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Leafs’ Rielly on Tavares being excited to face McDavid: ‘He’s never played defence’

Rest assured Toronto Maple Leafs fans, captain John Tavares didn’t lose any sleep ahead of their big Hockey Night in Canada showdown with Connor McDavid on Saturday night.

In fact, he described the opportunity to face off against McDavid as “exciting.”

Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly, well, he sees the prospect of facing off against the league leader in points a little differently. And when he was told what Tavares said, he had a relatively simple explanation.

“He’s never played defence,” Rielly told reporters. “Exciting isn’t what I would say.”

McDavid, who has an astounding 124 points through 66 games this season, has played against Toronto 20 times throughout his career. In those 20 games, he has 10 goals and 18 assists for a total of 28 points.

The last time McDavid and the Oilers played in front of a full crowd at Scotiabank Arena was back on Jan. 6, 2020. Edmonton won 6-4 and McDavid had a highlight-reel goal in which he made Rielly look flat-out silly.

So, you can understand why Rielly isn’t leaping for joy to see number 97 racing his way again on Saturday night.

You can watch Rielly and the rest of the Maple Leafs try and contain McDavid Saturday night live on Hockey Night in Canada on Sportsnet at 7:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. MT.


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