What’s going right and what’s going wrong for the Leafs a quarter of the way through the season

What’s going right and what’s going wrong for the Leafs a quarter of the way through the season

The Leafs season has reached the quarter mark, and it’s been quintessentially Leafy. The Leafs stunk up October, reminded us that they are for real in November, and along the way have had five of their key defensemen and both of their NHL goaltenders miss a significant amount of time. In the spirit of the season being 1/4 over, I’ve asked the TLN crew what is their biggest positive and negative of the season so far. Here are their answers.
Scott Ony
The biggest positive for me has been the play of John Tavares. I expected him to be a massive disappointment this season but he has been a pleasant surprise and is on pace for his most points since his first season in Toronto. I thought the speed of the game would pass him by but he just does all the little things right and continues to rack up the points.
Although he has played fairly well in his four games the biggest disappointment is Matt Murray. Who would have thought a goalie who hasn’t made more than 30 starts since 2019-20 would run into injury issues? If he can somehow manage to stay healthy the move to acquire him might look okay but at this point, it’s a huge miss.
Bennett Jull
The b …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs depth had interesting looks in first set of preseason games

The Maple Leafs’ depth is the biggest question mark heading into this year’s regular season, but it seems like that question might be getting sooner rather than later.
There are a number of players vying for a spot in Toronto’s lineup — one being on John Tavares’ wing and another few spots within the bottom six. These few games are a big test for those wanting a role in those positions, to see who might fit where.
Denis Malgin, Adam Gaudette, Zach Aston-Reese, and Alex Steeves — they all stole the show on the first day of preseason games. Nick Robertson and Kyle Clifford, however, did not.
As training camp goes on, the play is only going to ramp up even more. So it’s best to get off on a good foot, especially when you’re trying to secure a lineup spot on the Maple Leafs.
Malgin — on a line with William Nylander and Pontus Holmberg — looked very good in Toronto’s first game of the day against Ottawa. The 25-year-old seemed to have a lot of chemistry with the two and even got on the scoresheet scoring what was the game-winning goal.

Denis Malgin
What a pass from Nylander pic.twitter.com/NXMCpy3UoD
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) September 24, 2022

Malgin even got some praise from Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe after the game.
“I think he was good in the first few days. I thought he was excellent here today (Friday) …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Colin Blackwell inks a two-year deal with Chicago

Part of the blockbuster deal that saw the Leafs net Mark Giordano will be heading out west to the Windy City.

The Blackhawks have signed forward Colin Blackwell, per a source. He played for the Kraken and Leafs last season.
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) July 13, 2022

Elliotte Friedman reported that Colin Blackwell would be getting a two-year deal at a $1.2 million AAV.
Blackwell split this past season with the Kraken and Leafs where he posted a combined 10 goals, 10 assists, and 20 points in 58 games played while adding two points (a goal and an assist) in seven playoff games.
He showcased his versatility upon his arrival on the eve of the trade deadline as he did well everywhere he was placed in the lineup. While the offence did not really follow suit, the Leafs were a better team with Blackwell in the lineup. The Leafs do doubt would have loved to keep Blackwell if it was possible, but it became apparent that the ship had sailed with the additions of Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Adam Gaudette.
By going to Chicago, he is getting a chance to bet on himself by putting up impressive numbers on a team that is trying to tank for the first overall pick. Who knows, perhaps he is a player the Leafs may circle back to in a future trade deadline because his cap hit is super reasonable.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com and Natural Stat Trick.

Salary information from PuckPedia.com.
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The Mark Shapiro Era Draft Retrospective: 2017

This year was the second draft with Mark Shapiro at the helm of the Blue Jays

Interestingly, 2022 will be the first draft since 2017 that the team had more than three draft picks in the first 100 picks. The Jays did a good job of acquiring two flamethrowing relievers, as well as a utility player and a catcher.
Logan Warmoth:
The Jays selected the versatile position player with the 22nd pick.
Unlike Zeuch, Warmoth is still in the Blue Jays organization, although he hasn’t been a top prospect for awhile. He was selected from the University of North Carolina as a junior, and has put up alright numbers in the minors.
In 1586 plate appearances, Warmoth has a .246/.337/.353 slash line with 20 homers. Before the pandemic, he had just 6 homers in 947 plate appearances. Since his move to Triple A in 2021, he has hit 14 homers in 639 plate appearances.
In 2021, his K% increased to a career high 33.2%, likely due to him trying to increase his power. He finished slashing .228/.350/.357 with nine homers and a wRC+ of 97 in 413 plate appearances.
He’s refined his power approach this season, as he’s hit five homers in 226 plate appearances. Notably, Warmoth’s K% has dropped to 26.5%.
While the 26-year-old can’t quite be considered a prospect anymore, his versatility and potential pop could help an MLB team in the future.
Nate Pearson:
Much like Bo Bichette, you know Nate Pearson. He was drafted with th …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation