Oakvilles Tavares scores in Toronto Maple Leaf debut

Oakville\s Tavares scores in Toronto Maple Leaf debut
Nylander on Maple Leafs negotiations: I have to take care of myself
William Nylander said Thursday that while he would like to be playing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he has to think long-term while working out a contract extension with the team.

The 22-year-old told Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet after a skating session Thursday that hes doing his best to stay in shape while in Sweden, but had no update on when he might return to Toronto.

The Maple Leafs face the difficult task of keeping their soon-to-be high-priced band together, and team president Brendan Shanahan hinted at young stars making financial sacrifices

Montreal Canadiens Opening Night Roster

“Right now I dont know more than you do,” Nylander told Aftonbladet. “I have no information and I havent spoken to Toronto. My agents handling everything.”

That includes Tanenbaum, a sprightly 70-something grandfather who keeps a remarkably low profile for someone whos owned a chunk of hockeys strongest brand for nearly a quarter-century. He was around for the Pat Quinn Era and all those really-good-but-not-great teams fronted by Mats Sundin. Hes also seen fans pull paper bags over their heads and throw waffles on the ice in protest from his seats directly behind the home bench.

Video: Maple Leafs fans celebrate season opening win

According to TSN Senior Hockey Reporter Frank Seravalli, the restricted free agent is losing somewhere in the range of $20,000-$45,000 per day from his next contract for each day he misses this season. Nylander said its the cost of focusing on his long-term future.

Out of the ashes of those lost seasons grew something strong — overseen by president Brendan Shanahan, the son of a firefighter, who burned much of what he inherited with the organization to the ground. It was he who convinced Mike Babcock to put aside the pain and see the hidden potential here and who built the hockey operations department that drafted Nylander, Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews in consecutive years.

Leafs boss Shanahan subtly reminds Nylander what hes missing

“Of course its a lot of money, but in the end I must look to what is right for me and what me and my agent think is right,” Nylander said. “Especially if its a multiple year thing. I have to think long term. Its my own future.”

From the four-goal debut by Matthews to an unexpected playoff berth to a record-setting regular season to a disappointing seven-game loss to Boston. Bang, bang, bang, bang. Tanenbaum was standing on the ice in June when the Toronto Marlies were blasted with confetti after winning the Calder Cup, and saw the arc of his entire enterprise change with the stroke of a pen when Tavares decided to come home 17 days later.

Maple Leafs enter 2018-19 with unprecedented buzz, swagger – 680 NEWS

Both Nylander and Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas have stated their desire to reach a long-term deal, but the gap between the two sides is believed to have been as much as $2 million per season at one point this summer.

Larry Tanenbaum is standing in the lobby of a midtown Manhattan hotel on the eve of the regular season, discreetly pumping clenched fists towards the sky. The chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment has chosen to punctuate an answer about how things look from the owners box with a gesture any hockey fan would instantly recognize.

Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said Wednesday the team is expecting their “young leaders” such as Nylander to make sacrifices to keep their core together. When asked about Shanahans comments, Leafs centre Auston Matthews gave an opinion that appeared to match Nylanders.

“Thats why we have agents, right? Let them figure it out, talk to management,” Matthews said. “Well stay out of it and just play hockey.”

Yawn. TML are sooo lucky that they have the fans that they do. Every fall it’s the same old thing. Every spring it’s the same old thing. JT is a great player, but still unproven. The contract issue. Don’t see it this year folks. Playoffs yes, Babs is great for making it to the first round. Cup….. not yet.

Leafs Shanahan faces tough task selling hometown discount to young stars

The Maple Leafs opened their season with a 3-2 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night with Tyler Ennis filling Nylanders spot in the lineup to the right of Matthews. Nylander said he didnt watch the game, which took place in the early morning hours in Sweden.

“No, but I watched the highlights this morning,” Nylander said. “It was really nice goals. I want to play, but the situation is what it is. 

The Montreal Canadiens have submitted their opening night line up and are ready to get underway against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. Marc Bergevin declared that last years team’s biggest issue was their attitude and he addressed this in a big way in the off-season. Bergevin pulled the trigger on some big trades as well as hired a brand new coaching staff. Here is a look at the Montreal Canadiens opening night roster.

On the flip side have been quick to point out that back when the Red Wings were Stanley Cup contenders there wasn’t a salary cap and they made a decent living. Also, the salary cap continues to increase so it makes it easier for players to ask for more if they prove that they’re worth it.

Video: John Tavares goes top shelf in Maple Leafs debut!

