TLN Three Stars: First Line Magic

Coming off a tough OT loss to the Edmonton Oilers, and battling for the top spot of the Scotia North Division, the Toronto Maple Leafs were looking to get back in action as the puck dropped against the Winnipeg Jets for tonight’s game. The Leafs came in hot and heavy as they ended the first period with lots of good chances, outshooting the Jets 14-6, and a 2-0 lead with goals by Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman. The second period was a lot more even as the Jets started to get some scoring chances, but not much to show for it. Alexander Kerfoot managed to get a shorthanded goal as Josh Morrissey lost a puck battle, but answered right back as Morrissey got one past Jack Campbell less than a minute later. The period ended as the Jets were outshooting the Leafs 22-21, but the Leafs held on with a 3-1 lead. As the puck dropped for the third, you could tell that both teams wanted to keep the energy going. The Leafs had a few SOG, but weren’t able to get anything else past Connor Hellebuyck, or capitalize on yet another powerplay. The period ended as Paul …

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Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation

Do the Maple Leafs need to trade for a top-six winger?

In a game against the Edmonton Oilers, where the Maple Leafs lost in overtime, I had one thought on my mind:
Do the Maple Leafs need to trade for a top-six winger?
I explain in my video why I think they should, but why I also think Toronto shouldn’t. Plus, there is the goalie situation too — and does Kyle Dubas need to go down that road? We’ll see.
But an overtime loss to the Oilers isn’t as bad as it seems. The Maple Leafs drove the play for the most part (up until the final minutes of the third period) and were the better team tonight. Edmonton just scored on the goaltender who wasn’t as dangerous as the one he was up against (Michael Hutchinson vs. Mike Smith).
I hope you enjoy tonight’s video and why I think the Maple Leafs should/shouldn’t trade for a top-six player.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to extend win streak to three against suddenly surging Oilers

When the Toronto Maple Leafs left Edmonton on March 3rd following their dominant three game sweep of the Oilers, the mood around the team was perhaps the highest it had been in years. During said sweep, the Leafs outscored the Oilers 13-1, earning shutouts from Jack Campbell and Michael Hutchinson while also holding Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to a combined one point (the fact that Auston Matthews only appeared in one of the three games is a bit of an afterthought.) The sweep saw the Leafs increase their lead of the North Division to nine points over the second place Winnipeg Jets, and ten points over the throughly humiliated third place Oilers.
The Leafs, as they are prone to do, promptly reminded us that they are in fact the Toronto Maple Leafs, and proceeded to drop six of the nine and allowed the Oilers to close that gap to a mere two points heading into tonight’s matchup.
The Oilers, meanwhile, had a solid bounce back from their dismal set with the Leafs, winning seven of their nine games since the three game sweep, including a five game winning streak in the games immediately following the series. Should the …

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Author: Brian Reid / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs hope to carry road trip momentum into two-game series against the Canucks

After a three-game sweep of the Edmonton Oilers where the Leafs outscored their opponents by a combined score of 13-1 while featuring three different goalies in net, the team is hoping this miracle run will carry on as they continue the west coast road trip in Vancouver.
It’s been a tale of two very different seasons for the Canadian franchises. The Maple Leafs currently sit atop the NHL standings while the Canucks are near the bottom and have played so poorly that they at one point made Montreal look dominant.
Although the Leafs are playing on the second night of a back-to-back, they’re sure to be fired up entering the contest on a dominant four-game winning streak. With key players such as Auston Matthews, Frederik Andersen, and Joe Thornton making their way back into the lineup, the team that was finding ways to win without them seems to only be getting stronger.
As NHL fans continue to dismiss the Leafs success by claiming the North Division is weak, the boys in blue will be looking to prove that the division only appears to be weak because Toronto is just that dominant. With just over half a season left …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

The Maple Leafs are the best team in the NHL – Rate That Leafs Game

So, here we are. Three games after arriving in Edmonton and the Maple Leafs one all of them. Without Auston Matthews, Toronto’s depth and other top players had success which put them over the top in each game. Defence was also a key factor as they held Connor McDavid pointless in three games and Leon Draisaitl to one point.
A solid road trip which they hope to finish off after the play the Vancouver Canucks in two-straight games. To me, it’s weird to see the Leafs atop of the North Division and the NHL, but at the same time, it’s so exciting.
I hope you enjoy this video, where I freakout for most of it.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs blank Oilers in two-straight games – Rate That Leafs Game

