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Leafs weekly review: Triple Edition

Leafs week review X3

Such was the busyness of my schedule and the Buds schedule I have not got around to writing my weekly review for three weeks! Oooops. But here we are again with a bumper edition. I have fortunately been gifted some time off from my studies because of a snowpocalypse in England which has allowed me to focus all my energy into writing this wonderful review of the last few weeks.

So since we last did a review the Leafs have played nine games – with a 6-1-2 record. On Valentines day we hosted the Blue Jackets and demolished them to a tune of 6 goals to three. Nazem Kadri scored a lovely hat trick to give his love back to all the Leafs fans. Nice.

On February 17th we headed to the reigning Stanley Cup champs the Pittsburgh Penguins and got our butts handed to us by a score of 5-3. To be fair the Buds did okay in this one as the game was tied at 3-3 heading into the third.

The next night we went to Detroit to face off against the Wings. Auston Matthews won the game with just 31 seconds left on the clock to send the good guys home happy.

Three home games came next against Florida, the Islanders and Boston. Florida were dispatched 1-0 thanks to a first period JVR goal that went through the wickets of Roberto Luongo – the 38 year old goaltender who is signed until 2022!

The Islanders came next and were handed a blow to their play off chances as the Buds beat them 4-3 after a shootout. Auston Matthews also limped off the ice with a injury. Not ideal.

A Matthewsless Leafs then welcomed the Bruins to town on Saturday where they played a pretty darn good game of hockey to beat their potential first round opponents 4-3.

Back to back games in Florida this past week led to two overtime/shootout losses before we head to Washington on Saturday for the outdoor game.

The playoff picture

We have known for a while what the picture looks like in regards to three places in the Atlantic division. But the Eastern Conference has plenty of questions around it. The Wildcard spots are currently occupied by New Jersey and Columbus but Carolina, NY Islanders and Florida are all breathing down their necks. Philly have really hot up recently going 9-0-1 in their last 10 and sit comfortably in a playoff spot.

If the season ended today we would have a Tampa v Columbus, Toronto v Boston, Washington v New Jersey and Philly v Pittsburgh opening round.

In the west we would have: Nashville v Anahaim, Vegas v Dallas, Winnipeg v Minnesota and San Jose v LA. Some pretty tasty looking matchups!

Stats

Mitch Marner treated himself to a point frenzy over the last nine games – scoring five goals and five assists. Nazem Kadri bagged himself nine points – including a hatty. JVR showed that he could be our best ‘rental’ as he scored some important goals and six points overall.

Seasonal stats

PLAYER G A P
MITCH MARNER 17 36 53
AUSTON MATTHEWS 28 22 50
WILLIAM NYLANDER 14 35 49
NAZEM KADRI 23 21 44
JVR 26 15 41
JAKE GARDINER 4 36 40
MORGAN RIELLY 6 31 37
PADDY MARLEAU 20 14 34
ZACH HYMAN 12 21 33
TYLER BOZAK 10 23 33

Mitch Marner I applaud you. He started slow but since the start of February he has been electric. Matthews has 50 points in 53 games – how many games has he been fully healthy for? Impressive.

Player of the last few weeks

Mitch Marner!

Coming up

Washington on Saturday. Buffalo on Monday and then Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Buds schedule gets far less crazy now until the final few weeks of the season. The team can recharge and get some practice time before the playoffs start.

Is it time to start resting some players in preparation for the playoffs? Give more time to McElhinney? Bring back Justin Holl? Play Leivo more?

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  • Matmarwill

    Yes, play MacE more. Yes, give Leivo and Kappy regular shifts. Call up Holl. Call up Johnsson. Give Auston all the rest he needs.

    Work on the powerplay. Work on transitioning out of the defensive zone. Work on defensive zone coverages. Work on forecheck.

  • lukewarmwater

    Solid summary of the past 9 games. Sad to see trolls, agitators and clowns giving individual players a hard time. Zaitsev comes to mind as the leafs have lost only one game in regulation time over that stretch and have an amazing home winning streak going. Babs is giving Z a lot of minutes out there as he trusts him. But let him have one bad game in Florida and lets get the stake, ropes, and torches. Seriously folks.
    Totally agree Mitch seemed to be labouring earlier in the year but is now flying out there. Obviously management will rest some of the vets late in the year and Curtis Mac who has garnered 9 out of 10 points coming out of the bull pen for his infrequent starts will indeed get more work. Good that Steady Freddy has had 4 days off as the leafs will work hard to drain the Washington D.C. swamp Saturday. Let us hope the hockey Gods are with us in the last stretch and we can avoid any further injuries.
    One thing is certain, the reserve guys will get some action in the much more physical and intense playoffs where winning becomes an act of attrition as bodies go flying here there and everywhere. Go leafs Go.

  • Capt.Jay

    Once its decided who gets home ice play Curtis and Leivo. Leivo every game to get his game legs and eyes under him. Nothing to lose by doing it so why wouldn’t you.