Toronto Maple Leafs: The 2021-22 NHL Season Begins Tonight

David Savard #58 of the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
David Savard #58 of the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs don’t start until tomorrow against Montreal, but the NHL does get underway tonight with two games on the docket.

Starting in prime time are the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Following up with a West Coast double header, the NHL gives us the debut of the Seattle Kraken, taken on the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Unfortunately, what was looking to be a star-packed debut is hurt by the fact that both Sidney Crosby and  Malkin will miss the debut.

The Penguins without their two stars are a baaaaaaaaaaad looking team.  I don’t think anyone will care too much, due to all the Stanley Cups they won with these guys, but their lineup tonight looks terrible.

Jeff Carter is apparently their top centre, and they’ve got Evan Rodrigues backing him up in the 2C slot.  This team is Brian Rust, Brian Dumoulin and the ghost of Kris Letang.   Tampa should absolutely feast on this lineup, and the Penguins are highly likely to miss the playoffs.

The Kraken will also be without potential expansion star Yanni Gourde.   In addition, they will be without an addition five players from their lineup due to Covid Protocols.

To make matters worse, they’ll be up against the Golden knights, who are one of hockey’s best teams.

Toronto Maple Leafs and the 2021-22 Season

The season begins with everyone doubting the Toronto Maple Leafs regular season prowess and viewing them through the prism of their collapse to the Canadiens.

As lame as the result of that series was, hardly anyone ever mentions that the Leafs played without John Tavares, lost two OT games out of the final three, and also didn’t have Jake Muzzin for game seven.  They maybe should have still won, but the fact is that OT games are a coin-flip and missing two elite players is a big deal.

The Leafs will compete for the Atlantic Division Title, the President’s Trophy and the Stanley Cup.  Odds are good that they win all three.  This is the best team the Toronto Maple Leafs have iced in any of our lifetimes, and it should be an exciting season.

Here are our predictions for the upcoming season.

Here are our winners and losers from the summer, and our Atlantic Division Preview. 

With the Olympics also coming up and a ton of stars switching teams, it should be a great season.

Next. Leafs Top 10 Prospects (Brand New Rankings). dark

For the Toronto Maple Leafs, the pressure is already cranked up to ten, but that’s just the way we like it.