So, again, the Maple Leafs defeat the Edmonton Oilers. And, again, Toronto shuts them out. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both couldn’t solve Michael Hutchinson as he made 31 saves in this one.
William Nylander, aka Willy Styles, scored his fourth goal in three games, Zach Hyman and Morgan Rielly also added the other two goals.
Another incredible game for the Maple Leafs which now puts them even further ahead in the North Division. I hope you enjoy today’s video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Matthews’ status still up in the air as Leafs play afternoon game against Flames

After a surprising win against the Edmonton Oilers without Auston Matthews in the lineup, the Leafs go on their first big road trip of the season, kicking it off with back-to-back games against Calgary. Today is the first of the two, and the Leafs look to keep the winning ways going in a division that’s already starting to show it’s true contenders and pretenders.
The Flames enter the game having not played in six days, but with only three games played, they are currently undefeated in regulation, thanks to back-to-back wins against the Vancouver Canucks. The usual suspects have been leading the way for them, as Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Sean Monahan lead the team in scoring with 4 points, while players like Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund have been the usual possession monsters that they always are.
We still have no word as to whether or not Auston Matthews will play this afternoon, but I’m sure Friday’s win makes Keefe feel a little bit more confident about giving him more rest if it’s needed. That said, Calgary is a much tougher and deeper team than Edmonton, so he will still be very much needed.


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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Justin Holl for Norris? – Rate that Leafs game

Justin Holl for Norris? – Rate that Leafs game

The Maple Leafs’ two game series against the Edmonton Oilers comes to a close and we saw a lot from both clubs. One, Connor McDavid likes scoring against his hometown team. Two, Justin Holl enjoys defending McDavid, and is very good at it.
And three, the Leafs win tonight’s game 4-2. It wasn’t the best game by Toronto, but they got the job done while missing Auston Matthews. They didn’t take many penalties, Frederik Andersen played well and lastly — Adam Brooks scored his first-career NHL goal.
The Toronto Maple Leafs win and life is good. I hope you enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs take on McDavid and the Oilers for this first time this season

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers open their season series against each other this evening, the first of nine times the two franchises will face off. After a slow start to their season, the Oilers will be looking to prove that they didn’t attempt to build their team like an NBA roster by acquiring two superstars and expecting that to be enough. The Leafs meanwhile, will attempt to continue their hotstreak having won three of their first four contests during this 2021 season.
Both teams face their largest uncertainty in net with Frederik Andersen and Mikko Koskinen both posting sub-900 save percentages to start the season. While the Leafs have a literal backup plan with Jack Campbell showing promise early in the season, the Oilers are facing more concern after placing Mike Smith on LTIR and losing Anton Forsberg to waivers. With how highpowered both team’s offenses can be, seeing a backup be forced into the game in relief is more likely than either franchise would like to admit.
The Oilers fanbase has vocalised early concern about the team’s defensive issues, and for Leafs fans it’s been no different. Toronto will once again be going with …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

Leafs prospects looking to shine at the World Juniors this Christmas

It looks like Edmonton will be back for Hub City 2: Electric Boogaloo.
A Hockey Canada press release announces the tournament will get underway on Christmas Day, a day early than the usual Boxing Day start:
For the first time since 2005, the IIHF World Junior Championship, a holiday hockey tradition, will get underway on Christmas Day. Three games highlight the opening-day schedule before Canada’s National Junior Team begins defence of its gold medal against Germany on Boxing Day.
Hockey Canada and the host committee, on behalf of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), unveiled the full tournament schedule Monday. All 28 games will be played at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alta., from Dec. 25, 2020 to Jan. 5, 2021.
While most Leafs fans will default to cheering for Canada, there’s little doubt that our eyes should be elsewhere as well. The Leafs representation in the tournament is going to be decidedly Finnish and Russian, and while Nick Robertson could be the big focal point, Bob McKenzie is hinting that he might not be attending…

Zegras stayed in ANA to work out/skate there as did Kaliyev in LA and Robertson in TOR. Turcotte is in Germany, where he’s been assigned to play by …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation