Oh right, it's pre-season game time.
Excuse me if I'm a little rusty, I haven't watched hockey in about five months and have no idea who most of these guys on the ice are.
So the puck goes in the net? Yes? Okay.
It's definitely the pre-season if the Maple Leafs can't get a shot on net for almost ten minutes. The most exciting moment is Tyler Bertuzzi giving us a little jump for joy for being in the game.
Ilya Samsonov isn't challenged much on the Leafs end, with only three shots getting on net that he easily turns away.
On thing the Leafs are on top of, forgetting how to count to five. Welcome back, too any men penalties. The Leafs PK does well, keeps the Habs from scoring, and goes for a few chances themselves.
The Leafs are getting more shots and working out Cayden Primeau much more after the halfway mark of the period.
The kids are looking to make an impression tonight, but not on the glass like that.
The Maple Leafs end the first period on the PK again, new Leaf William Lagesson getting called for hooking. That's fine, we want lots of PK time for the guys new to the position.
So what do we take away from the first period? Nick Robertson is a work in progress. "A player with all the tools and no tool box".
Ryan Reaves is impressing me so far. I don't think he'll be a top six player but can for sure make the hockey play when needed on his line.
The penalty kill is chugging along, getting some offense in there as well which is nice.
Second period starts on the penalty kill, one minute of it, and the penalty is killed.
Matthew Knies gets tangled skating down the ice with Gustav Lindström, holds his own and Lindström is called for holding. It was a great bit of penalty drawing by Knies. Holding Lindström back with his arm, protecting the puck with his stick, and lets go of the hold easily enough to fall and get the man off the ice.
Robertson on the powerplay gets right to the net, keeping himself open for a puck that doesn't come.
William Lagesson gets called for interference as a scramble happens in front of the Leafs net, and the Canadians are back on the power play for the third time.
Normally, not good, but this is the pre-season so good to work on the special teams. The Leafs PK has kept the Canadiens PP from even getting a shot on net, and then it breaks the scoreless tie when Matthew Knies shoots from the top of the faceoff circle nice and clean.
1-0 Maple Leafs!
The Canadiens skate hard to the Leafs net, but they can't score and a pile up happens. We end up with Michell Stephens on top of Ilya Samosnov. An image I don't like seeing so early in the year.
Both seem fine, and the penalty that comes out of all of this? Timothy Liljegren for hooking.
Noah Gregor bursts into the neutral zone, steals the puck but bobbles it and can't get a good shot on net, but it's showing big flaws in the Canadiens power play.
It looks like Mikko Kokkonen scored to make it 2-0, thanks to plenty of players to pinball the puck off of. Either way, the Leafs are up 2-0!
Arber Xhekaj gives the Leafs power play a chance for some work when he cross-checks Noah Gregor, who is doing his damndest to make the team.
They can't close it out in the second, so they'll get about 30 seconds of PP time in the third.
After two periods I think we're safe to say Matthew Knies is making the opening night roster. Ilya Samsonov looked good, if unchallenged so far. Spencer Sova is showing well tonight on defense. The Erie Otters captain may be someone to check out long term.
Samsonov checks out, and Keith Petruzzeli takes over the Leafs net.
What a start to the third!
Everyone on this Leafs team is outplaying the Habs, it's great to see. Hopefully this continues into the regular season.
It's helped by the Habs not being very good.
Sam Lafferty brings us another installment of the Leafs PK when he's called for tripping Josh Roy.
Matthew Knies and Fraser Minten team up to almost score on a two-on-none, but just can't get it past Primeau.
Coming into the final five minutes of the game, the Leafs decide to be generous to their hosts, and give Josh Anderson a nice shot from the slot. It goes in.
The Leafs do not let up, as they haven't taken their foot off the gas since they got going in the bottom half of the first. They're skating, passing, and shooting well. Even the physical game is better than Montreal's.
The Habs pull the goalie with two minutes left, the crowd gets some energy there and they breath a collective sigh of relief when the Mark Giordano cross rink shot just misses the net.
Ryan Reaves tries to knock a flying puck down but flings his stick over his head to knock it down and it sends the puck out of the rink. The Canadiens will go six-on-four for the final 1:11 of the game to try and tie the game.
This is a big test for the penalty kill that has been killing it all night.
The PK kicks off strong, clogging the passing lanes, blocks shots, and keeps the Canadiens from setting up.
A blown icing call (no icing on the PK!) stops the play at six seconds left. The game would have ended had the whistle not been blown. It's the pre-season.
Montreal attacks the net hard, but can't score without the Leafs help, and they lose the game 2-1.
Its good though, because we were cheering for Toronto. Excellent.
Lots of Leafs stood out as mentioned above; Knies, Samsonov, Reaves, Minten all had strong showings and took advantage of the extra ice tonight.
These two teams (most likely with very different rosters) face off again tomorrow night in Toronto at 7PM.
12 more days until it's officially the new season. Let's go!