LGD: Here Come The Leafs

We / aren’t / very / optimistic / for / the Toronto Maple Leafs’s odds at success this year. We’d love to be proven wrong, but in the meantime, we’ve accepted this season as a rebuilding year where a group of players will work their behinds off, not be basement-level terrible for a bit, while building up value for a good old-fashioned asset shorting and freefall in the spring.

That’s okay. It’s part of the Shanaplan, and for the most part, we have trust in it. But I will say one thing; a win tonight would be a fantastic exception to the rule. It’s the season opener, it’s Mike Babcock’s official debut, and nobody likes the Habs. If they lose the next 81, that’s fine; but make this game count.

The Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs lines courtesy of our friends at Daily Faceoff:

Not a lot of surprises here. Well, unless you read our opening night lineups, in which case, you’re absolutely floored by the forwards. Only two of us got even a single line correct (myself, with line one, and Ryan, who had the second line correct, though he had the wingers switched around and it was his third line). Big credit to Jon, though, for nailing all three defensive pairings, albeit in a jumbled order.

In goal tonight is Jonathan Bernier, a decision that Mike Babcock claims to have made quite some time ago.

The Habs

Montreal Canadiens lines courtesy of our friends at Daily Faceoff:

The Habs haven’t changed up much of their core from last year, and it’s hard to blame them; their weakest link might actually be head coach Michel Therrien. I’m most excited to see what Alexander Semin can do for this team, as long as he puts in a solid effort every night, which admittedly comes and goes with him.

Carey Price starts in goal. Did you really think they were going to snub the guy who won basically every award in hockey last year?

What To Watch For..

  • How quickly does Babcock change these lines up? This will be their first true test, so it’ll be interesting to see how the team reacts.
  • How does Tyler Bozak react to having Joffrey Lupul on the right side? I get why he’s there; he’s a right-handed, heavy shot, giving Bozie his most Kessel-like option in one regard, but does that drop in foot speed throw off the playmaking centre at all?
  • How many times will we see Lou Lamoriello grimacing from the press box tonight? I’m calling 14.

Tonight’s game is on Sportsnet, and is scheduled for a 7 PM start. Factoring for pre-game ceremonies, puck drop should be just before the first pitch of tomorrow’s Blue Jays game.

  • TGT23

    OMG!!!! Bernier does not deserve the net tonight…..how unbelievable this organization is,,,to take your own home grown unschooled player who has got this far with just his talent and ability who does more for this team thn anyone else and throw him to the curb in favour of what????? again a over paid over rated over hyped guy who once again is handed the net without earning it…once again Reims is left out in the cold…no matter what he does he is treated like garbage….

    Babcock had said as was stated on the radio that he already knew awhile ago he already knew it was bernier…and the guys thought it dumb to even have the training camp with the 2 of them…especially leading Reims in to thinking he was still in it….

    sad sad sad…..Hope Bernier chokes on the net along with the whole selfish organization, babcock or are you RC in drag….

    shame on you

      • TGT23

        do you ever give it a rest??? are you ever going to stop smoking that funny stuff????…

        If I recall you stated that Pre-season didn’t matter that it matters like TONIGHT!!! but just like last season your boy didn’t show up again to play…but that’s right he doesn’t need to play. He’s just twice the price for what his charming personality?

        Bernier has sucked since he got here, LIVE WITH IT!!!!!..

        I expect more when the money and contract are as it is, I expect more from someone who is so much more polished and hockey knowledgeable, more schooling, etc etc etc…

        He didn’t EARN the net when he was brought in and he doesn’t deserve it now…that’s 2 season openers he’s loss with two pre-season that sucked…but hey he’s worth it WAKE-UP….

        what a waste of money and time bringing him in here….what are you going to give him? his full 2 year contract? lets see that will make it 4 season’s. you think he might be ready than? he might actually have earned the net by than?

          • Bill-Burford

            They’re pretty bad, they were posted on another site yesterday. Something like 1-4-1 with a GA over three and a SV of .888. Reimer’s were 4-2-0, GA around 2.8 and a SV around .930. I was surprised and, of course, I may be talking right through my hat. I’m old, my memory fades.

        • TGT23

          I’ll stop when you stop. Simple enough.

          You go into every thread spewing hatred for Bernier. You insult him, the coaches for favouring him, the fans who favour him, and wilfully ignore every stat the backs up the truth that Bernier is better than Reimer.

          Your only “facts” are that Reimer is home grown and had a better pre-season… Because you know you can’t say he’s better in the regular season. Stats won’t prove that at all.

          “He’s lost two season openers!!!!!!!” … Reimer’s lost a game 7 and something like 10 of 12 games to cost the team the playoffs two years ago.

          I’ll stop when you stop.

    • TGT23

      He allowed 2 goals… Had a .930 save percentage… You realize if he plays like this the whole year he’s a Vezina candidate and the Leafs make the playoffs, yes?