After picking up four points in ten games in October, we can now classify the Leafs as red hot now that they’ve picked up four in the first four games in November. November seems to be the month of choice for underperforming Leafs teams, as last season it was November that gave many of the fear that Carlyle would be the head coach forever. Like last year we can probably rest easy that tank will be rolling again soon enough, but for now it’s nice to watch some competitive Leafs hockey while we can.
1. James Reimer (Last Ranking: 15)
When we last checked in on James he was a .876 Sv% goaltender who had picked up one win while being cemented into a backup role. This week Mr. Reimer had four starts, picked up a 1-1-2 record, had a .939 Sv% while giving up fewer than two goals a game.
I guess when Bernier returns, so does the goaltending controversy.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 3, 2015
2. Morgan Rielly (Last Ranking: 3)
This was the season that Rielly was going to make a splash. His 3 point game against the red hot Stars is a great reminder that he is well on his way to being a world class defenseman. The five points Rielly had this week moved him into first on the Leafs in scoring.
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) November 3, 2015
3. Joffrey Lupul (Last Ranking: 19)
Two goals and an assist against Dallas put Joffrey back on the Leafs radar for being more than a seat filler. Lupul is now tied with van Riemsdyk and Komarov for the team lead in goals with 5.
4. Nazem Kadri (Last Ranking: 9)
Kadri’s currently suffering from a snake bite, and was limited to one assist this week. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Kadri hasn’t been shelling goaltenders and done an excellent job of showcasing his well rounded game. If the Leafs were on the powerplay last week, odds are it’s because Nazem drew the penalty.
5. Matt Hunwick (Last Ranking: 10)
Seguin, Benn, Zetterberg, and Ovechkin, not exactly a light week of assignments for Hunwick who’s continued to eat a ton of minutes against the best the NHL can throw at him. While he may not put up points there’s little doubt that he played a significant part in the best week for the Leafs from a goals against perspective.
6. Brad Boyes (Last Ranking: 13)
Brad Boyes is really cemented in his fourth line role, playing less than 10 minutes in three of the four games this week. Boyes managed a two point night against Dallas despite that, including his first goal as a Leaf. Perhaps if WInnik is out it will give Boyes a chance to move up in the lineup.
7. Daniel Winnik (Last Ranking: 8)
In a moment quite typical of the Leafs, Winnik opened the scoring Saturday night with a beautifully placed shot through traffic, and on his next shift he was being helped off the ice with a knee injury. The man who has been doing the heavy lifting on the Spaling and Lupul line could let Babcock know exactly how value he is if he’s missing any time this week.
8. Dion Phaneuf (Last Ranking: 5)
Getting in a shoving match with a coke machine like Tom Wilson doesn’t do much for Dion’s rep as someone who takes stupid penalties, but tying the game against Detroit with just over a minute left is go gets a few of his sins overlooked for now. Phaneuf is currently second on the Leafs in scoring, only behind Morgan Rielly. Clearly a sign we’re back to the McCabe and Kaberle glory days.
9. James van Riemsdyk (Last Ranking: 6)
JVR somewhat of an underwhelming week when all eyes are him to be THE scorer on the team. The go ahead goal against Washington was nice, and at his current pace he could hit 29 goals this season which is a perfectly acceptable number for James.
10. Leo Komarov (Last Ranking: 4)
With 60 hits Uncle Leo is endearing himself to the fans of grit, but with his goal against Winnipeg he’s showing that he’s well rounded enough to be appreciated by everyone. Hopefully this bubble doesn’t burst anytime so because Komarov being a 20 goal scorer with a contract under $3M/yr. might be a great thing for Toronto.
11. Jake Gardiner (Last Ranking: NR)
Gardiner’s back from his injury and that’s pretty swell. He’s still not appearing on the sheet as much as you’d think the Leafs most capable offensive defensman would, but there’s plenty of season left.
12. P.A. Parenteau (Last Ranking: 7)
Parenteau picked up another goal this week, this time on the power play. Slowly but surely the Leafs are having Parenteau transform in to the affordable depth scoring option the Leafs need him to be so he can be sold at the trade deadline. His high speed shootout attempt was also wonderfully hilarious.
13. Byron Froese (Last Ranking: 1)
Froese picked up his first NHL point, that’s a nice story.
14. Scott Harrington (Last Ranking: 2)
Harrington was injured earlier this week, but found his back into the lineup for the last two games. His low risk style in sheltered positions is playing out largely how you’d expect despite having having Roman Polak as a partner.
15. Martin Marincin (Last Ranking: NR)
Marincin’s story is pretty much identical to Harrington’s, and Marincin was the player pulled from the lineup to fit in Harrington this week. It kinda makes you wonder why the two of them can’t play together instead of being stuck with Polak.
Martin Marincin is 2nd on Leafs D in CF% & number 1 in CF Rel. So…yeah. https://t.co/rPCd5b2Qt2
— Matt Henderson (@Archaeologuy) November 5, 2015
If you want to feel good about Marincin click on that twitter thread and read up on how much Oilers fans are missing him.
16. Shawn Matthias (Last Ranking: 18)
The last time Matthias had a point Canada had a Conservative majority government.
17. Tyler Bozak (Last Ranking: NR)
He had a couple of assists in his return from injury, so there’s that.
18. Antoine Bibeau (Last Ranking: NR)
Has proven he has the ball cap wearing skills to be a backup in this league.
19. Nick Spaling (Last Ranking: 11)
Every team has a player that the coach inexplicably seems to love, and for the Leafs and Mike Babcock that’s clearly Nick Spaling. To be fair, Spaling looks like he’s trying hard out there, and on a bad team you want to reward effort, but when you have Peter Holland sitting in the press box it’s hard to be excited about watching Nick Spaling getting 18 minutes a night just because he makes his job look harder than it is.
20. Roman Polak (Last Ranking: NR)
We can choose to either focus on what Roman Polak does poorly (play defense) or what he does well (make us laugh)