NHL starts tonight. Toronto and Montreal belong to the so-called Original Six teams and their match at the Open Day is special event. They are the biggest rivals and this is the first of six matches this season which they will play against each other. The first reason for confidence in Toronto is that I fancy that club :). The joking aside, Toronto has good reason to expect successful start of season. The Leafs had solid preseason, a little bit better than Canadiens. They won four and lost three matches, while Canadiens won one less. But it is noteworthy differences. An important difference is the absence of Michael Cammalleri, who is suspended after Saturday’s preseason match against the Islanders. Cammalleri was the best striker of league in play-off series of the last season. Therefore, it's clear that his lack of this match is a handicap for the Canadiens. Montreal also cannot count of defenders Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik. They could have a problem with Price because of the flu. Torotno also have a problem with absence of defenders, Brett Lebda and Jeff Finger. They have practiced these days and maybe we will see them on the ice tonight.
This summer, Toronto brought Kris Versteeg from Chicago Blackhawks and certainly, he is big boost. On previous preseason matches Kessel and Plekanec were quite in the mood for goals - they scored six goals each. It's excellent sign for Maple Leafs.
It's interesting that these two teams also played against each other at start of the last season. Then Montreal won 4:3, but in overtime. Tonight, I expect a rematch and victory of Toronto. For any case I took double chance. Yet this is the beginning and it's difficult to predict all the details.
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