TLN Three Stars: Something Something 3-1 Lead

You can take the Leafs out of the road trip, but you can’t take the road trip out of the Leafs.
Much like we seem to be getting all too familiar with, the Leafs took another 3-1 lead in the first period, only to blow it, but thankfully they’d hold on and win it in the shootout. It was a stain on an otherwise great game for the Leafs, which saw them absolutely walk all over the Ducks from a possession standpoint, doubling them in shots throughout the game, and getting a bunch of highlight reel plays going, even though they could only produce on the power play or the shootout. That just goes to show how great John Gibson was in the game, and made it a tough win still for the Leafs.
Three Stars
Third Star: William Nylander
Elite third liner William Nylander was one of many players to feast on the power play tonight, putting up a goal and an assist on the power paly for a couple of points, and also had plenty of other great opportunities to add more, but was robbed by Gibson.
Second Star: Mitch Marner
Mitch extended his goal streak to four games with an absolute bomb from the blue line, and also had a nice set …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Relaunching the Maple Leafs Stat Pack for 2021-22

Did you know Alexander Kerfoot leads the Leafs in even-strength points?
Were you aware only three Leaf players are doling our more hits than they’re receiving?
Have you seen Kyle Clifford’s ridiculous-looking PDO?
Want to dive deeper into Jack Campbell’s recent performance?
Have you heard the Leafs have a top-three special teams group?
All these fun little tidbits were brought to your awareness by the Maple Leafs Stat Pack (MLSP), now live for the 2021-22 season.

This expansive Tableau dashboard, first introduced last season, is designed to be a one-stop-shop for deeper insights into our boys in Blue & White. The MLSP summarizes and visualizes Skater, Goaltender, and Team stats to help tell fans a better story about the performance of the Maple Leafs.
The dashboard, built using publicly-available data from Evolving-Hockey and NHL.com, is an ever-growing resource that will have new items added over time, so check back for new features or feel free to make suggested changes to Mark Norman via his Twitter.
Enjoy getting to know your team a little better, Maple Leafs fans!
Note: The MLSP is not optimized for mobile viewing, and show only be viewed on desktop devices. Plans for a mobile-friendly version are underway. …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs’ Nylander Moved to Third Line at Practice

The Toronto Maple Leafs shuffled up their lines at practice Monday. The most notable change saw William Nylander move outside of the club’s top-six group to the third line to skate with Alex Kerfoot and David Kampf.

#Leafs D-Pairs at practice Jan. 24/22
Rielly-BrodieSandin-HollDermott-LiljegrenMuzzin (non-contact)Biega.
— David Alter (@dalter) January 24, 2022

Adjustments were expected to the forward group with Ondrej Kase coming off COVID-19 protocol over the weekend. Kase skated on the top-line with Auston Matthews and Michael Bunting. Ilya Mikheyev skated on the team’s second line with John Tavares and Mitch Marner. While Pierre Engvall skated with Jason Spezza and Wayne Simmonds.
“I think it’s a good way to spread out the guys on the team,” Nylander said after practice.
Kase skating on the first line is nothing new as the speedy forward occupied the right-wing spot at two different points in the season, Most recently, Kase was skated with Matthews and Bunting while Marner was on COVID-19 protocol.
Why This Is Significant
Nylander has not played outside the top-six this season. Being on a checking line may be a product of the club looking for more balance.
“For me, it’s about having Matthews, Marner and Nylander on three separate lines and getting a look for what that looks like for both our team and how the opposition may look to contend with that.” Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said.
Keefe added that the team will practice the same way on Tuesday but stopped short of actually committing to going with these lines when the Maple Leafs host the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
Nylander has 16 goals and 38 points this season and picked up an assist in a 3-1 victory against the New York Islanders on Saturday.
Ker …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs 3 stars of the week: Mitch Marner and his goal streak, Pierre Engvall playing some of his best hockey

Nearing the end of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ current six-game road trip, the team was looking to finish the trip on a high note after blowing multiple multi-goal leads in three of their previous four games and losing two games on this trip too. After falling short in overtime to Colorado, Toronto then followed up that game with a shootout win over Vegas, but not soon after played a great game against arguably the worst team in the league in Arizona but came up against Dominik Hasek himself in net and lost 2-1 in regulation
They then travelled to St. Louis to play the Blues and played yet another stressful game where they blew another multi-goal lead but somehow found a way towards the end of regulation to secure the two points and move on to the next two games against both New York teams. They entered Wednesday night’s game against the Rangers currently having picked up five out of the possible eight points on this road trip, so you know they wanted to end this trip with two wins and also get revenge for the Rangers’ win against them earlier on this season.
Well, just like the game aga …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Leafs’ Latest: Tavares returns to Long Island and Dahlström makes his debut

