The NHL season begins today, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are kicking off season two of the new era against the Winnipeg Jets*, giving us our first taste of Leafs hockey against another up and coming team in the NHL. Two teams stocked with young, talented players are playing each other in a game that will make a statement on fans expectations to the season.
Toronto Maple Leafs @ Winnipeg Jets
7:00PM - BellMTS Centre
Watch: Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NHL Live
SBN: Arctic Ice Hockey
Before we get into the game, let’s get to know our hosts a little bit, courtesy of The Beaverton:
Since the Jets* returned to Winnipeg, the team has made the playoffs once, got swept, and continued its steady hold on the middle of the Central Division. Every year many people predict that this is the year the Jets break out of their muddle and finally put those players like Jacob Trouba, Mark Scheifele, and Patrik Laine to good use.
Goaltending and a fear of trades have been their Achilles heel these past few season, but a lack of success on the ice hasn’t kept the Winnipeg faithful away as they continue to sell out the teensiest NHL arena around.
The Jets have added Steve Mason as a back up in goal to Connor Hellebuyck, so if one flounders they’ll always have a solid choice to go to in net.
Meanwhile as the Jets floundered, the Maple Leafs took stock of their issues, tanked the year and rebuilt from scratch, finally making the playoffs last year, where they took the Washington Capitals to six games before falling on home ice.
Over the summer the Leafs looked to add veteran presence in the locker room and did so by signing Dominic Moore, Ron Hainsey, and Patrick Marleau. One of the biggest questions is if Marleau can continue his solid play and pace from his time in San Jose.
Now that Leafs Nation has had a taste of playoffs and we won’t settle until we get more, and it all begins tonight.
Toronto Maple Leafs Lines
Based on the practice yesterday.
Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner
Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov
Matt Martin - Eric Fehr - Connor Brown
Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Andreas Borgman - Connor Carrick
Winnipeg Jets* Lines
Mathieu Perreault - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers - Bryan Little - Patrik Laine
Brandon Tanev - Adam Lowry - Joel Armia
Marko Dano - Shawn Matthias - Nicolas Petan
Joshua Morrissey - Jacob Trouba
Toby Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien
Dmitry Kulikov - Tyler Myers
Steve Mason - assumed starter
Last year the Leafs and Jets played each other twice and split the series with one win each. Funnily enough, both games went to overtime, and the final score was 5-4 each time.
BREAKING: This morning #NHLJets will announce a 7-year contract extension for forward Nikolaj Ehlers worth $42 million.— Jamie Thomas (@JamieThomasTV) October 4, 2017
This is it Maple Leafs fans! The night we’ve all been waiting for! Buds all day and