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Toronto Maple Leafs game preview: Hockey Hall of Fame night against the Boston Bruins

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Selanne, Kariya, Recchi, Andreychuk, and Goyette to be honoured at centre ice before the game.

Paul Kariya talks with Teemu Selanne

Tonight is the annual Hockey Hall of Fame game, where the induction weekend is begun and the inductees are honoured at centre ice before the game. This year the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Boston Bruins. Before we get to the game, let’s review the 2017 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees.

Dave Andreychuk played for the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, and Tampa Bay Lightning over a 23 season NHL career. He won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004, a bronze medal with Canada at the World Championships in 1986, and was named to the Buffalo Sabres hall of fame in 2009.

Danielle Goyette played 51 games for Team Canada, capturing two Olympic gold medals (02, 06), one Olympic silver medal (98), eight World Championships gold medals (92, 94, 97, 99, 00, 01, 04, 07), one World Championships silver medal (05) and a Western Women’s Hockey League championship in 2007 with the Calgary Oval X-Treme. She was inducted into the IIHF hall of fame in 2013.

Paul Kariya was the first ever draft pick for the Anaheim Ducks (Then properly known and as the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim), and after playing one more year at the University of Maine would join the Ducks and never leave the pros again. 15 seasons in the NHL, Kariya won two Lady Byng trophies (96, 97), named to the all-rookie team in 1995, set the record for most game winning goals in 1997, and play in the Stanley Cup Final in 2003. Internationally he won a World Junior Championships gold medal in 1993, an Olympic silver medal in 1994, an Olympic gold medal in 2002, a World Championships gold in 1994, and a World Championships silver in 1996. All of that on top of the nine individual NCAA awards he’d win and the NCAA & Hockey East titles in 1993.

Mark Recchi played 22 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Atlanta Thrashers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Boston Bruins. He would win a Stanley Cup as a player with the Penguins in 1991 the Hurricanes in 2006, and the Bruins in 2011 and a World Championship gold medal in 1997. Since retiring he’s worked as the Bruins team doctor, an adviser to the Dallas Stars, and a coach with the Penguins where he won two more Stanley Cups in 2016 & 2017.

Teemu Selanne made his NHL debut in the 1992/93 season, where he set the record for goals by a rookie at 76 in a single season. After 3 and a half seasons with the Jets Selanne would be traded to the Mighty Ducks where he would spend the majority of his 23 season NHL career. He would win the Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Ducks, which is one of dozens of awards in his cabinet: Olympic bronze (98, 10, 14), Olympic silver (06), Olympic MVP (14), SM-Liiga championship (92), World Championship silver (99), World Championship bronze (08), Bill Masterson trophy (06), Calder trophy (93), Rocket Richard trophies (93, 98, 99), Finnish player of the year (93, 96-00, 06, 07, 12, 14) and was named to the Finnish hockey hall of fame in 2016.

Calre Drake is entering the hall of fame as builder. He was a coach at many levels, from children to the NHL. An excerpt from his bio:

But coaching university hockey was never enough for Clare. In 1972, Clare coached the silver medal-winning Canadian team in the World Student Games. By 1975-76, his acumen as a coach had gained enough of a reputation that he was hired as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers of the World Hockey Association. He served as co-coach of the 1980 Canadian Olympic Hockey Team in Lake Placid, New York and in 1981, led the Canadian team to a gold medal finish at the 1981 World Student Games held in Spain. Drake was behind the bench in 1984 when Team Canada earned its first-ever gold medal at the Spengler Cup. In 1987, he coached the Canadian team to a bronze medal at the World Student games in Czechoslovakia. The NHL’s Winnipeg Jets added Drake as an assistant coach in 1989-90. The University of Alberta Pandas women’s hockey team asked Clare to be a technical advisor in 1997–98 and 1998–99. He also assisted the Dallas Stars during the 2001 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Jeremy Jacobs is the living embodiment of Mr. Burns. He made his employees pay about $7,000 in taxes on their Stanley Cup rings in 2011, and loves locking out the players. He makes Harold Ballard look like Mr. Dress-Up by comparison. He’s the worst and now he can join other greats in the hall of fame like Alan Eagleson and Gil Stein.

Those are the people being honoured at tonight’s game. Someone chuck a beer at Jacobs for me.

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00PM - Air Canada Centre
Watch: TSN4, NHL Live
Listen: TSN1050 / Sportsnet590
Taunt: Cup of Chowder

The Maple Leafs are heading into a weekend of back to back games against the Boston Bruins and these are four very important points for the Leafs to get. The Bruins are currently five points back of the Leafs and keeping divisional opponents far back early on in the season is key to making the playoffs. Yeah, it’s only the beginning of November, but playoff teams are generally decided now. The Bruins have three games in hand on the Leafs, and another four points could, barring massive winning/losing streaks, put the Leafs out of the Bruins reach.

Now, can they do it with some key players missing? The Leafs are having optional skates so it’s hard to figure out who’s in or out, but with Auston Matthews skipping the optional skate again this morning he may not play tonight. Jake Gardiner is skating as is Frederik Andersen so those two staples should be in tonight.

Babcock said there were no changes to the line up, so I’m guessing that means from Wednesday?

Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk - Patrick Marleau - Zach Hyman
Connor Brown - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner
Matt Martin - Dominic Moore - Josh Leivo

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Andreas Borgman - Connor Carrick

Frederik Andersen
Curtis McElhinney

The line up isn’t too far off, and having both Martin and Leivo in the line up should make some tweet bots explode from being unable to pick a story to complain about.

The Bruins aren’t any better in the line up department, with David Backes, and David Krejci among the missing.

Anders Bjork - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Tim Schaller - Sean Kuraly - Danton Heinen
Matt Beleskey - Riley Nash - Austin Czarnik
Jake DeBrusk - Jordan Szwarz - Frank Vatrano

Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Rob O'Gara - Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Now, Brad Marchand is in Toronto today, joining the team on his own after initially staying behind. He’s probably playing in tonight’s game but nothing official about lines yet. Edited to add: Czarnik has been sent down to Providence, and Marchand is taking line rushes. Khudobin is the likely starter.

Numbers Preview

Maple Leafs Team Devils
Maple Leafs Team Devils
265GF - 226GA - +29 Goal Differential 238GF - 234GA - +4
24.4% - 2nd overall Power Play 21.7 - 10th overall
81.3% - 12th overall Penalty Kill 81.9% - 7th overall
James van Riemsdyk - 36 Most Goals Taylor Hall - 39
Mitch Marner - 47 Most Assists Taylor Hall - 54
Mitch Marner - 69 Most Points Taylor Hall - 93
Matt Martin - 50 Most PM Miles Wood - 84
Jake Gardiner - 22:33/G TOI Leader Sami Vatanen - 22:42
Frederik Andersen - .917sv% Starting Goalie Keith Kincaid - .911sv%

Tonight should be a great game that gives us a look at a horrible, horrible alternate universe where we never drafted Auston Matthews.