Game Day: Canada’s toppers square off
Both the Maple Leafs and Jets have played nine games this season and have fared well in the early going of the season. Toronto is 6-3-0 and Winnipeg is 6-2-1 and you can bet there will be some goals scored tonight. In my humble opinion these are the two best Canadian teams and my dream matchup for a Stanley Cup Final.
It’s only a two game week for the Buds as they invite the Jets back to Toronto for a Saturday night battle royal at the Scotiabank Arena. (I’m trying to get used to it).
Leafs coach Mike Babcock slipped a bit of information about training camp for 2019. You East coasters will have to keep this in mind for next September as they will be in St. John’s Newfoundland for three days of practice and play the Ottawa Senators for a pre-season game on September 17th. Make note!
Obviously the Nylander situation is still on everyone’s mind. I sure know it’s on mine and I for one am maxed out frustration wise so I can only imagine Dubas and the brass are as well.
Hopefully they can settle on something soon, my respect for Nylander depreciates each day.
Babcock really likes his centers this season with the addition of Tavares. Matthews has stepped up his game and Kadri has been playing well, unfortunately he’s had a number of posts stop the puck from tickling the twine. He’s getting the chances and once Nylander enters the fold the Leafs depth will add some punch to that third line whether it be Nylander or someone else shuffling down the depth chart.
We havn’t seen a lot of Frederik Gauthier this season in terms of minutes, but Babcock assured the Leafs fourth line center than he’s pleased with his play. With such depth at the center position that’s just how it’s going to be for anyone playing fourth line on this Leafs team.
“I think the Goat has always been better in the NHL than in the minors. Down there, you want him to do more. Here, we just want him to do what he’s doing. He’s big, he’s on the defensive side of the puck.
“In our situation, we have three centres who want a lot of ice. I’d like to have Matty and Johnny between 18 and 19 (minutes), Nazem at 16 and that doesn’t leave a ton of cake for you. So you have to do your work quickly and efficiently.”
The Leafs don’t need the Goat to be a scoring machine, as you can see Babs is happy with his play and wants him to continue to play his game which is encouraging that he will be able to grow into a better fourth line center over time.
Really pumped for the game tonight, enjoy!
Thanks for reading,
Go Leafs Go!