We've had the kids go back to school, now it's time for the Maple Leafs to go back to work.

We're only a few days away from the Leafs coming back for training camp, and only one week from the first official preseason game on Sunday September 24th, which will be in Ottawa against the Senators. This is the week where the Leafs come back from their long summer's nap, and we kick in to high gear.

Indeed, the Leafs rookies are already playing hockey out in Traverse City Michigan, and on Friday night they beat the rookies on the Dallas Stars 5-1 with Denis Hildeby in net stopping 29 of 30 shots. And yes he is a beast at 6'4, making the net look comically small behind him, especially from the low angle of the broadcast cameras in the Traver City rink.

Easton Cowan had a great game too.

Vyacheslav Peksa was the backup goalie last night, but had one of the most memorable moments of the game. The reserve goalie is often sent off to weird and remote places in these small old rinks where they sit and watch the game. At the Coliseum, the team visiting to play the Marlies has their backup goalie sit off on a chair placed by the zamboni entrance. Peksa was tasked to such a duty last night in Traverse City, but instead of being sent off to a far flung corner of the arena, he was instead trapped inside a glass cube right beside the Leafs bench so he was physically close, but so far away in reality.

His reaction to Fraser Minten's goal celebration is so precious in how you can see he is so happy but also so disappointed at not being able to join in. "Hey, don't forget me inside here! I'm proud of you too! Hello? Can you see me?"

Hopefully someone remembered he was actually in there at the end of the game and let him out. I can picture him still there now with the arena lights off... "Hello? Anyone? Can I get out now? Hello!?"

Here's Easton Cowan and Denis Hildeby post-game.

The rookie Leafs have their brake day Saturday in Traverse City, but will play one more game on Sunday against the rookies from the Red Wings. It's almost hockey time!

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