Matthews extends point streak to 14 games, Maple Leafs defeat Senators 2-1

Exhale Leafs Nation, there was no deja vu tonight. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Wednesday night, putting in a much more complete effort after blowing a four-goal lead to this same Senators team on Monday night.
Auston Matthews and Alexander Kerfoot scored for the Leafs, while Brady Tkachuk responded for the Senators. Matthews’ goal extended his point scoring streak to 14 games, tying him with Lorne Carr. Matthews is now four games back from tying Eddie Olczyk and Darryl Sittler for longest point scoring streak by a Maple Leaf (18 games).
In the first period, it was clear both teams did not want a repeat of Monday night. The Leafs played a little hesitant to start, trying to be cautious and smart with the puck. The Senators on the other hand, pushed hard right out of the gate, not wanting to repeat a slow start from Monday night. Joe Thornton had a goal waived off late in the first period, but other than that, the Leafs didn’t really have much going.

Nice effort by Thornton but that’s a good save
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 18, 2021

The Maple Leafs struck first in the second …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

Are we finally changing the way we feel about the Leafs defense?

For as long as I can remember there hasn’t been a time Leafs fans have felt comfortable with their defense. Well that’s not true, I do have a hazy recollection of the early 2000s and feeling somewhat confident in the performances of Dmitri Yushkevich, and Danil Markov. Or maybe I just miss defensemen who hit everything. Either way, it’s safe to say there was over a decade worth of Leafs hockey were the blueline made us feel bad. Even the first few games of this season had left us with some question marks, but here we after two decisive wins against the Canucks, and maybe minds have been changed and we like what we see. It’s in this spirit that I’ve asked the TLN writers for their takes on the Leafs blueline, the hotter their takes the better.
Michael Mazzei:
Get used to Zach Bogosian because there’s a good chance he’ll be sticking around past the 2021 season. Why I say that is because while his offensive upside is limited, his value in the defensive end and physical play style is a much needed addition to the blueline. Sure he had a rough going …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to have another strong game against Canucks

Going into their four day break, there were many concerns that the Leafs performance was a bit deceiving do to their xGF numbers and reliance on the power play for their offense. But after a bit of rest and a strong game against the Canucks that saw them dominate for all three periods, there’s a bit less concern.
We saw a pretty entertaining first game in this three game series against the Canucks, as all the Leafs big guns showed up, highlighted by Matthews’ two goals and Marner & Nylander’s three point games. But there was no bigger story than Jason Spezza’s hat trick, which I bet you probably didn’t have on your bingo cards for this season.
The Leafs look to continue this strong play from the big guys and the depth players tonight, while the Canucks look to put an end to a three game losing streak. Of their six wins, only two of them have come against teams with an above .500 record, while three of them have come from the Senators. They’ll be looking to get a win against one of the few competitive teams in the division.
Toronto Maple Leafs

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Morgan Rielly and Toronto’s complicated relationship with offensive defensemen

It seems with Tyson Barrie gone there is another offensive defenseman drawing heat from Leafs fans in the early days of the season, and it’s Morgan Rielly. We’ll start with an acknowledgement that Morgan Rielly’s stats have been pretty crappy this year. Rielly has the lowest xG% of any Leafs defender, and for a player who is more offensively driven, the fact that he only has one primary point to his name is a bit bothersome as well. In contrast to those numbers it should be acknowledged that once again the Leafs are asking Rielly to start the year with a new defensive partner, and one that plays a significantly different style than his previous one. Is that enough of an excuse, for some of you yes, for others no, and that’s why it’s always complicated when it comes to Toronto and offensive defensemen.
Larry Murphy is definitely the name that sticks out the most when discussing defensemen with high offensive acumen, but liabilities in their own zone. Murphy didn’t have the benefit of playing in an era where underlying shot statistics existed and as such was much more of a hard case than …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

When will the cap go up?

There has been plenty of talk about the NHL’s revenues lately, largely tied to the addition of a primary helmet partner, and divisional corporate sponsors:

With the official start of training camp, we proudly announce Scotiabank as the team’s helmet partner for the 2020-21 season.
Thank you @scotiabank for your continued support of the Maple Leafs and hockey in Canada.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 4, 2021

We know that high profile teams like the Leafs expect to generate more than $1m from these ads, but the average is much lower than that as some teams are using them to offset the lost exposure of no fans in the stands. Speaking of fans in the stands actually, there is some potential on that front:

UPDATED: as of now, 4 of the NHL’s 31 clubs will have some fans in attendance to start the 2020-21 season:
Arizona Coyotes: 25% cap, 3,450 fans Dallas Stars: 30% cap, 5,000 fans Tampa Bay Lightning: 23% cap, 3,900 fans Florida Panthers: 25% cap, 5,000 fans
— Mark J. Burns (@markjburns88) January 8, 2021

With that being said there is no timetable for fans to return to the stands in the Canadian division. The point is that the NHL is doing their best to open …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Six schedule change – playing tonight vs Buffalo Beauts

There has been an NWHL Lake Placid Bubble schedule change!