Canadiens stoke inner competition by scratching Plekanec, Alzner

The Habs went through a disastrous season in 2017-18 and Marc Bergevin wasted no time completely stripping down the team from the coaching staff to the players. They started by hiring Dominic Ducharme, Joel Bouchard and Luke Richardson to the coaching staff. They then traded their former captain Max Pacioretty to Vegas as well as disgruntled forward Alex Galchenyuk to Arizona. The team has nine different players in the lineup on opening night this year compared to last season. Bergevin vowed that his team was going to be younger and faster this season and he stayed true to his word. The Canadiens have an average age of 26 years old. They also have the youngest player in the NHL in Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

Watching the Habs in the pre-season you could tell the outlook from the team was totally different than last season. The Habs looked lost in the pre-season last year and it carried over to the regular season. This year, the teams work ethic was completely different. This was on full display when they played the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second time in the pre-season. The Leafs dressed the closest thing to their opening night roster, and with the Habs missing key players like Weber, Gallagher, Armia and Domi, they still outplayed the Leafs that night. While they ended up losing the game 5-3, the effort was on display. Although it’s only pre-season it sets the tone for the upcoming season. All the players are buying into the system and should prove to bring a much more competitive team this season.

The first line features two players who are very familiar with each other in Danault and Gallagher. They are joined by newcomer Tomas Tatar who basically is taking over Max Pacioretty‘s place in the lineup. Brendan Gallagher will look to build off his career year last season where he scored 31 goals. Tatar is a proven 20 goal scorer as he has done so in each of the past four seasons. Danault may be miscast as a number one centre, but last year Pacioretty played his best hockey with Danault on his side. It could prove much the same with Tatar as well.

The second line could possibly be the Habs most dangerous line and could be considered more of a 1B line. Drouin looked like a completely different player than last year as he is back to his natural position on the wing. He is joined by this year’s third overall pick Kotkaniemi, and fellow Finn, Armia. Kotkaniemi forced the Habs to keep him with the team rather than send him back to Finland or to Laval. Although he is just 18 years old, Kotkaniemi handled himself like a pro and showed his creativity early on in camp and made the players around him better. Rounding out the group, Armia is like a swiss army knife for the Habs. He is very skilled and has tremendous hands. He is also one of the Habs best defensive forwards and penalty killers. This line should provide most of the offence for the Habs.

Playing on a line with Nazem Kadri and Connor Brown, Leivo was involved all over the ice Wednesday. He brings a physical edge that Toronto is lacking in the wake of Leo Komarov departing in free agency, but Leivo also has sufficient offensive skills to do damage. If not for a sensational post-to-post save by Price in the second period, Leivo would have buried a cross-crease feed from Kadri for his first of the season. Moments later, he helped set up Tavares goal by getting in front of Price and distracting the goalie enough to get Tavares shot through. Leivo still has more to do in gaining Babcocks full trust, though. With the game tied late in the third period, Babcock put Kadri with Brown and Kasperi Kapanen instead of Leivo for the defensive zone draw. Leivo finished plus-1 with one shot on goal.

Canadiens team-first mentality leads to surprising lineup decisions ahead of opener

Byron and Lehkonen are joined by newcomer Max Domi to fill out a third line which should be a thorn in their opponent’s sides each and every night. The will be no shortage of effort with this group and all three give 110% each and every shift. Domi has always been known as an elite playmaker. With Byron scoring 20 plus goals the past two season and Lehkonen being a proven goal scorer as well, there should be no shortage of offence on this line either. It gives the Habs three potential scoring lines, which they haven’t had in years.

Video: Matthews second goal powers Leafs past Habs in OT

The fourth line has no shortage of effort either as longtime Habs Tomas Plekanec sees himself in between another newcomer in Matthew Peca and the rugged warrior Andrew Shaw. Plekanec’s best years may be behind him but he is still very reliable in his own end and proved to be one of the Maple Leafs best players in the playoffs last season. Shaw is hoping to bounce back from an injury-plagued season last year. Peca will be the one to watch here as he is a very skilled player with great skating ability. He has the ability to put up points and is a very underrated signing for Marc Bergevin. He could potentially play is way into a bigger role with the Habs as the season goes on.

The 29-year-old goalie starred for Toronto with half a dozen tough saves to start the first period, before Lehkonen finally capitalized on the Leafs many turnovers with the games opening goal. Knotted 1-1 to start the second, Andersen was forced into a point-blank save after yet another turnover behind the net to keep Toronto tied. By the third, Montreal was still on top of Andersen as Torontos defence looked increasingly anemic at even strength, and their penalty kill struggled to contain the Canadiens power play attack.

Not to be forgotten the Habs have Charles Hudon and Nikita Scherbak as well who can certainly work their way into this lineup. Hudon played all last year with the Habs and lays it all on the line each and every shift and is skilled enough to be in the top nine. Scherbak’s skill and vision are outstanding but has struggled with consistency. He will need to work on that if he wants to become an everyday player for the Habs.

