SNAP SHOTS Giv­ing young Maple Leafs a taste of play­ing against hated ri­vals is a good thing ... Lil­je­gren get­ting his feet wet run­ning the power play ... Goalie Scott re­groups

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If you’re se­ri­ous about a ca­reer wear­ing the Maple Leaf, a Ro­man cen­tu­rion or a CH mo­tif, it’s best to get an early im­mer­sion in en­emy ID.

That’s what puts some meat in this rookie tour­na­ment, three Cana­dian geo-ri­vals send­ing their kids right into a fray that mil­lions of fans in the East have a larger emo­tional stake in

“Es­pe­cially play­ers from Canada,” noted Toronto

Shel­don Keefe, coach whose team faces the Ot­tawa Se­na­tors Sun­day af­ter­noon at Ri­coh Coli­seum, af­ter los­ing Fri­day’s opener to the Habs. “You’re play­ing against Mon­treal and our On­tario ri­vals and you feed off that. Get­ting an early taste of that is good. It’s healthy around the league, too, you see the teams clus­tered to­gether, play­ing each other in (sim­i­lar tour­na­ments) in New York, out West or in Cal­i­for­nia.”

An­drew Leafs de­fence­man Nielsen

couldn’t be hap­pier to be fac­ing the Sens and Habs.

“My first pre-sea­son game last year was at the Bell Cen­tre in Mon­treal and it was pretty sur­real, prob­a­bly 15,000 peo­ple there.”

Kurt Ot­tawa coach Kleinen­dorst

wants to see how his young­sters re­act to their sur­round­ings this week­end, too.

“For us, there are other tour­na­ments around, but this is a re­ally good fit. It’s Mon­treal, it’s Toronto, and we don’t have to travel far to get here. Any­time you can cre­ate that kind of com­pe­ti­tion, that kind or ri­valry, it doesn’t hurt.”

LEAFS LINEUP IN FLUX

Carl Grund­strom, Winger one of Toronto’s best play­ers on Fri­day, was held out of prac­tice for pre­cau­tion­ary rea­sons on Satur­day.

Eemeli De­fence­mean Rasa­nen,

who looked to be the worst off af­ter a first­pe­riod shot block ended his night, did par­tic­i­pate, but there was no sign

Keaton of de­fence­men Mid­dle­ton af­ter

he took a hard punch to the face in a

Travis Der­mott, fight and scratched Fri­day by ill­ness.

Keefe, who didn’t speak to re­porters Satur­day, is al­lowed to dress more than 20 for this week­end’s games.

Ti­mothy No. 1 pick Lil­je­gren

is anx­ious to get an­other chance af­ter mixed re­sults Fri­day. The slip­pery de­fence­man did have some suc­cess run­ning a late-game power play.

“That’s one of my strong­est things, I can do out there and I feel con­fi­dent,” Lil­je­gren said of spe­cial teams. “I got a lot of good passes. I made some mis­takes as well, I have to learn from it.”

NOT-SO-GREAT SCOTT

The aw­ful re­minders were

Ian Scott still there for a day later at Ri­coh.

Fri­day’s 5-2 loss wasn’t yet erased from the score­board, with 27 Mon­treal shots still posted, 12 against him that yielded four mostly easy goals. Out­side the dress­ing room was a smashed stick bear­ing his name on the shaft, per­haps bro­ken in anger by the Prince Al­bert Raider.

But Scott was not dis­traught, glad of his first brief ex­po­sure to the NHL, to get his feet wet and move on. The lanky Cal­gary prod­uct is con­fi­dent of bet­ter days.

“It’s still a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for me, I’m only 18,” said the fourth rounder from this past June’s draft. “You just go back to prac­tice, lis­ten to coaches and it will all work out. “My

dad told me last night he was watch­ing and when they said ‘here are your Maple Leafs’ (in the pre-game in­tro) and he said ‘hey, that’s my son.’ That was the big­gest thing, a cool ex­pe­ri­ence for my whole fam­ily. He was a Canucks’ fan, but he’s chang­ing now.”

CODY COMES BACK

When Ot­tawa de­fence­man Cody Don­aghey

looks at the sur­gi­cal scar on his knee, he thinks of the Leafs — in a good way.

The un­drafted New­found­lan­der was on an en­try level deal with Toronto in 2014-15 when he wrecked his ACL. The Leafs flew him in to be op­er­ated

Dr. John on by their top man Theodor­opou­los.

“I was get­ting the best treat­ment and I’m very grate­ful,” said Don­aghey of his six-month stay. “I haven’t had a prob­lem with my knee since, knock on wood. There’s noth­ing I can say but great things about both or­ga­ni­za­tions.” Two years ago Don­aghey

Dion found him­self part of the Pha­neuf

trade, quite a blow to his Leaf- lov­ing fam­ily in St. John’s. But op­por­tu­nity is now here at this tour­na­ment ahead of his first pro year with Ot­tawa’s newly re-lo­cated farm team in Belleville. The in­jury, the trade and a no­madic ca­reer with an in­cred­i­ble six dif­fer­ent QMJHL club stops is all be­hind him.

“I’m a pretty pos­i­tive guy,” Don­aghey said. “I had a great sum­mer of train­ing and am look­ing for­ward to turn­ing pro and see­ing what the fu­ture holds. There is a busi­ness side of hockey, but I try to worry about only things I can con­trol.”

WAIT­ING GAME

For Kleinen­dorst, this tour­ney will be a chance to catch up with Toronto gen­eral

Lou Lamor­iello, man­ager his coach at Prov­i­dence Col­lege and boss from his scout­ing days in New Jersey.

He in­voked Lamor­iello’s name a few times on the sub­ject of a pa­tient ap­proach with Ot­tawa’s prize de­fence­man at this tour­ney, Thomas Chabot.

“One thing Lou was great at was low­er­ing ex­pec­ta­tions, (say­ing) ‘his time will come.’ When will that be? If it was on Lou’s time, Lou de­cided. (Chabot) is go­ing to be a good player and there is no need for us to rush him along.”

Kleinen­dorst agreed that Chabot’s goa­tee would’ve been taboo in the con­ser­va­tive Jersey room, but said be­ing a Lou dis­ci­ple had its ben­e­fits.

“I’ve lived it and I’ve loved it,” the coach said. “He’s very guarded as you know, but when you get to know him, he’s a re­ally solid guy. And not too bad at eval­u­at­ing hockey tal­ent. I have (a 2003) Cup ring be­cause of Lou and some great ex­pe­ri­ences.”

DAVE ABEL/TORONTO SUN

Maple Leafs’ Cole Coskey dodges a hit from a Cana­di­ens rookie at the Ri­coh Coli­seum on Fri­day night.

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