It took Dion Phaneuf 68 days to score his first goal as a Maple Leaf back in 2010.

It took him just one in 2011-12.

Phaneuf won't make much of a big deal about hitting the scoresheet in the Maple Leafs 2-0 opening-night victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, but behind closed doors it certainly must come as a big relief.

Truth be told, the Leafs, who would appear to lack a lot of sizzle up front, will need Phaneuf to regain the offensive form that allowed him to score 54 goals over his first three NHL seasons, all of those coming as a member of the Calgary Flames.

In the post-mortem after the victory over the Habs, much was made of how the Leaf blueliners jumped into the rush. But just as important will be Phaneuf's ability to hit the net with his blistering shot when Toronto controls the puck in the opposition zone, something they did not do very well in the season's curtain raiser at the Air Canada Centre.