As a rookie defenceman making his Leafs debut, Jake Gardiner knew enough to heed any advice offered from veteran John-Michael Liles.
And even though it was a pre-season game, Gardiner opened his ears to every word uttered by Liles, and the results were memorable as the Leafs opened their exhibition schedule with a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.
“He’s (Liles) very vocal,” said Gardiner, who notched two assists and looked solid while getting his first taste of the NHL.
“But that makes it easier when there’s a lot of fans. It makes it easier for me to do my job, too. The main thing is we got the win, and for me to put up a couple of points makes it better.”
With fans — there were 18,556 on board Monday night — looking for early signs of success from their team, the Leafs got off on the right foot. Tyler Bozak picked up a pair of third-period goals to ice the contest, and looked very confident and relaxed on a line with Colby Armstrong and Nazem Kadri.
Published On Mon Sep 19 2011
Mark Zwolinski - Sports Reporter