There is a lot of optimism around this year’s Leafs team, who kick off their season tonight. If you’re going to watch them at all this season, here are five games you shouldn’t miss.
- Tonight’s season opener versus the Senators. Six rookies made the Leafs squad, and 11 players on the roster are under the age of 24. Two teenagers in Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, make their NHL debut tonight.
- October 29th versus the Montreal Canadiens. It is always special when the Buds and Habs play each other. Their historic rivalry is like no other in hockey. Both teams are looking to rebound after lackluster seasons last year, and rest assured, half the fans at the Bell Centre that night will be Leafs fans.
- November 1st versus Edmonton. This will be a homecoming of sorts for newly-appointed captain Connor McDavid. It will be the first time McDavid will play against the team he grew up cheering for, and will pit two 1st overall draft picks in McDavid and Matthews against each other.
- December 19th versus the Ducks at the ACC. This game not only marks the return of ex-Leaf goalie Jonathan Bernier, but also former Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle, who was rehired by Anaheim in the offseason. Ex-Duck Frederick Andersen will likely be starting in net for the Leafs, as well.
- New Year’s Day, the Red Wings at the Maple Leafs. This is being called the Centennial Classic, since both the Leafs and the NHL are celebrating their 100th season. It will be played outside at BMO Field in a sort of rematch of the 2014 Winter Classic. Toronto fans will get a taste of outdoor hockey without having to travel.