took the bet, and here we are. 

The Leafs got off to a quick start and I too was quick to rub it in. Unfortunately the next part of the season was pretty rough for the Leafs with Giguere and Gustavsson in between the pi...

What To Expect: Joffrey Lupul

Barring an untimely injury, Joffrey Lupul will start training camp on a line with Tim Connolly and Phil Kessel.

The keyword being start.

That's not to suggest Lupul is the weakest forward on theToronto Maple Leafs' top-six unit, or that he will ultimately move down the depth chart, but he is certainly in a vulnerable position with the second-line of Nikolai Kulemin, Mikhail Grabovski and Clarke MacArthur all but set in stone---unless the line fails to rekindle its chemistry from the onset. And barring the unlikely scenario of Nazem Kadri or Joe Colborne prying the number-one center position from Connolly, and I wouldn't bet a cen...

Burke Means Business...Hanson Heads to Washington...Zigomanis Re-ups, and More...

 


 

 

Brian Burke acquired NCAA power forward Christian Hanson late in the spring of 2009. The undrafted 6'4” son of Slapshot's Dave Hanson signed a two-year deal worth a million and a half and spent the majority of those two years with the Marlies. In 42 NHL games, Hanson amassed nine points and 22 penalty minutes.

 

While many felt the big centre had the goods to crack the roster out of last season's camp, he spent the majority of the year toiling with the Marlies, notching 13...

What To Expect: Tim Connolly

The acquisition of Tim Connolly to the Toronto Maple Leafs' top-six unit will, on the surface, add depth to the team's forward ranks. But the hopes of playoff hockey in Toronto could well rest on the shoulders of the injury-prone centerman next season.

Not because Connolly is capable of vaulting the Leafs to new heights single-handedly---because he cannot---but his role as a stop-gap to centers Nazem Kadri and Joe Colborne will play a pivotal role in the Leafs' short-term succ...