Toronto Maple Leafs: Taking In My First Live Game

TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 02: Mitch Marner /

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 on September 24, 2018.

Eight days ago I saw my first live Toronto Maple Leafs game, a 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

After taking a few days to reflect on that defeat and let my thoughts on the game marinate, it’s time to describe that experience .

For this analysis, I’ll rely mainly on the eye test because I was physically there in the building.

Travelling to the Scotia (formerly known as the ACC)

Getting to the Scotia in Toronto was fairly straight forward.

I got on a bus from Oshawa to Ajax and then road a train from Ajax to Union Station.  The Scotia is attached to Union Station so the train brought me right where I needed to be.

I had my ticket scanned with my phone to enter the arena (saving paper for our beautiful planet).

I was a bit late getting to the game.

On the train, fans headed to the stadium from various cities along Lake Ontario between Oshawa and Toronto (e.g., Ajax, Whitby, Pickering, etc.) and chatted about the prospects they were most exited to see battle for a spot on the Leafs regular season roster (the game featured a lot of players that will be on the Marlies, or who otherwise do not have a roster spot with the Leafs guaranteed).

Arriving at the Scotia

When I got to the arena I was impressed at the size and scale of the venue and almost immediately began spending money.

One of the first things I did was approach a vendor and buy a Marner jersey.

That jersey cost close to $300 after tax.

The preseason ticket was $32, and a round trip on the train was around $20.

(Being a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs isn’t cheap).

As I made my way to my seat, the 1st period was about half over, and the Leafs were trailing.

They never recovered from that deficit.

Scoring Recap

1st Period

10:17 – Artturl Lehkonen assisted by Kotkaniemi.

12:38 – Xavier Ouellet assisted by  Lernout and Armia.

2nd Period

0:34 – Kasperi Kapanen assisted by Marincin.

4:28 – Xavier Ouellete assisted by Armia and Chaput.

5:54 – Charles Hudon assisted by Valiev and Niemi (that’s not a typo, Montreal’s goalie got a point).

14:57 – Artturl Lehkonen assisted by Peca.

3rd Period


How I recall the game

The Toronto Maple Leafs out shot the Habs heavily in the first period, but went to the dressing room down two goals.

Kapanen came out in the second and righted the ship by scoring a goal to cut Montreal’s lead in half.

Less than 5 minutes later, Ouellet scored his second goal of the game to answer for the Habs.  This frenzied Montreal.  They dominated play for the remainder of the second period 2nd ended up scoring three goals to take a 5-1 lead into the dressing room after two periods.

Sparks was having a rough night again.

However that should be viewed in light of the fact he had a lot of younger prospects in front of him and couldn’t have been expected to perform as well as he would have if he had the Leafs real roster in front of him.

Part way through the second period, when the Leafs failed to score on a 5-3 power play that lasted over a minute; I knew it was going to be a long night.

Some Toronto Maple Leafs “fans” even began leaving early in the middle of the 3rd period when they were sure the Leafs wouldn’t make a come back (although the vast majority, myself included, stayed till the end).

Overall, the experience seeing the game played lived compared to on a screen was positive and worth every nickle (even though it ended in defeat).  I can’t wait to see another game.

Something that stood out from that night other than the outrageous prices for food, drinks, and jerseys at the stadium:

As Habs fans laughed and joked, and celebrated.

Next. Mitch Marner Can Win Scoring Title. dark

A particularly funny Canadiens fan in the seat beside me implied that their fan base was entitled to this preseason victory because Toronto’s regular season roster will clown theirs, so they have to take whatever victory they can get (I couldn’t really disagree with them there).

Thanks for reading!