Tyson Barrie scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf in Thursday’s game against the Coyotes. It was a big moment for a player who arrived here as an alleged high-octane offensive defenceman that would provide an immediate boost to scoring, especially on the power play because that had not actually happened.

Barrie didn’t score any goals at all in the first 23 games of the season. Then Sheldon Keefe replaced Mike Babcock as head coach and, boom, there it was. He scores. The timing evoked an almost deus ex machina element to the story through Keefe arriving as the head coach.

A prologue to that story could be Barrie scoring again tonight against his old team, the Avalanche. The Avalanche, of course, have a long time Leafs fan favourite on their roster now in Nazem Kadri.

It’s going to be a night of very mixed emotions.

We will have a preview of tonight’s game later this afternoon. One Leafs lineup change has already been confirmed.

Nic Petan, Nic Petan,
Keefe changing lines wherever he can,
Shore is in,
Petan is out,
Keffe will find out what Shore’s about,
Press box!
Here comes a Nic Petan,
Press box!
Here comes a Nic Petan!

The Marlies are playing the Manitoba Moose (Winnipeg Jets affiliates) this weekend in back-to-back games. The first is this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.

We’re also watching to see if there’s news about a lineup change on Coaches Corner tonight. I think it’s unlikely Rogers has yet to figure that all out, especially because advertising contracts will likely have to be ripped up and/or rewritten. We shall see by 7:00 p.m. tonight at the latest.

Here’s what we wrote about yesterday.

2019 - 2020 Women’s hockey game days, times, streaming, tickets, links - Nafio
We’ve got all the dates in one place for your bookmarking needs!

How Much Do The Players Need To Like The Coach? - Fulemin
About hardass coaches.

More Leafs Coverage

Mitch Is The Leafs’ Puppy And Other Lessons From This Week – Hockey Novice In Canada
It’s been a heck of a week, hasn’t it? After Saturday’s Pittsburgh massacre, anyone who wasn’t rage screaming into the void was just sitting and staring at nothing, experiencing the depths of despair. I was at a loss. Then, things happened.

Timothy Liljegren’s Development is A Beautiful Thing — ClapBombs.com
Why do Leafs fans seem to be so disappointed with our once star prospect. I’m going to tell you why, and I’ll tell you why they’re all wrong.

Shanahan Shows Babcock The Door – Toronto Sports Media Blog
First, you have to watch this video from [Tuesday] night where Dave Poulin went on TSN and on The Quiz feature provided the answer that he thought Babcock would 100% be coaching at the end of the year.

Spezza discusses emphasis on off-the-puck movement and keeping possession offensively - MLHS
protecting the middle, being comfortable playing in your d-zone and letting teams be on the outside

Other News

It was a quiet Friday in the NHL with only two games on the schedule. It was not a quiet night for the New York Rangers‘ dentist.