Leafs-Senators Game Day Preview
The Maple Leafs host the Ottawa Senators in their home opener beginning at 7pm (CBC, SportsNet 590).
Goaltender James Reimer will get the start between the pipes. In 10 career appearances versus the Senators, Reimer has a record of 8-1-1, with three shutouts, a goals-against average of 1.69, and a save percentage of .949.
Toronto had a 4-1-0-0 record against Ottawa last year, and have won three straight games against their provincial rivals.
Forward Nikolai Kulemin will be sidelined for at least two weeks with an ankle injury suffered as a result of taking a shot from captain Dion Phaneuf in practice. Spencer Abbott has been recalled from the Toronto Marlies to take his place. Abbott had 33 points in 55 AHL games in 2012-13, plus 5 points in 5 playoff games.
Tonight’s game will feature the debut of defenceman Morgan Rielly, the Leafs’ first-round draft pick in 2012. Rielly and Abbott are both rookies making their Leafs debuts tonight. Carter Ashton will play his first home game in a Leafs uniform, while a fourth freshman – Jamie Devane – is on the team’s roster, but will be a healthy scratch.
Former Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur sounded off on ex-coach Randy Carlyle at today’s morning skate. “I didn’t have a relationship (with him) and not many guys do,” said MacArthur, who signed with Ottawa as a free agent on July 5.
The AHL Toronto Marlies are also staging their home opener today – facing off against the Calder Cup champion Grand Rapids Griffins at Ricoh Coliseum (3pm, Rogers TV). Yesterday Trevor Smith was named the team’s fifth captain in history.