Toronto Maple Leafs Game Preview: Opening Night Against the Montreal Canadiens


Toronto Maple Leafs Game Preview: Opening Night

We have all waited patiently and now it is time to drop the puck on a new season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here at the Tip of the Tower we strive to give you as much content on your Toronto sports teams as humanly possible. This series will preview every single Toronto Maple Leafs game and what you should know for the game that night.

More from Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs (0-0-0) vs Montreal Canadiens (0-0-0): 7 p.m. Rogers Sportsnet (Ontario, East, West, Pacific).

The Toronto Maple Leafs won the season series against the Montreal Canadiens going 2-2-1.

Leafs Injury Report:

David Booth out with a broken foot

Cody Franson out with a knee injury

Josh Leivo is unlikely to play because of a a bruised foot

David Clarkson probable to play with orbital bone injury

Projected Line Combinations (Leafs):

Canadiens Injury Report:


Projected Line Combinations (Canadiens)

Game Preview:

Mar 22, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk (21) collides with Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) as Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov (79) looks on during the third period at the Air Canada Centre. Montreal defeated Toronto 4-3. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The past season openers that both these teams have played against each other have been close games and you should not expect anything different. Since the 2009-10 season the Toronto Maple Leafs have a 4-0-1 record in season openers against the Canadiens outscoring them 15-9. This will be the first time since the 2011-12 season that the Toronto Maple Leafs will host the season opener after playing the last two in Montreal.

Mar 19, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Phil Kessel (81) celebrates his goal with left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) and center Tyler Bozak (42) against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Phil Kessel career vs Montreal 46 GP – 16 goals, 25 assists – 41 PTS

James van Riemsdyk career vs Montreal 19 GP – 9 goals, 3 assists – 12 PTS

Tyler Bozak career vs Montreal 22 GP – 8 goals, 9 assists – 17 PTS

Feb 4, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center David Desharnais (51) celebrates his goal against Calgary Flames with teammates right wing Brendan Gallagher (11) and defenseman P.K. Subban (76) and left wing Max Pacioretty (67) during the third period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens:

Max Pacioretty career vs Toronto 25 GP – 11 goals, 6 assists – 17 PTS

P.K. Subban career vs Toronto 21 GP – 2 goals, 8 assists – 10 PTS

Brendan Gallagher career vs Toronto 9 GP – 4 goals, 2 assists – 6 PTS

Keys to Victory for Toronto:

– Stay out of the penalty box! Montreal has a good powerplay with Subban at the point and their pesky play can lead to unnecessary penalties. The Leafs need to avoid taking those penalties if they plan on keeping the play out of their zone.

– Keep the play in their end! The possession/corsi debate has been a hot topic this summer and it is no secret that Toronto spent too much time in their own zone. If Montreal gets a lot of clear cut scoring chances they will find a way to burn the Leafs on the scoreboard.

– The team will have to push back against the Canadiens especially without Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren. The Leafs need to play a tougher game and pursue the puck more aggressively against a smaller Habs team.

– Avoid the turnovers in the neutral zone! Montreal will look to take advantage of getting odd man scoring chances as a result of turnovers.