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PPP After Dark: Maple Leafs start California road trip in San Jose

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The Sharks are the first stop for the Buds on their California road trip.

Jyrki Lumme and Patrick Marleau circa 2002.
Jyrki Lumme and Patrick Marleau circa 2002.
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

Maple Leafs (7-4-0) @ Sharks (5-5-0)

10:30 pm ET
The Shark Tank
TV: Sportsnet ON (blackouts in effect)

Our game preview is here.
Fear the Fin preview is here.

The Maple Leafs kick off their annual California road trip tonight against the San Jose Sharks. It's always a difficult road trip due to the quick pace of playing 3 games in only four or five days. It's also a slog for Leafs fans whom have to stay up late to watch the games played at prime time in the Pacific Time Zone, unlike the annual game in Vancouver (snicker).

Tonight has the added event of Patrick Marleau returning to San Jose for the first time since leaving the team where he played since he was drafted in 1997, and played 1493 regular season games, plus another 177 playoff games. He made it to the playoffs in all but two of the 19 seasons he spent there. It will no doubt be emotional event for him.

However, business is business, and the Leafs are in the business of winning now. They need a good win tonight to kick off this toughest of NHL road trips.

If you can't stay up late there's still some good games to watch tonight. Ottawa takes on Montreal, attempting to perpetuate their humiliation as the last place team in the conference. The Coyotes are playing the Flyers, still looking for their very first win of the season after losing the first 11(!) games; pretty much all but mathematically eliminated from making the playoffs at this point.

If you want to watch some really good hockey, I recommend the Golden Knights @ Islanders starting at 7:00PM. The Knights sit tied with the Blues and Bolts for the most points in the NHL, but they also have a game in hand.

GO LEAFS GO!

Empty Calories

So the headline photo is of Patrick Marleau playing for the Sharks and Jyrki Lumme playing for the Leafs. Who remembers Lumme? Anyone? I sure don't, but he is from Tempare, Finland, like another famous Maple Leafs player.

That look on Paul Maurice's face. Oh, speaking of Maurice, now coach of the Jets, Patrik "Number One" Laine is coached by him now too and he is also from Tempare!

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