The Leafs' 2007-2008 schedule was released today. The season will be kicked off with the renewal of the friendly neighbourhood rivalry with ottawa which features a home and home series kicking off the festivities. These two games will set the tone for the early part of the season. The defending Stanley Cup Finalists will look to get their season off to a good start after meekly bowing out in the Finals. Who is starting in goal could be a question as Emery still has his arbitration hearing and teams are rumoured to be waiting to see how Ottawa deals with an award.
One year after eliminating the Canadiens from the playoffs the Leafs will once again be able to put the final nail in their season's coffin as they play them twice in the final week of the season including the finale. This season will have the Leafs hosting the Central Division and travelling to the west to take on the Pacific Division teams. The Buds will play 26 Saturday night games most of which will grace Hockey Night in Canada since the CBC likes high ratings. The nights that they choose to show another game at 7pm will feature their lowest ratings of the year.
Highlights of the schedule can be found below.
Battle of Ontario:
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007 - senators
Thursday, October 4th, 2007 - @ senators
Tuesday, November 6th, 2007 - @ senators
Saturday, November 17th, 2007 - senators
Saturday, February 2nd, 2008 - senators
Monday, February 25th, 2008 - @ senators
Saturday, March 22nd, 2008 - @ senators
Thursday, April 3rd, 2008 - senators
English Canada takes on French Canada:
Saturday, October 6th, 2007 - Canadiens
Saturday, November 3rd, 2007 - @ Canadiens
Tuesday, November 13th, 2007 - Canadiens @
Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 - Canadiens @
Saturday, December 15th, 2007 - @ Canadiens
Thursday, February 7th, 2008 - @ Canadiens
Saturday, March 29th, 2008 - Canadiens
Saturday, April 5th, 2008 - @ Canadiens
Wednesday, January 9th, 2008 - @ Ducks
Original Six matchup that comes around once in a blue moon:
Saturday, February 9th, 2008 - Red Wings
Looks like someone in the scheduling office listened to the complaints about spreading the games between division rivals out. Except, of course, for the Bruins once again who the Leafs play 5 times between February 16th and March 25th. Great work NHL.
February 9th will also double as Hockey Day in Canada with the Red Wings and Avalanche acting as guests as they take on the Leafs and Canucks respectively while the Oilers and Flames renew the Battle of Alberta and the senators and Canadiens fight each other for the title of 'Fanbase that most hates the Leafs'.