Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings
7:30pm – Joe Louis Arena (Sportsnet)
The Toronto Maple Leafs kicked off the hockey season in style on Wednesday night by making history; something you would only expect from a Mike Babcock team. After Tomas Plekanec of the Canadiens interfered with Bernier on a play that allowed Jeff Petry an easy open net goal to put them ahead of the Buds 2-0, the Leafs took their first shot at using the new coach’s challenge to overturn the call on the ice. After review, it was deemed that the Leafs had a case on their hands and the goal was disallowed.
If somebody told me during the summer that the Maple Leafs would lose their first game of the season 3-1 to Montreal, I would’ve without question took your word for it. However, if you continued on to tell me that the Leafs would dictate the play throughout the game and pretty much outplay Montreal in every category except the score sheet, I more than likely would’ve asked what you were smoking and if you were willing to share!
All jokes aside, our boys in blue played an inspired brand of hockey for 57 of the open 60 minutes of the season, and with the exception of being unable to finish on some great scoring chances, they looked like a team destined for a playoff spot.
Fast forward to tonight’s tilt between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. October 9th is game two of the NHL regular season for the Leafs and the season opener for the Detroit Red Wings. J. Bernier & J. Howard are your expected starters for tonight’s tilt and it’s expected that the Leafs dress pretty much the exact same lineup tonight as they did against Montreal.
I guess you could say that the main story line of tonight’s game signifies Mike Babcock’s return for the first time (not including pre-season, obviously) to his home for the past 10 seasons, Joe Louis Arena. It’s safe to assume that this will be quite the emotional evening for ‘Magic Mike’, as I would imagine he’ll want to be the coach walking off the bench after the final buzzer with his head held high heading to the change room to celebrate the first win of his career as the coach of Maple Leafs. This being said, I have to think that the team will play their hearts out to try and grind out a win for their coach, as this will undoubtedly be a memorable night for him for sure.
Although I usually don’t put much stock in the pre-season and seeing that we are at the start of a new season, I don’t have much to go on besides the home and home pre-season series where the Leafs took a beating from the Grand Rapids Griffins, err I mean the Detroit Red Wings.
If we look at the last time these two teams played a meaningful game of hockey against each other, we have to go back to December 13th,2014 when the Leafs were on a bit of a roll hosting the Red Wings at the ACC. The Leafs won 4-1 to run their winning streak to 4 games straight. I’d love to continue this trip down memory lane and say it was a great run and ‘yada, yada, yada’, but if you live anywhere in North America and have access to internet or television, you know that this wasn’t the case.
Ugh, don’t you hate having to think about the train-wreck that was last season? I know I sure do.
Whether they win or lose tonight, here’s hoping for another solid effort from the Leafs. I’m sure we can all get behind this team and cheer if they play as well as they did on Wednesday night.
Until next time… Go Leafs Go!!
Toronto Maple Leafs
Van Riemsdyk – Kadri – Boyes
Matthias – Bozak – Lupul
Winnik – Spaling – Parenteau
Komarov – Holland – Arcobello
Hunwick – Phaneuf
Rielly – Harrington
Gardiner – Marincin
Detroit Red Wings
Abdelkader – Zetterberg – Larkin
Tatar – Richards – Nyquist
Franzen – Sheahan – Pulkkinen
Miller – Glendening – Ferraro
Kronwall – Ericsson
Quincey – Green
Smith – Kindl
Today In Leafs History…..
- 1926 – Former Leafs goalie Al Rollins was born in Vanguard, Saskatchewan.
- 1935 – Leafs send left-winger Harold “Baldy” Cotton to the New York Americans in exchange for cash.
- 1942 – Leafs acquire Mel “Sudden Death” Hill in a special dispersal draft which resulted from the folding of the Brooklyn Americans.
- 1947 – Goaltender Wayne Thomas was born in Ottawa, Ontario.
- 1974 – Leafs hammer the Kansas City Scouts 6-2 in the 1974-1975 season opener. This was the first game in Scouts’ history.
- 1974 – Dave Keon nets his 350th goal of his career. For the first time in franchise history, a player scored 350 goals exclusively with the Leafs.
- 1999 – After starting the season with a three game winning streak, the Buds drop their first contest to the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Curtis Joseph stopped 46 of 50 Senator shots