Here is the schedule for tonight’s matchups.
Please note the @Riveters will not be playing & instead @TheTorontoSix will take on the @BuffaloBeauts
— NWHL (@NWHL) January 27, 2021

Started a rivalry last night, may as well start another one tonight.
: @BuffaloBeauts : 8:30 PM ET :
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 27, 2021

The reason for this has to do with health and safety protocols:

NWHL scheduling change tonight.
Toronto will now face Buffalo tonight. Metropolitan will not play, “in line with the NWHL’s medical protocols prioritizing health and safety.”
— Marisa Ingemi (@Marisa_Ingemi) January 27, 2021

NWHL: Tonight’s 8:30 p.m. Metropolitan-Buffalo is now Toronto-Buffalo.
Source said reason is testing, and waiting on results, rather than any confirmed positive test(s).
Metro coach Ivo Mocek was not on the bench for the third period. One player was pulled from the game.
— Matt Porter (@mattyports) January 27, 2021

We hope everyone is okay and appreciate the commitment to the health and safety of everyone in the bubble.
Tune in to the game tonight at 8:30pm!

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Six announces team captains ahead of 2021 Isobel Cup

As the Toronto Six get ready to leave for the bubble, there was more the team had to do beforehand and that’s name some captains:

The inaugural team captains for @TheTorontoSix are:
Shiann DarkangeloEmma WoodsEmma Greco
— Erica L. Ayala/Sports Talk ELA (@elindsay08) January 14, 2021

Shiann Darkangelo is named the captain in the Six’s inaugural season with Emma Woods and Emma Greco serving as alternate captains.
“I’m thrilled to have Shiann, Emma, and Emma lead our team this season,” said head coach, Digit Murphy, in a media release from the club. “They are true leaders and will represent us on and off the ice for our inaugural season.”
Darkangelo has played five years of professional hockey, 28 of those games being with the Toronto Furies of the CWHL. She has also represented the United States in the World Cup where she scored four points in five games. The 27-year-old also served as an alternate captain with the Buffalo Beauts in the 2016-17 season.
“It’s an honour to be selected as a captain for the Toronto Six alongside Greco and Woods,” Darkangelo said in a media release from the Six. “We have a team …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Lamenting the Leafs: Fred on a leash

Leafs hockey is finally back! There are still a few hours to kill until puck drop so be sure to check out the season preview episode of Lamenting the Leafs featuring:

discussion on how the Leafs goaltending situation could shake out
reactions from the Blue and White scrimmage
thoughts on the new look top line and Matthews killing penalties
recap of the World Juniors and how the Leafs’ prospects fared
bold predictions for the season, and more!

If you like what you hear, be sure to rate and subscribe on whatever podcast platforms you use. Thanks!

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Leafs put Nic Petan on waivers

Leafs put Nic Petan on waivers

It’s waivers SZN, and there won’t be any shortage of Leafs players being waived in the coming days. Today’s waivers player was a fairly predictable one.

Large group on waivers today. Among them Backes (ANA), Bracco (CAR), Petan (TOR).
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 8, 2021

So, ignoring the other two for a minute, we’ll focus on Nic Petan, the Leaf who will is likely facing a demotion to the Marlies in the near future.
Petan being put on waivers relatively early in the process is probably being done as somewhat of a favour to Petan, giving him a chance to be claimed by another team and find an opportunity. It’s still doubtful he’ll get claimed, but for a player that has been looking for an opportunity in the NHL after being on the bubble in both Winnipeg and Toronto, this is another chance for the Leafs to try and do right by him.
Petan’s future is either likely to involve the Marlies or he’ll clear waivers and the Leafs will trade him for someone else’s AHL property or future considerations to allow him an opportunity but not having to deal with waiving him …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs by the Numbers: Wayne Simmonds

There was a lot of excitement about the Leafs decision to sign Wayne Simmonds this offseason. He followed in the footsteps over other GTA/Ontario players like John Tavares and Jason Spezza, and along with homegrown Ontario players like Travis Dermott, Zach Hyman, Jake Muzzin and Mitch Marner, the Leafs are decidedly shifting towards much more of a local feel. Something they further added to with Brodie and Thornton in addition to Simmonds this fall. While there is plenty of other nationals on the Leafs, the fact that the roster is now 1/3rd local appeases a portion of the fanbase, but despite that we’re not using 416 as Simmonds’ number.
Simmonds number is 145. That was Simmonds hit total from last season, and perhaps the most important element that he brings to the Leafs.
Now, I can already tell there’s an equal number of people rolling their eyes at the thought of hitting mattering and plenty of others thrilled that the Leafs are addressing this area that was perceived as lacking. In reality Simmonds really just replaces Kyle Clifford in that role, and on his own he doesn’t move the Leafs one way or the other on the toughness …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation