Toronto Maple Leafs: 10 Days to Go Before Season Starts

Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs will play three more preseason games this week in preparation for their regular season debut.

Ten days from now, the Toronto Maple Leafs will take on the Montreal Canadiens for the 140th time in the last nine months.  It will kick off the 2021-22 season, and if there was ever an easy bet, it’s the Leafs will win this game.

How could they not?  After being embarrassed so thoroughly in last year’s playoffs, you can pretty much guarantee that the Leafs are going to come out and play game 1 as if it was a playoff game.

I feel sorry for whoever Montreal starts in net for this game, which is only ten days away.

Toronto Maple Leafs 2021-22 Season

While we wait to see the beginning of the season, there is still the matter at hand: namely, who is going to be on the team?

The Toronto Maple Leafs training camp started off pretty interesting, but it quickly became clear that both David Kampf and Nick Ritchie were going to get first crack at the jobs they were signed to do.

Additionally, Michael Bunting, who likely was slated to start on the fourth line, has all but guaranteed a dream audition with one pair of the Leafs superstars, by scoring at will during the preseason.

Timothy Liljegren – who is more or less the best defenseman in the AHL at this point – is also creating a competition between him and Sandin for the final job on the Leafs blue line.  One wonders, at this point, more about Justin Holl’s job security than Sandins.

And then of course there is the health of Auston Matthews.  Matthews had wrist surgery this summer and is said to be on track for playing in the first game of the season.  Still, whenever your best player isn’t playing, it’s a question mark.

All clips of practice show that he looks pretty good, so I’m not too worried.

As we head into the final week of preseason and training camp, the big story is about cuts. Who is getting chopped and who is making the team?

Next. 5 Best Case Scenarios for the Leafs This Season. dark

My hope is that both Josh Ho-Sang and Nikita Gusev get contracts and can start the year on the Marlies (the NHL roster is looking pretty crowded for now, but it’s nice to have options).  Ho-Sang seems to have an outside chance to make it, but likely a Kerfoot or Mikheyev (two guys the team seems to love) would have to move to make room.