Thanks Ken Holland, the Leafs can now afford to re-sign Zach Hyman

Last week, the Edmonton Oilers locked up Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a contract extension worth $5.125 million per year over a max-term of eight years with a full no-movement clause. Most members of the Edmonton media and the team’s loyal fanbase see the deal as a win-win. A former 1st-overall draft pick and core member of their team commits the twilight years of his prime to the team that drafted him at a noteworthy discount that will give GM Ken Holland some flexibility to navigate the flat salary cap and attempt to make the Oilers an overall better team.
So the one question that remains is, as always, how does this affect the Leafs?
Well, it’s quite simple, thanks to this contract signing, Ken Holland and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have set the market and in doing so, effectively killed the (mainstream media perpetuated) narrative that Zach Hyman is going to get contract offers in the range of $6 million a year for six years.
Let’s be real here, as much as we all love Zach Hyman and want to see him be rewarded for several years of stellar play (for a player of his skill level), he’s no Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

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 face Oilers for final time in the regular season

Coming off a 4-3 OT win on Saturday, the Leafs take on the Oilers for one final time this (regular) season tonight, and they’ll be doing so with Michael Hutchinson in net. In the two teams’ games this season, the Leafs are 6-1-1, and all 3 of their goalies have played (and won) against the Oilers.
Saturday was arguably Jack Campbell’s shakiest game so far this season, and the team in front of him struggled to hit the net, as well; though they finally overcame a 2-goal deficit to tie the game at 3 apiece late in the third period. And Auston Matthews finally got over his snake bite, scoring the OT winner. While the Leafs are now on a 3-game winning streak, two of those three have been in overtime, which is not necessarily ideal when the divisional race is tight.
As the Leafs look to extend their winning streak, and hopefully pull it off in regulation, the Oilers are smarting from yet another loss to a team they want to get the best of. They’ll be hungry for the win, and with Hutchinson in net for the Leafs you can bet that Edmonton will try to …

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Author: Mer / 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

Matthews and Andersen make their returns as the Leafs look for the sweep of the three-game tilt vs Edmonton

After posting two straight shutouts against the Oilers, the Leafs appear to be getting two huge boosts to their lineup on Wednesday:

Sheldon Keefe says Auston Matthews and Frederik Andersen will both play for #Leafs tonight
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) March 3, 2021

Auston Matthews told the media yesterday that he wants to return when he knows he is at 100% efficiency and it won’t hinder his abilities long-term, so it sounds like he was given the green light to be reinstated into the lineup. While it might not be the best idea given how chippy the end of Monday’s game got, he will no doubt provide a significant jolt to the Leafs offensive unit.
Frederik Andersen also coming back brings some much-needed stability to the crease that has been off the ruckus these last few days. Toronto will need him to stay healthy as Jack Campbell re-aggravated his leg injury during Saturday’s win and it’s unclear when he will be back (although he did get some reps in during the morning skate).

Campbell skating today, but not confirmed as replacing Hutch as back-up to Freddy. Barabanov coming out for Matthews, Nylander is OK.
— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) March 3, 2021

One …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / 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

Lmao McDavid got shut out by Michael Hutchinson

Much like Saturday’s game, the Oilers came out of the gate with a lot of pressure and gave Leafs fans some scares early on, but once again, it was the Leafs who opened the scoring, as Morgan Rielly made an excellent cross seam pass to Zach Hyman, who dangles around Mikko Koskinen and scores on the Leafs first shot of the game.

First shot of the game and it’s a goal!
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2021

They followed it up quickly with another as William Nylander fought off Evan Bouchard and wired a backhander top shelf past Koskinen to make it 2-0.

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 2, 2021

The Oilers would finally get a powerplay later in the first after not having a single one on Saturday, but it would last all of three seconds as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tripped up Justin Holl to make it 4-on-4. Another penalty to the Oilers would give the Leafs their first power play of the game, and they would capitalize on it as Rielly would fire a shot that deflected off of Darnell Nurse and squeak through Koskinen’s pads to give the Leafs a 3 …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Oilers snap Leafs winning streak in thrilling OT contest

The Leafs and Oilers put on a show on Saturday night in a fast paced, tightly contested game that featured highlight reel moments from some of the game’s biggest stars. The Leafs battled back from a two goal deficit but came up short in a 4-3 overtime loss, bringing their record to 5-0-1 in one goal games so far this season.
Both teams had their legs from the get go and played at a furious pace to begin the opening period. The Oilers got the first good chance of the contest when a puck trickled behind Frederik Andersen and Mikko Lehtonen dove behind him to pull the puck off the goal line with his hand, leading to a penalty shot for former Leaf Tyler Ennis. Andersen stayed with him the whole way, forcing a shot wide to keep the game scoreless and went on to make a handful of big saves to weather the early storm before Dominik Kahun opened the scoring on an odd man rush.
The Oilers’ forecheck caused problems for the Leafs early and they struggled to move the puck out of their zone with possession but Toronto broke through late in the period with …

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Author: Nick Richard / 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