Canadiens vs Maple Leafs: Game Preview, Start Time, and TV Schedule

With only 10 days to go until the regular season kicks off, the Habs get a look at another divisional rival.

Just 28 hours after a barely recognizable group of Canadiens grabbed a win in Ottawa, the Habs head to the Air Canada Centre to take on another divisional foe.

Michel Therrien has been vague about his plan to make cuts, but there’s no doubt that time at Habs camp grows short for many of the participants. And for those given a chance to stick around and play against the higher quality competition that will remain, the stakes get even higher.

How to Watch

Start Time: 7:00 PM ET

In Canada (English): SN1

In the Canadiens region (French): RDS

Elsewhere: NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice

The Maple Leafs have already made an initial trim to their roster, but with Mike Babcock back at practice and set to run his game of the NHL exhibition season from behind the bench, the dynamic is sure to change in Toronto, as well.

Babcock and his ultra-talented Canadian squad went undefeated at the World Cup of Hockey, where Babcock used his post-win presser to proclaim that he was looking forward to bringing the same type of success back to his “real job.” And while the timeline of the rebuild in Toronto extends beyond this season, Babcock can have a look now at some of his foundational pieces.

William Nylander should join the big club this season after spending last year with the Marlies, and Mitch Marner is doing everything in his power to suggest that he shouldn’t forced to waste another year in the OHL. Regardless of their roles this year, both players are regarded as key pieces of Toronto’s puzzle. The piece perhaps most critical, however, is the one who has yet to don Toronto’s blue and white in a game situation.

Auston Matthews was part of a dazzling display put on by Team North America at the WCOH, and while his international team’s first round exit allowed him to join his professional team relatively quickly, the Leafs have given him the same treatment as veterans Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk, easing him back into regular season preparations.

Of course, Matthews may or may not play this evening (update: Matthews is in), but his pedigree makes the fulfillment of his big league dream this season a foregone conclusion. For the talented young Canadiens who desperately want to wear the CH come October 13, tonight marks another opportunity to earn the same privilege.

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