The giddy Stanley Cup chatter, the stories on the embarrassment of forward riches, the feeling that Toronto has landed a real goalie… none of it will disappear this week.
The Toronto Maple Leafs’ cocktail of veterans and kids blended into a mixture too stiff for their hosts to handle in a season-opening party they crashed in Winnipeg.
The Leafs’ 7-2 defeat of the Jets Wednesday was highlighted by illegal attire, tic-tac-toe goals, and two vastly different goaltending performances. Here are seven things we learned.
Marleau enjoyed an $18.75-million debut
At this rate, those 38-year-old hands will be worth every penny.
For a guy whose first 1,493 games were played with just one club, Patrick Marleau’s transition to a new conference, a new country, and a new team feels seamless.
The veteran scored in his first pre-season game, and again — twice — in his first regular-season game as a Maple Leaf. (For the record, Zach Hyman did not score, if you wish to keep that debate alive.)
During a bump-up shift immediately following a penalty kill, coach Mike Babcock deployed a power line of Marleau-Matthews-Marner. Mitch Marner fed Auston Matthews, who dished to Marleau, who took the pass off his blade and deked Steve Mason something filthy.
“We played the right way for the majority of the game, and we were rewarded for it,” Marleau said after his two-goal, five-shot night.
Sounds like a Leaf already.