Dubas’ silence is golden, and the importance of Rielly: Leaflets

Dubas’ silence is golden, and the importance of Rielly: Leaflets

We are now on day three of no Leafs hockey. It’s now less than a week to go until the Leafs are back at it against the Blue Jackets. And we are now under four weeks until the NHL trade deadline. It seems like the perfect time to get into some Saturday morning Leafs takes.
The lack of information that comes out of the Leafs front office
I’m sure that Kyle Dubas loves the fact that the trade deadline reporting on the Leafs is that they are very much in on a forward. Or a defenseman. Or both. The fact that no one can nail down what the Leafs priorities are and that insiders are left to desperately speculate on what the Leafs could be up to makes Kyle’s job a lot easier.
One of the reasons this has to be a win for Dubas is that pretty much everyone with an audience would be dissecting why his target isn’t right for Toronto or why the price should be so much higher than Toronto is willing to pay. Understandably the second that Toronto gets attached to a player in a rumour it’s probably simpler to just move on to someone else rather than refine the deal as anyone that Toronto is lookin …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Nylander pots nifty OT winner, Leafs win wild one in St. Louis: Muzzy’s Muzings

Nylander pots nifty OT winner, Leafs win wild one in St. Louis: Muzzy’s Muzings

The Leafs and Blues are incapable of playing a boring hockey game —Tuesday night was further proof of that.
They’ve now combined to hit the over in four consecutive meetings.
William Nylander potted the OT winner as Toronto outlasted St. Louis 5-4 to snap a mini two game winless skid on the road.

Most OT goals in Maple Leafs history
Mats Sundin 14Auston Matthews 9William Nylander 7Thomas Kaberle 7
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) December 28, 2022

Calle Jarnkrok tallied a goal and two helpers for his first career three-point outing. Meantime, John Tavares, Alex Kerfoot and Justin Holl had the other goals while Ilya Samsonov made 30 stops to improve to 11-3-0 on the season.
Mitch Marner picked up an assist. Remarkably, the 25-year-old has now notched at least a point in 25 of his past 27 outings.
Toronto, who’s 7-2-1 in December, upped its OT record to 3-6. Additionally, they’re 12-2-2 since Morgan Rielly went down. By the way, earlier on Tuesday, his status was upgraded to day-to-day. He’s on the mend.

Leafs are 3-0-0 since acquiring Dryden Hunt.
He has yet to a play game, though.
— Nick Alberga (@thegoldenmuzzy) December 28, 2022

 
MUZZY’S MUZINGS:
 
FOOD COMA
As per usual, the game following the holiday break always seems to produce general unpredictability and wildness. And this one did not disappoint. Suffice it is to say, neither team had it defensively, but you won’t hear any complaints out of me. Furthermore, it was great to see Toronto’s depth come to the forefront. Once again, I thought the bottom-six had a solid night. They’ve really found their identity since the slow start to the season. Come playoff time, the Leafs will take the offence wherever they can get …

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Author: Nick Alberga / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Maple Leafs one of just two NHL teams with zero prospects at 2023 World Juniors

Toronto Maple Leafs one of just two NHL teams with zero prospects at 2023 World Juniors

Being one of the National Hockey League’s top teams comes at a cost.

Boxing Day typically marks the start of the World Juniors, one of the hockey world’s most exciting events, and this year is no different. The 2023 World Junior Championship begins today with four games: Finland/Switzerland, Sweden/Austria, Latvia/USA, and Czechia/Canada.
But, for the first time since 1982, the Toronto Maple Leafs won’t have a single prospect taking part in this year’s World Juniors. A four-decade streak of Maple Leafs representation will come to an end when the first puck drops on Monday.
In a sense, it’s understandable. With a 21–7–6 record through the first three months of the season, the Leafs are a Stanley Cup contender with the desire to win now. They’ve made just eight picks over the last two drafts.
But the cupboards aren’t completely bare. Matthew Knies is just barely too old to play for Team USA this year, while Ty Voit was a curious omission on the part of USA Hockey considering his fantastic statline with the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. The Leafs selected both Knies and Voit in 2021.
Meanwhile, 2022 fifth-round pick Nikita Grebenkin would’ve been a shoo …