The Maple Leafs will play the final game of their New York trip tonight against the New York Islanders at UBS Arena.
Speaking of UBS Arena, Toronto was the second team to play the Islanders in their new building. Joseph Woll was in net that night and didn’t allow a single goal for his first-career NHL shutout.
Ever since then, it’s been downhill for the Islanders, who sit second last in the Metropolitan Division. As of late, though, the team has turned it around winning seven of their last nine games.
A big reason for that is the play of their two goaltenders, Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov. The two netminders have put together a combined .925 save percentage this season.
Two players that have been good since the Islanders’ hot streak have been Josh Bailey and Matthew Barzal. Both players are averaging a point-per-game since December 16th.
It’s not known who’ll start tonight for New York, but it’s projected to be Varlamov. The Islanders are entering the second-half of a back-to-back after defeating the Arizona Coyotes 4-0. Sorokin played in that game, which is why Varlamov is the projected starter for Saturday.
Maple Leafs lineup on Saturday night
With only an optional morning skate in New York, we won’t have a full look at lines. However, I don’t believe the lineu …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs’ Latest: Keefe addresses post-game comments, Mrazek starts vs. Islanders

After a day off, the Maple Leafs are practicing one final time before their game in Long Island. It’s Toronto’s last game on the road before they start splitting games at home and away from the city.
It’s a later practice today in New York at 2PM, but it allowed the Maple Leafs to make some moves ahead of practice.

Forward Joey Anderson and defenceman Carl Dahlström have been reassigned to the Maple Leafs taxi squad from the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 21, 2022

Joey Anderson and Carl Dahlstrom are two players who seem to have a bungee cord strapped to them with the amount of times they go up and down. They leave a Toronto Marlies team, who’s also close to the state of New York.
So, evidently, they made it to practice today.
Maple Leafs lines in New York
Both Anderson and Dahlstrom look to be in the lineup with the way the lines shape up today.

#Leafs lines at practice Jan. 21/22
Bunting-Matthews-MarnerKerfoot-Tavares-NylanderMikheyev-Kampf-EngvallSimmonds-Spezza-AndersonExtra: Clifford, Ritchie
Rielly-BrodieSandin-LiljegrenDahlstrom-DermottBiega
Campbell Mrázek
— David Alter (@dalter) January 21, 2022

Each line remains the same, except for the four line and the third defence pairing. Coming onto the fourth line is Anderson, who had six points in his last three AHL games. Dahlström comes in for Alex Biega, who didn’t have the best game on Wednesday night.
It looks like Dahlström will get his first game with the Maple Leafs on Saturday. He’s excited for the opportunity to play and has been “itching” for the chance, since joining the organization over the summer.

Dahlstrom: “Exciting times. I see myself as a two-way defenceman.” Broke his hand and foot in previous stops. “I’ve been itching for my chance. I’ve always liked (the Leafs’) game.”
— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) January 21, 2022

 
Still missing from the team is Ondrej Kase and Justin Holl. Sheldon Keefe said after Friday’s practice that both players are out of protocol and will join the team tomorrow.

Keefe says Kase and Holl are out of protocol and flyi …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Pontus Holmberg is the fifth Maple Leafs prospect to be named to the Olympics

Another exciting day for the Leafs and the Olympics, as the Swedish Men’s hockey roster was announced and the promising Leafs prospect is a part of it.

After the results at the last #IIHFWorlds and in #PyeongChang2018, @Trekronorse hopes to bounce back in #Beijing2022 with a roster of players shining in the @SHLse, @KHL and @NLSLOfficial. Can they get back to the podium?
Read more https://t.co/XafmaOOs6A@SWEOlympic pic.twitter.com/krF1Ko6jcB
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) January 21, 2022

(Yes that is former Leafs prospect Daniel Brodin also on that list.)
The Swedish announcement comes a day after the Finnish roster was announced and included former Leafs Leo Komarov, Miro Aaltonen, Mikko Lehtonen, and former Leafs reserve lister Teemu Hartikainen, but disappointingly not high scoring Leafs prospect Topi Niemela. While both Finland and Sweden seemed to go more of the veteran route with their lineups, Holmberg’s play over the past year including his MVP playoff performance and his 28 point in 33 games this year in the SHL warranted the 22 year old making the cut.
Previously a couple of other Leafs “prospects” or reserve listers made the cut for the Swiss team…

With some solid depth and 11 returnees, does this @SwissIceHockey #Beijing2022 team have what it takes to capture a medal?
READ MORE: https://t.co/3dLME2RGQR#hockey #icehockey #eishockey #hockeysurglace #hockeysughiaccio #Olympics @swissteam pic.twitter.com/OryydCZTkH
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) January 18, 2022