We can work way harder and play way better than we did tonight, Babcock said. Its the National Hockey League and you have to come to work every day and if you dont work harder than the other team and you dont put your work before your talent, you dont win. If you turn the puck over, you dont win. When the puck drops youre playing a really good team, doesnt matter how many points they have.

With Shea Weber sidelined until mid-December, Jeff Petry slides up into the top pairing alongside Mike Reilly. Reilly may be miscast as a top pairing defenceman but has had a solid camp and is a very good puck mover. Something the Habs were missing in their lineup. Petry stepped up his game last season and put up the best season of his career offensively in the absence of Weber. Petry scored 12 goals and added 30 assists for 42 points while also quarterbacking the powerplay. He will look to do much of the same while the Habs wait for their captain to return.

While it was ultimately a happy ending for Tavares in his first appearance with the Leafs that really counted, the Canadiens came dangerously close to playing spoiler in what Matthews deemed an ugly win for Toronto. Montreal out-worked Toronto in nearly every facet of the game, winning battles in all three phases and pouncing on every puck to keep the heat on the Leafs defence and goaltender Frederik Andersen.

The second pairing features two youngsters who put together solid camps and looked very good in their limited action last season. Mete made the team last year at 19 years old. He has a solid rookie campaign. Mete was one of the only players on the Habs to finish out the season and a plus player. Mete is a very strong skater and puck mover. He doesn’t have the biggest frame but has a very active stick and knows how to use his body to win puck battles in the corners. The one knock on Mete last season was his shot. He doesn’t have the booming shot from the point so at times it seemed he was reluctant to put pucks on net. He started to shoot the puck more than he ever has in the pre-season and should more and more as the season goes.

Juulsen is the perfect compliment to Mete. He plays a solid defensive game and is a more stay at home type of defender than Mete. Juulsen is also a very good skater that helps him close the gap between him and his opponents. He also has a powerful shot and with Mete’s puck-moving ability he should be able to set him up for one-timers. Juulsen is a very good shot blocker as well, which Carey Price will certainly appreciate.

The third pairing features veteran Karl Alzner and well as newcomer Xavier Ouellet. Alzner will be looking to bounce back after a poor season in 2017-18. He was one of the Habs worst defenceman last season. He did come around last season once he was paired with Noah Juulsen but will have a new partner to start the season this year. That partner will be Xavier Ouellet. Ouellet seems to have outplayed and taken the top-six role from Jordie Benn for now. He is a solid puck mover with excellent mobility, which makes him the perfect compliment to Alzner.

Maple Leafs enter 2018-19 with unprecedented buzz, swagger

While the Canadiens as a team are looking to have a bounce-back year, no one wants it more than Carey Price. Price had an injury-riddled season and it certainly affected his game as he put up the worst numbers of his entire career. Price finished the season with a record of 16-26-7 with a GAA of 3.11 and a save percentage of .900. Its a far cry from the goalie who finished third in Vezina trophy just the season before. He can’t take all the blame, but Price has to better. Price said he is going to earn every penny of his new eight-year $84 million contract and there is no reason to believe he won’t do so. Price is an all-world goalie and arguably the best in the world at the position. He will surely prove the naysayers wrong.

Circus atmosphere grows as Leafs get ready for season opener

Antti Niemi will serve as Price’s back up this season after closing out the season strong for the Habs last season in Price’s absence and earning a new one year contract. Niemi posted a record of 7-5-4 with a 2.46 GAA and a .929 save percentage. If he can continue to play at that level he can be relied upon to take some of the load off of Price. The former Stanley Cup winner also brings another veteran presence to the Canadiens lineup, which will be extremely valuable for the young kids they have in the lineup this season.

The Canadiens are entering the season as a complete underdog that most fans and media have written off right from the start. They are expected to be a team in the Jack Hughes sweepstakes at seasons end. While in most cities that wouldn’t be necessarily a bad thing as it comes with no added pressure, that’s not the case here. It’s Montreal. It’s a hockey hotbed. There is always pressure for the team to compete and do well. The city bleeds bleu, blanc et rouge. It’s one of the hardest cities to play in but also one of the best when you’re winning.

10 storylines to watch during the Maple Leafs season

This Habs group is a very underrated group. There is no shortage of character or work ethic here. They have a very deep group of wingers which shows with players like Hudon and Scherbak on the outside looking in. Players like Drouin and Price will be coming in with a chip on their shoulder after putting up underwhelming seasons the year before. As well as an elite defender like Shea Weber who is eager to return to the ice and come back stronger than ever. Marc Bergevin has put together a group who is willing to buy into the system and go out and work for every inch. As well as the perfect coaching staff to help develop their game.

This team is younger, more skilled and a lot faster than the team the Canadiens dressed for opening night last season. This team is going to be a surprise this season. A bounce-back year from players like Price, Drouin and Weber, once he returns in December, can very well propel this team back into the playoffs, and prove the naysayers wrong.