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Game preview: Jake Muzzin makes his Maple Leafs debut

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It’s time to see what he can do on the ice

Toronto Maple Leafs v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings

Time: Red Kelly banner ceremony 7:00PM, puck drop 7:30PM

Location: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

Broadcast/Streaming: NHL.tv, TSN4, Sportsnet590, TSN1050

Opponent SBNation Site: Winging it in Motown

Tonight marks to big events for each of these teams. Most importantly, the Maple Leafs newest defender will make his debut with the team. Jake Muzzin has been all Leafs fans could talk about this week after his acquisition Monday night.

After practice yesterday, it looks like Muzzin will make his debut on the left side of Morgan Rielly, moving Ron Hainsey down to the bottom pair with Travis Dermott. Muzzin is also looking to get some power play time on the second unit beside Jake Gardiner. What we don’t know is if the penalty kill combos have been changed, but let’s not overwhelm New Jake on his first day.

The Detroit Red Wings are the same pile of players they’ve always been, but tonight will be a reconciliation between the team and one of their most successful players. Red Kelly was star for the Detroit Red Wings from 1947 to 1960. He helped the team win four Stanley Cups in the 1950’s and alongside Gordie Howe was one of the names most associated with the team. However, his tenure with the team had a rough ending, which was covered by the Detroit Free Press:

“In practice, one of the players shot the puck along the boards and it broke my ankle,” Kelly said. “They put it in a cast for three days. The team went on the road and lost three games. They asked me if I thought if I could take the cast off and tape it up and play because we were desperate. I said, ‘Sure, I’ll give it a try.’ They taped it up to my knee and I played for the rest of the year. The ankle was stiff. Wouldn’t bend.”

A reporter wrote a story that Kelly had played on the broken ankle.

“There was a big headline: Was Red Kelly forced to play on broken foot?” Kelly said. “Ted Lindsay’s wife called my wife, ‘Got your bags packed?’

”That night, they traded me.”

Kelly retired rather than be traded to New York, but worked out with the team to join the Maple Leafs, where he would win four more Stanley Cups in the 1960’s and have his number four honoured, then retired, by the Maple Leafs The DFP story linked above talks about the reconciliation with the team.

Both teams have motivation to play well and win tonight. Hopefully Kelly’s final team can get the win for him.

Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Kasperi Kapanen
Patrick Marleau - Auston Matthews - Mitch Marner
Connor Brown - Nazem Kadri - William Nylander
Par Lindholm - Frederik Gauthier - Andreas Johnsson

Defence Pairings

Jake Muzzin - Morgan Rielly
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Ron Hainsey

Goaltenders

Frederik Andersen
Garret Sparks

It’s safe to assume Andreas Johnsson is also returning to the line up for the Maple Leafs, I haven’t gotten a Leafs PR notification about recalling Trevor Moore. The team is coming off it’s bye week so it may be slow going out of the gate tonight.

Detroit Red Wings

Forward Lines

Justin Abdelkadr - Dylan Larkin - Gustav Nyquist
Thomas Vanek - Frans Nielsen - Anthony Mantha
Andreas Anthanasiou - Luke Glendening - Darren Helm
Christopher Ehn - Jacob de la Rose - Martin Frk

Defence Pairings

Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green
Dan Dekeyser - Nick Jensen
Jonathan Ericsson - Dennis Cholowski

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard
Jonathan Bernier

The Red Wings are also coming off their bye week, and since their roster is lesser than the Maple Leafs, it seems like the Leafs will still have the advantage over the Red Wings, even after a week on vacation.


Round one vs Boston Bruins

Toronto Team Boston
Toronto Team Boston
3-2 Record 2-3
14GF - 14GA Goal Differential 14GF - 14GA
27.3% - 5th Power Play 35.7% - 2nd
64.3% - 15th Penalty Kill 72.7% - 12th
Auston Matthews - 4 Most Goals Bergeron, Krejci, Pastrnak, Marchand, Coyle - 2
Morgan Rielly - 4 Most Assists Brad Marchand - 4
Auston Matthews - 5 Most Points Brad Marchand - 6
Nazem Kadri - 19 Most PM Charlie McAvoy - 6
Morgan Rielly - 24:34/G TOI Leader Charlie McAvoy - 16
Frederik Andersen - .925sv% Starting Goalie Tuukka Rask - .922sv%

It’s nice to have Maple Leafs game days again. Luckily we won’t have gaps this long until summer break in June.

If you’re tuning in at 7:30, be prepared to wait, these ceremonies always run long.