Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens: Game 1

Time: 7:00 PM

Location: Scotiabank Arena

Broadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet, RDS

Opponent SBNation Site: Habs Eyes On The Prize

It’s finally time.  The Toronto Maple Leafs 2018-19 season kicks off tonight, as the vile and contemptible Habs come to town.

It’s not quite the picturebook opening we were hoping for, as William Nylander’s contract situation still isn’t resolved.  Still, we’re about to watch John Tavares in a Maple Leafs uniform for a real, honest-to-God NHL game.  And that is goddamn awesome.

We’re big-time now, baby.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Forward Lines

Patrick Marleau - Auston Matthews - Tyler Ennis
Zach Hyman - John Tavares - Mitch Marner
Josh Leivo - Nazem Kadri - Connor Brown
Andreas Johnsson - Par Lindholm - Kasperi Kapanen

Defence Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott - Igor Ozhiganov


Frederik Andersen
Garret Sparks

You know these Leafs, they mostly played on Friday and did ungodly things to the Detroit Red Wings.  Zach Hyman returns to wing the Tavares-Marner beast, while Josh Leivo actually makes the opening night roster in a top nine role.  What a time to be alive!

Montreal Canadiens

Look, the Habs are a bad team.  Let’s be real about that.  Danault is nominally their 1C right now and he had 25 points last year. The Leafs could get their equipment guy 25 points just by him being in the vicinity of the ice.

The defence is missing its greatest strength in new captain Shea Weber; Jeff Petry and Victor Mete are fine enough dudes, but it’s tough when they’re the best you’ve got.  Also, lol Karl Alzner.  It’s not great, is what I’m saying.

Still, this is an NHL roster and Carey Price was once the best goalie in the world; he’s capable of dragging a lesser team to victory if his bones don’t explode.  The Leafs have to come ready to play to potential.  But I think they will.

Go Leafs Go!

This seems official now. The theory on Plekanec is that he’ll play his 1,000 game in Montréal this way, not the place he cheated on them for a few weeks and actually got in some playoff games.

Alzner, well, why they even play him at all is a good question, and you don’t want a guy like Scherbak on the ice when you’re rebuilding. Rebuilding teams are no place for young players. Andrew Shaw draws in, guaranteeing some Leafs power play time.