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Toronto Maple Leafs game preview: pre-season starts in Lucan, Ontario

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The pre-season is finally here, and it all starts in Nazem Kadris old stomping grounds.

2009 NHL Entry Draft, First Round Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Maple Leafs vs Senators: Pre-Season Game #1

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: Lucan, Ontario

Broadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet & TSN1050/SN590 & NHL Live

Opponent SBNation Site: Silver Seven Sens

[10:30 a.m. UPDATED LINES ARE BELOW]

It’s finally time for some actual Maple Leafs hockey. The Leafs first pre-season game is tonight, and it’s also the first official glimpse of John Tavares playing in the blue and white. Sure, it’s not a ‘real’ game, but that’s not going to stop us from pointing it out to Islanders fans all night!

Tonight is also the Kraft Hockeyville game. While there will be lots of talk about Tavares on the broadcast, expect some focus on the town and the arena too, notably a place where London, ON native Nazem Kadri played many years ago. Also expect lots of people professing their love for Kraft(tm) Dinner topped with Heinz(tm) Ketchup.

First, let’s talk about Mitch Marner’s fashion choices here.

That camo suit, and thanks to Omar for spotting those shoes. Those look like they either cost $2.00 or $2,000.00. Matthews must be jealous.

The Leafs have a fair ways to go whittling down their roster before the start of the regular season. Auston Matthews and Tyler Ennis are among players who aren’t even listed here, but they are expected to play in tomorrow’s game. William Nylander is not present because of his continuing lack of a contract. This opens things up a bit on the right side. In the scrimmages at training camp Kadri centred Josh Leivo and Connor Brown, though if you hear a loud scream of joy tonight it means Babcock paired Brown and SDA opposite each other. Tavares played a lot with Zach Hyman and Mitch Marner, and having those two ex-London Knights together would be a crowd pleaser.

We’re pretty sure about who will play where on the top lines, but the bottom lines is where it gets interesting. There’s thirteen forwards there, so one of them will have to sit. Everyone is “fighting for a job” in that group according to Mike Babcock.

It’s even more jammed up on defence as they brought eight players there. Now Ron Hainsey is an easy choice to add with Morgan Rielly—they’ve played together before. The media are talking like Igor Ozhiganov is definitely playing, but the rest is up in the air. We’ll see who gets bumped out of the list when the lines come up later.

10:30 a.m. UPDATE

Lines are mostly as expected.

As for who the Senators will be playing? Well, I honestly have no idea about their lines, but we do know Erik Karlsson won’t be there! LOLSNES. A complete list of who they have available is here. Mike Condon or Marcus Hogberg are possible starters in net.

I’m sure the conditions at the rink will be held to some minimum league standard, and they probably brought in extra staff to manage it, though it’s probably not going to be a top level ice sheet. Expect some weird bounces here and there.

We’re back to normal game day operations here at PPP. There will be a GDT tonight, followed by a game recap. See you then!

Poll

What are you most excited for tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    TAVARES!
    (348 votes)
  • 48%
    Leafs hockey is back!
    (377 votes)
  • 7%
    Kraft Dinner with ketchup (aka the Senators option).
    (55 votes)
780 votes total Vote Now