A memorable debut for Marleau, a forgettable debut for Mason


Patrick Marleau‘s first regular season game with the Toronto Maple Leafs could not have gone any better for him.

The 38-year-old forward, who had spent his entire NHL career with the San Jose Sharks before signing in Toronto this summer, scored twice and had five shots on goal, helping the Maple Leafs to 7-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.

The Jets actually had a decent start to this game — except it didn’t show on the score board.

Winnipeg held a territorial advantage thanks to three consecutive power plays, but couldn’t finish their chances and it quickly went off the rails for the home team.

The Maple Leafs made them pay with three goals late in the first period. Marleau struck in the second period, taking a puck off his skate and making a move to the backhand on Steve Mason, and he struck again in the third period, too.

With the pressure of a three-year, $18.75 million contract, it’s hard to envision a better start to Marleau’s time in Toronto.

The same cannot be said for Mason, who was making his regular season debut for the Jets.

Signed to a two-year, $8.2 million deal this summer, Mason gave up five goals on 20 shots and was pulled early in the third period, giving way to Connor Hellebuyck.

Toronto, with its youth and talent, has a solid offensive attack and it showed once the Maple Leafs were able to get through their early penalty trouble, thanks largely to the performance of goalie Frederik Andersen. The Jets ended the night 0-for-8 on the power play.

While the Maple Leafs are likely going to score plenty of goals this year, that’s not the start Mason would’ve been hoping for with his new team. Nazem Kadri started the onslaught and less than three minutes later, Toronto had a three-goal lead going into the intermission.

Video: Schenn gets Blues on the board with his first for St. Louis


Brayden Schenn had an early impact in his regular season debut with the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

Acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in June, Schenn got the Blues on the board with his first just before the midway point of the opening period against the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pretty passing play from the Blues, with Schenn finishing it off by re-directing the puck into the wide open net on Matt Murray to tie the game at 1-1. The play was reviewed but the goal stood.

Video: Marleau scores in Maple Leafs regular season debut


Patrick Marleau was about to embark on his rookie NHL season when Auston Matthews was born.

The year was 1997. Way back in the day. . .

On Wednesday, they combined to score Toronto’s fourth goal of the night versus Winnipeg, as Matthews set up Marleau off the rush, and the former San Jose Sharks forward finished the play off with a nice move to the backhand on Steve Mason.

Marleau turned 38 years old last month at the beginning of training camp, after deciding to sign as a free agent in Toronto following 19 seasons and 1,493 games with San Jose.

Ducks sign Josh Manson to new four-year deal


The Anaheim Ducks don’t play Wednesday, but they made news anyway, by announcing that Josh Manson has signed a new four-year contract.

Manson, 25, was in the final year of a two-year contract with an annual average value of $825,000 and a pending restricted free agent at the end of this season.

This new contract comes with a substantial raise, too, according to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register.

Manson, the son of former NHLer Dave Manson, broke into the league with the Ducks during the 2014-15 season and brings a physical style of play to Anaheim’s blue line. Last season, he recorded a career high in points with 17 in 82 games, while being used in a penalty killing role, as well.

“I’m hoping this year will be another step in that direction,” he told the L.A. Times a few days ago. “I hope I don’t fully feel like I’ve reached my potential. I’m always going to keep getting better.”

Video: Nazem Kadri scores the first goal of the 2017-18 season


Last year, Auston Matthews scored the first goal of the 2016-17 regular season.

On Wednesday, it was his Toronto Maple Leafs teammate Nazem Kadri opening the new season with its first goal, as he skated by the net and flipped a loose puck over Steve Mason, who is making his official debut for the Winnipeg Jets.

The Kadri goal came soon after the Maple Leafs killed off three consecutive Winnipeg power plays early on, which helped the Jets take a sizable lead in shots on goal. That said, they were unable to beat Frederik Andersen, who was up to the challenge with some key stops.

Toronto opened up a three-goal lead on Winnipeg after the opening period. Talk about a tough start for Mason.