John Tavares, Mitch Marner among NHL leaders in points – Rate That Leafs Game

After a stressful waiver day, seeing Aaron Dell off to New Jersey and Jason Spezza staying home (or retiring), we get a little happiness. Or a lot.
The Toronto Maple Leafs play an all-around incredible game against the Winnipeg Jets. From start to finish, similar to the game against the Senators on Saturday night, the Maple Leafs never took their foot off the gas (that’s my favourite saying now.) From the forwards, to the defence — to Frederik Andersen, the team played phenomenal.
John Tavares added to his points total, along with Mitch Marner. Everything happened in that game — even Zach Hyman, who now has a new career high with 10 shots in one game.
With more on that win, plus the average Leafs fans rating — here’s my video! I hope you enjoy!

Read More

Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Michael Hutchinson is the Leafs third string goaltender and that’s fine

Aaron Dell was going to be a very nice luxury in the right year to have goaltending depth. Combine the Leafs cap realities with the fact that New Jersey and Washington lost established goaltenders before the season even started, and it took all of a day into the season before the Oilers were without half of their tandem, in losing Mike Smith, it was clear that Aaron Dell was going to be short-lived as a Leaf, and the Plan B of Michael Hutchinson was going to be an unfortunate reality of the season.
Most of our memories of Michael Hutchinson come from last season, where he was not particularly good in his backup role to Freddie Andersen. The more the team needed to rely on him, the more he seemed to disappoint. That stems from the fact that Hutchinson isn’t quite an NHL goaltender, but he has been able to thrive in the third string role.
Throughout Hutchinson’s career he has bounced between the AHL and the NHL. It has been five seasons since Hutchinson spent the full year with a NHL team. Third string is his wheelhouse, and here he is. Would Dell have been better? Yes. …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Aaron Dell era is over, the Jason Spezza era continues in Toronto.

It went exactly as expected. Aaron Dell was claimed off of waivers today at noon.

Devils claim Dell…
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) January 18, 2021

So the good news here is that Dell didn’t go to Scotia North Division opponent that needed a goaltender (read: the Oilers.) The fact that Dell went to New Jersey meant that he wound up exactly were he was expected to be after Corey Crawford announced his retirement and a capable backup was required for Mackenzie Blackwood. Previously the Devils had claimed Eric Comrie off of waivers, but Dell would certainly be an upgrade. It remains to be seen if they’ll move forward with three goaltenders, or if Comrie will be on waivers later this week. He could be an interesting depth option, although we can definitely see the challenge in getting third string goaltenders to the taxi squad at the moment. In that regard, Michael Hutchinson is a solid safety net for the Leafs, as he’s at least on par with most of the third string options around the league. It’s just unfortunate that goaltending depth will no longer be a position of strength for the Leafs.

Jason Spezza clears waivers – he’ll be …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation