The Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday for the opening game of the season for Columbus. The Maple Leafs opened the 2019-20 regular season with 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators. Auston Matthews scored a pair of goals as Toronto scored four times during the second period to put the game out of reach. Ilya Mikheyev scored one goal and assisted on another in his debut in the NHL. Frederik Andersen made 23 saves.
Auston Matthews leads Toronto in goals scored with two, while Tyson Barrie is the assists leader with two and Matthews, Barrie and Ilya Mikheyev are tied for the points lead with two apiece. Frederik Andersen is 1-0-0 with goals against of 3.01 and save percentage of .885.
Columbus lost a great deal of talent through free agents leaving during the offseason. Nonetheless, Zach Werenski and Seth Jones remain and make up part of a solid group of hockey players. The big addition amongst the many losses during the offseason was Gustav Nyquist, who will make the second line for the Blue Jackets nearly as good as the first.
The biggest losses were center Artemi Panarin and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, but expect to see a strong season from Alexandre Texier. The French forward appeared on the radar during the playoffs last season and the 20-year old is expected to make a big splash when he takes the spot of the departed Panarin on Columbus’ top line. Jones and Werenski will be the two main stars to watch, but Columbus will surprise many that doubt the team starting the season.