Leafs play first fake hockey game of the year tonight

It’s preseason hockey, baby! WOOOOOOOOOOO !!! On the one hand, it’s pretty darn exciting to be able to watch a form of the sport that we love, featuring some players we love, the return of John Tavares to the ice, and we get a first look at players like Ho- Blood, Bunting, and * checks notes * Michael Amadio, but it’s also that wonderful moment where we start to read way too much into everything. This is not a glorious rematch against the Montreal Canadiens, where the scores will be settled. It’s a pre-season game where both teams desperately try to keep the lineup players from injuring each other as we hoot and scream as Kurtis Gabriel and Rich Clune make sure no Habs players miss. approaching within six feet of John Tavares. There will probably be a fight or two.

Besides the fight show, there are a few other things that will be interesting to consider thanks to tonight’s row combinations.

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While not exactly the official lines, Nick’s best guess represents what we’ve seen for the line rushes over the two-day camp, and there’s no reason to believe that the Leafs will move away.

Liljegren will have the chance to show what he can do with a very strong safety net in the form of Jake Muzzin, Kerfoot and Nylander will be able to see if their playoff chemistry can continue, and John Tavares looks back on the role he played. the Islanders, and will try to raise some good but not yet good teammates.

Overall, it looks like Sheldon Keefe is adopting a lot of his Plan B lines for the season, when injured. It won’t be such a shock to see Nylander with Kerfoot in the middle, or if and when Muzzin gets injured, Holl gets used to playing with a probable call in the form of Carl Dahlstrom (we’ll likely see them in the second game of the pre -season.)

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The power play also looks interesting, at least the top unit. Robertson definitely plays the filming role of Matthews and Ho-Sang plays the role of Marner. We can also see the Sandin on the power play experience continuing. So that will also be fun.

As for the goalkeepers, well, it’ll probably be Hutchinson to start with, but we’ll also see Ian Scott, which seems like something long overdue. After serious injury issues, he was finally healthy enough to compete in September hockey and advocate for the Leafs’ future. I can’t wait to overreact to his performance as well.

The alignment of the Habs tonight seems to be as follows:

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No Chiarot, so Gabriel and Clune will have to find someone else to talk to, and of course, it’s also a fun night when the Leafs shoot Cayden Primeau. The fact that the Habs have their first line intact will be a good test for Sandin and Liljegren who will likely have the chance to line up against them on occasion.

Tonight’s game begins at 7 p.m. ET and can be found on Sportsnet One.

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Catherine J. Martinez