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Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs: Game Thread, roster, lines, and how to watch

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The Canadiens open their regular season with a visit to Toronto.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Now we can say it with some real enthusiasm: Hockey is back!

After enduring what seemed to be an endless string of pre-season games, the Montreal Canadiens will finally play their first of the regular season (and first of a 3-game road trip) in Toronto tonight at 7 PM EDT. I've had my calendar marked for this one a couple of months already. It seems surreal at this point in the day that hockey will be back... but it is. I'm really looking forward to seeing the Canadiens continue their campaign for a Stanley Cup.

Although this is a brand new season, the truth of the matter is that the Habs are coming into tonight's game with unfinished business in mind. Two seasons in a row, the Canadiens advanced past the first round of the playoffs, and seemed poised for more than the finishes they ended up with. With all of the core players having gone through the process of playing through the hope and disappointment of strong playoff runs, this is a Canadiens team that is utterly focused on being ready to play every single night, with the ultimate goal of pushing farther than they have as a franchise in over 20 years.

The Leafs, on the other hand, are a team starting from scratch. A team without an identity at the moment (unless you want to attribute the entirety of the team's identity to its coach, Mike Babcock) the Toronto Maple Leafs start their 2015-16 campaign with the goal of playing hockey that means something, and making their organization proud. It would be a good start if the Leafs can take advantage of their home-opener to boost them to a win tonight.

The puck drops at 7PM EDT.

How To Watch:

Start time: 7:00 PM ET

In Canada (French): TVA Sport

In Canada (English): Sportsnet

Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice

Some things to watch for tonight:

  • This is Max Pacioretty's first official game as the Captain of the Montreal Canadiens. It is also his 400th career NHL game (all played of course with the Habs)
  • Tomas Plekanec's next goal or assist will be his 500th NHL point (202G, 292A).
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Center
Right Wing
Max Pacioretty Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller Alex Galchenyuk Alexander Semin
Tomas Fleischmann David Desharnais Dale Weise
Brian Flynn Torrey Mitchell Devante Smith-Pelly
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin Jeff Petry
Nathan Beaulieu Tom Gilbert
Goaltenders
Carey Price
Mike Condon

Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Paul Byron
Injuries:
Michael Bournival (post-concussion syndrome)

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Center
Right Wing
James Van Riemsdyk Nazem Kadri Brad Boyes
Shawn Matthias Tyler Bozak Joffrey Lupul
Daniel Winnik Nick Spaling P.A. Parenteau
Leo Komarov Peter Holland Mark Arcobello
Left Defense
Right Defense
Matt Hunwick Dion Phaneuf
Martin Marincin Morgan Rielly
Jake Gardiner Scott Harrington
Goaltenders
Jonathan Bernier
James Reimer

Scratched:
Injuries: Stephan Robidas (undisclosed)

Check out the enemy over at Pension Plan Puppets.