OSHAWA, Ontario – The Maple Leafs played their first game Saturday night at Oshawa's rookie Tournament, and Toronto's faithful was out in full force.
The GM Centre was approximately 75 percent full for the evening game between the Leafs and Blackhawks, and the stands were drenched in blue and white. Nazem Kadri and Luke Schenn were some of the more popular names being sported on the backs of sweaters.
Youth is the order of the day in Toronto, with a team that is desperate to return to the playoffs. It's obvious that the fans are hungry to see their rookies succeed. A massive roar went up for Jamie Devane after his goal late in the first period, and the "Go Leafs go" chants followed not long after.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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