Being a lifelong Leaf fan, it was always these games that I hated.
The ones against the Detroit Red Wings.
Playing in Toronto was one thing.
Playing in Motown was a whole different story.
Mind you, Toronto usually lost them both, but took worse beatings at Joe Louis Arena.
Not this year though.
There were days when a date with Detroit meant another one in the loss column.
The Leafs and the Red Wings are two teams with a rich history and apparently they had a heated rivalry at one point, too.
Since the re-alignment of 1998 that saw the Wings and Leafs split into different divisions and conferences, they have only played against each other 22 times.
That isn’t a lot.
With the new re-alignment (for this year), the rivalry of old is going to be renewed this year.
“They’ve got some great players,” offered Leaf Nazem Kadri. “Not only are you watching the players on your team, but you also watch the players on their team to improve your game. So, guys like (Pavel) Datsyuk and (Henrik) Zetterberg.
“You could learn a lot from just being on the ice and watching the things they do. They have a pretty good lineup. We have to respect them.”
These are exciting games for 2 reason. One of them being for the Red Wings fans, who have had, for the most part, a dominance over the Blue and White. That should stop immediately, effective tonight.
The Wings probably have a far superior head coach, but there isn’t a whole lot. This team isn’t what it was in the Fedorov/Yzerman/Shanahan days. I can only think back to 1992-93 when Toronto pulled off the biggest upset in the playoffs I ever saw.
With the way Leafs are playing these days, I’d be more concerned being from Detroit (assuming of course nobody in Detroit is a Leaf supporter).
After word came out that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager David Nonis managed to get defenceman Cody Franson signed at a bargain rate, teammate James van Riemsdyk tweeted early Thursday morning it is “always nice waking up to good news.”
The only pressure point for Toronto in this game is there are only 6 periods left for which Head Coach Randy Carlyle to choose who he thinks are the best players to represent this/his team.
The name Morgan Reilly comes to mind.Leaf fans will probably be waking up to even better news tomorrow.
The Leafs play the Red Wings in a pair of exhibition games Friday night in Detroit and Saturday at home in the Air Canada Centre to finish the exhibition season.