Both Fabrice Herzog and Denis Malgin made the cut, and while neither my never see a Leafs jersey again in their careers, they are technically on the Leafs reserve list, so we’re going to count it.
Of course rounding out the Leafs representation so far are Knies and Abruzzese on the American roster:
Nick Abruzzese and Matthew Knies officially named to US Men’s Olympic roster

While Canada might be dressing a former Leaf or two, neither Canada or Czechia will have a current Leaf in their lineup. So it looks like unless an injury brings Niemela into the mix for Finland, this will be the Leafs representation in Beijing. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What the Maple Leafs’ Heritage Classic Jersey May Look Like

The Heritage Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres on March 13th in Hamilton is fast approaching. Although, I can understand if the excitement has been buried a bit because of the uncertainty if the game goes due to possible local public health restrictions.

Still TBD https://t.co/q7X3thChRe
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 20, 2022

 
Putting that aside, let’s do our best to take a swing at how the Maple Leafs’ Heritage Classic jerseys will look. I have some insight from a source, but I’ll still be making an educated guess.
Firstly, it isn’t odd that we are a little over a month away from the date of the game without an official unveiling yet. When the Leafs took on the Red Wings in the Centennial Classic, the jerseys got revealed on November 21st for the January 1st scheduled game. When the Leafs took on the Capitals in the 2018 Stadium Series, an announcement didn’t come until February 10th, less than a month before the March 3rd game.

What an odd choice of players to market either jersey. Anyway, even though the game is in Hamilton, the Leafs will be the away team for this matchup with their QEW rivals. That’s important in determining what the jersey will look like because, in today’s NHL, the away team typically wears light colours. Convenient enough for us, the modern St Pats jerseys are mainly white and considered a heritage uniform. Case closed? Well, St. Patrick’s Day is March 17th, so a St Pats themed jersey isn’t out of the question for the March 13th game. Also, if you happen to have seen Carolina’s schedule, the Hurricanes are slated to wear their home reds in Toronto on St. Patrick’s day. This, and what I have heard from a source supports that the Leafs will be wearing their white St Pats jerseys again this season.

Personally, that would be boring if the Maple Leafs dragged out something old and just slapped on a Heritage Classic event patch. It also probably wouldn’t sell very well as people have had several years to purchase an Adidas branded St Pats jersey. The game’s proximity to St Patrick’s day and the team’s connection to the St Pats cannot be ruled out, though. Some ev …

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Author: Stephen Brown / The Leafs Nation

The revised Maple Leafs schedule is about as friendly as it can be

The Leafs have no shortage of games to make up after a number of postponements in December and January either due to COVID protocols or out of attempts at getting the Leafs playing in front of fans and generating ticket revenue.
The Leafs find themselves with 11 rescheduled games overall, including the two that were essentially moved to get the Leafs optimal home dates, and this has the Leafs with the highest number of make up games of all teams presently sitting in a playoff spot, and only the Senators, Canadiens, and Islanders have more games to make up overall. Suddenly that three week stretch without hockey in February has become very busy, but it always was going to be potentially busy for Leafs players as the Leafs could have had their roster core committed to the Olympics, so perhaps playing around the same number of games as they’d have in the Olympics and cutting out the travel and quarantine time in Beijing is still a net gain. Still, when you see the Panthers only making up 4 games, and the Lightning with 5, the deck seems a little stacked against the Leafs, although it could have been so much worse.
Here is the list of resched …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs’ Latest: Mitch Marner hopeful that Auston Matthews enters history books against Rangers

The Maple Leafs are visiting Madison Square Garden for the first time since Febraury 5th, 2020 to take on the New York Rangers.
In their last 10 games, the Rangers are 6-3-1 and sit first in the Metropolitan Division. Adam Fox, who’s averaging a point-per-game is going to be the biggest difference maker for New York. He’s likely going to match up against Auston Matthews’ line during the game.
Artemi Panarin has the highest point total among forwards with 38 points (10G, 28A) in 34 games. Right behind him is Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, who both have 35 points in 39 games and make up two-thirds of the Rangers’ second line.
Another challenge for Toronto will be New York’s penalty-kill, which is third in the league at 85.6%. (You can’t forget about Igor Shesterkin, who’s playing incredible for the Rangers.) The Maple Leafs’ power play is second in the NHL, which will make tonight’s game an exciting special teams bout.
Maple Leafs lines vs. the Rangers
Nick Ritchie skated this morning in New York, but won’t be available for the game. Also not playing tonight is Jake Muzzin, who suffered a concussion vs. St. Louis while on their road trip. Coming in for Muzzin will be Alex Biega.

Keefe says no lineup changes tonight othe …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation