The whole of the hockey world was cheering for Garret Sparks after he became the first Maple Leaf to record a shutout in his NHL debut. His 24 save shutout against the Edmonton Oilers was rendered but a memory as the Leafs turned in a turd of a game against Winnipeg, losing 6-1. with Sparks on the hook for all six goals (on 35 shots, nonetheless). Thursday night the Leafs played much better against the Minnesota Wild, but were held without a goal on 28 shots.
Mike Babcock has had his work cut out for him during his first season in Toronto, and it's clear that this is going to be a work in progress for him and his team for a couple seasons at least. But the Blues underestimate the Maple Leafs at their own risk. The Blues have been flat recently, including last night's game against the Islanders. They've been backing off the opposition and are still slow to find their footing. Will that hold true tonight?
This is your morning open thread. Check back later on for a Lighting the Lamp, your game preview, and the GDT. While you're waiting on the puck to drop, why not head over to our friends at Pension Plan Puppets and say hi?