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Author: Mike Gould / The Leafs Nation

Keith Petruzzelli: What to expect

Keith Petruzzelli: What to expect

Another year of Maple Leafs hockey, another year of the injury bug causing goaltending issues.
With all of Ilya Samsonov, Matt Murray, and Joseph Woll at various phases of recovering from injury, the Leafs have been forced to lean on their depth. Erik Källgren, who saw some time with the Leafs last season, has filled in as starter, with mixed results.
The goaltender that intrigues me, however, is the acting backup Keith Petruzzelli. I wrote in my goaltending primer earlier this year that Petruzzelli would “have to have some degree of AHL success this season” in order to continue being considered an NHL prospect. And a degree of success he has had. Through six games with the Marlies so far, Petruzzelli is 6-0-0 with a .922 save percentage. This strong play, coupled with the Leafs’ injury issues, resulted in him signing his first NHL contract on November 6th.

Some Keith Petruzzelli highlights from this season. The 6-foot-6 netminder is 6-0-0 and has a .922 SV% with the Marlies. Coming off of a strong first professional season with the @NLGrowlers pic.twitter.com/09g3cj1WzB
— Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush) November 6, 2022

To go from starting in the ECHL to earning an NHL contract within a year, injuries or not, is very significant. I spoke with TLN’s Dylan Murphy (@dylanmurphy329 on Twitter) who covers the Growlers for the site about him, and he praised Petruzzelli’s work ethic and positive attitude. Further, Dylan spoke with Growlers head coach Kyle Wellwood, who echoed that sentiment, saying that “[the organization] always said he was a gamer, he just had to learn to be a pro …

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Author: Colin Hunter / The Leafs Nation

Do early season games matter for the Maple Leafs?

Do early season games matter for the Maple Leafs?

It’s the beginning of a new hockey season, meaning it’s the best possible time for overreacting. Is your team undefeated? They’re a cup contender. Winless? Better hunker down for a long season of watching Connor Bedard highlights and playing draft lottery simulators. Of course, we all know it’s ridiculous to draw conclusions about anything based on the beginning of the season. This is especially true for the Leafs, as their season will be judged on playoff performance. But that doesn’t necessarily mean early games are entirely meaningless. Getting off to a good start is essential, setting the tone for a long 82-game season. But just how meaningful are early season games? How difficult is it to overcome a slow start? To hold on to standings position after a hot start? Let’s take a look at some teams in recently who show us some answers.
We’ll start by going six years back, to the 2016-17 season, taking a look at the three most recent seasons that were on a “normal schedule” unaffected by the pandemic. Taking a look at the standings on December 1st, the Montreal Canadiens sat atop the Eastern conference, while the Chicago Blackhawks had the top spot in the West. By the en …

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Author: Jaden Ho / The Leafs Nation

Willy Styles is the name, fashion is his game: Maple Leafs Gameday Fit Week #1 Power Rankings

One of my favourite things about hockey, and all sports really, is seeing what the athletes wear walking into the arena.
Whichever sport it is — hockey, basketball, football, or baseball — players like to show their personality through what they drape themselves in before games.
Hockey, in particular, is no fun when it comes to fashion. It’s a sport where kids are told at a young age to wear suits to their games and they do that all the way to the NHL level, if they make it there.
It’s boring. Unentertaining. Monotonous. Dull. I could go on.
There are some NHL teams that have loosened their dress code a little bit, but for the most part each team still wants their players to enter the arena looking ready for business.
While it’s understandable, I still hate it. I love fun, and dressing different is fun.
Toronto has settled for business casual, which means still wearing a suit. However, they are allowing the players to spice things up a little bit. And as you may know, there are plenty of guys on the Maple Leafs who want to show off their gameday drip.
So, I thought I’d write about it. Maybe it’ll be a weekly series, maybe it won’t. It all depends on if the Maple Leafs cont …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation