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Leafs vs. Rangers Preview: The Boys Are Back In Town

Pretty messed up how there’s only one song about that.

NHL: New York Rangers at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports


Time: 7:00 PM EST

Location: Air Canada Centre

Broadcast/Streaming: CBC, MSG

Opponent SBNation Site: Blueshirt Banter


Fresh off wrecking Winnipeg’s home opener, the Leafs return home for their own. Toronto is stereotyped as having a quiet, staid building full of rich stiffs, but this is the most exciting team the town has had in fifteen years. Expect a showy intro and some noise.

It feels like every year we wonder if the Rangers have finally aged out of their window, and then they hang around and make the playoffs. Here it goes again anyway: have the Rangers aged out of their window? They traded Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta to Arizona, and although they shuffled out Dan “Danger Ardi” Girardi in favour of Kevin Shattenkirk, this team is still relying on a 36-year-old Henrik Lundqvist, or worse, Ondrej Pavelec.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner

Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

Matt Martin - Dominic Moore - Connor Brown

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev

Calle Rosen - Connor Carrick


Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Dominic Moore and Calle Rosen have cycled into the lineup, seemingly suggesting Mike Babcock considers the battles for 4C and 3LD to be ongoing. Worth noting this may also have a personal component:

The Leafs continue to boast a murderous forward lineup, so that’s fun. Here are the Rangers, based on last game, care of Daily Faceoff.

New York Rangers

Forward Lines

Chris Kreider - Mika Zibanejad - Pavel Buchnevich

Rich Nash - Filip Chytil - Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner - Kevin Hayes - J.T. Miller

Jimmy Vesey - David Desharnais - Paul Carey

Defence Pairings

Ryan McDonagh - Kevin Shattenkirk

Brady Skjei - Brendan Smith

Marc Staal - Anthony DeAngelo


Henrik Lundqvist

Ondrej Pavelec

Remember when Darren Dreger said the Leafs would have dealt Nylander if they’d gotten Vesey? Good times.

Anyway: Mika Zibanejad is dope and Mats Zuccarello is a wizard who will make at minimum one gorgeous play tonight, but that is not an especially great forward lineup. At least they aren’t playing Girardi and Staal in their top four these days.

Contrary to earlier reports, Henrik Lundqvist will get the start, and not Ondrej Pavelec. Oh well.

This is a winnable game. So let’s win it. Go Leafs Go.