Should the Leafs consider trading for Victor Olofsson?

Following Saturday’s defeat at the hands of the Bruins, the Sabres’ winless streak is now at 17 games, which is two away from setting an NHL record. That is 32 days between their previous win on February 23rd against the Devils. So to say that things are not going well in Buffalo these days would be putting it mildly.
Despite the foul stench that the organization is leaving, there are still plenty of intriguing pieces that contending teams might want to snag up before the trade deadline. Eric Staal has already been dealt with Montreal and many others (such as Taylor Hall, Sam Reinhart, Brendon Montour, and Jack Eichel) have been involved in trade rumours throughout the past few weeks. Considering how bad things have gotten, it is entirely possible that no player is safe and everyone could be on the move.
So for a team like the Leafs still looking to make a splash, the Sabres seem like the perfect trading partner due to the asking price of their players going down substantially. Hall may be the player garnering the most attention from the fanbase, but perhaps Victor Olofsson might be the better fit for the team both now and …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Rachel Doerrie’s 5 Thoughts From the Hall of Fame Game

Another day, another loss to the Bruins. The difference? You could make a legitimate argument that the Leafs were the best team on the night.
The Maple Leafs dominated for long stretches against the Bruins and were undone by mental lapses. There are a ton of positives in the Leafs play, but that’s just not good enough when you aren’t getting points. Here are my five thoughts from the night:
1) Matthews Line Dominates
The Matthews line finished nearly 60% CF, a positive xGF, and a positive high danger chance differential. From the drop of the puck, the trio of Matthews, Nylander and Johnsson were all over the ice. They created offensive zone time by recovering pucks and forcing the Bruins to chase them around the zone. Nylander was impactful on the forecheck, Johnsson won puck races Matthews was dominant.
One of the key differences in Matthews and Nylander’s dominant vs. invisible games is how much time they spend in the middle of the ice. From the outset, both Matthews and Nylander found themselves in the thick of things. Both players were consistently at the net front, getting the puck to the middle and creating chances in the danger …

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Author: Rachel Doerrie / The Leafs Nation

Pastrnak backs Matthews to win Hart Trophy next season

Looks like someone is jealous.
Boston Bruins forwards David Pastrnak’s choice for who is most likely to win the Hart Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player next season, is Auston Matthews.

#Bruins Pastrnak picks #leafs Auston Matthews to win Hart Trophy in 2019-20.
“The biggest thing is for him to be healthy … Last season he was better in the playoffs than the yr before in the playoffs. That shows (he’s) moving forward. He’s an unbelievable player.”
— Mike Zeisberger (@Zeisberger) August 15, 2019

No matter what, we can all read into this that the Leafs will complete the regular season sweep over the Bruins and will finally beat them in their eventual first-round playoff matchup. Pastrnak has succumb to the pressure that is the overwhelming hockey force that is Toronto.
What the Bruins winger does touch on is exactly what all Leafs fans are hoping for as they count down the weeks before training camp begins. A completely healthy season from their first-overall pick, where he will score a ton of goals and contribute again to their lethal powerplay.
The Leafs forward suffered from a back injury last season, forcing him to miss most of November and the team went 9 …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation

Don’t overthink what could’ve been for these Leafs, and this city

Plain and simple, you hate to see it: the Boston Bruins are playing in the Stanley Cup Final, and currently hold a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues.
It sucks, and if you meet a Leafs fan who tells you otherwise, well, they’re probably lying to you. No one outside of Massachusetts wants another Boston championship. Sure, it’s been six years since the Bruins made the final. And it’s been eight since they’ve won it.
But we all know the success stories of the Red Sox and the Patriots and the Cel- well, the older versions of the Celtics and damn, hasn’t Boston had too much success for one city?
On this side of the border, the Toronto Raptors are now the first big-4 Toronto sports team since 1993 to make it to a final. It feels great if you’re a pretty casual fan, and it feels unbelievable if you’re a diehard. And despite whatever mentality you want to take into it or whatever Kevin Durant injury you want to point to, the Warriors are basically the real-life equivalent of the Monstars from Space Jam. Winning three rounds was a grind that took …

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Author: Adam Laskaris / The Leafs Nation

Game Four Thoughts: The Bruins steal one in Toronto

The Boston Bruins have won game four to tie the series up at two. For the Leafs, these are the types of games that could haunt you if you don’t end up advancing to the next round. They could have taken hold of the series but instead, are entering a best-of-three, where the Bruins have home-ice advantage.
At first glance, you could say that the Leafs were unlucky and that would be true to a certain extent. At 5v5, shot attempts were 70 to 43 for the Leafs, and they were clearly the better team for the majority of the game. As we look into this further, there are some ongoing issues that resurfaced last night and it ultimately cost the Leafs. In this article, I will touch upon some of the major talking points of game four along with some ways the Leafs can win two of the remaining three games.
The Bruins kept the Leafs to the outside
Despite having 27 more shot attempts than the Bruins, the Leafs only had two more slot-shots.

The puck seemed to be in the Bruins’ end of the ice most of the night, but the Leafs couldn’t generate more quality looks than the …

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Author: Nick DeSouza / The Leafs Nation

Kadri’s hearing for possible suspension scheduled for Monday

After cross-checking Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk in the head on Saturday night’s Game 2, Nazem Kadri will have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Monday.

Kadri’s hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 14, 2019

This will be an in-person hearing, meaning that the Leafs forward can be possibly suspended for more than five games. If it was a phone hearing, that would be the limit.
Kadri will be obviously unavailable for Game 3 on Monday, due to the hearing and most likely upcoming suspension.
In an all too familiar instance, Kadri was suspended last year for three games during the playoff series against the Bruins for an awkward hit along the boards on Tommy Wingels.
Kadri will be considered a repeat offender for this suspension hearing because of this hit. Once a player goes 18 months without a suspension, they can be cleared off the repeat offender list.
Based on this and the severity of the hit, it seems like most analysts or experts are assuming the Leafs will be without the center for at least five more games, or the remainder of the series against the Bruins.
He was missed last year, but with …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation

Leafs need to not play into Backes’ shenanigans

For some reason, the Boston Bruins will be adding David Backes to their Game 2 lineup tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs really need to not step into his wheelhouse and play the kind of game that he wants them to.
This isn’t to make healthy-scratch David Backes seem like a psychological assassin, but everyone can see that he is going to pull something early in this game to try to “get his team together/motivate his teammates”. An ugly high stick, a dirty hit, mouthing off to Nazem Kadri for some reason — Backes might try them all.
The notion that this will somehow unite his team and play better against this skilled Leafs team is pure idiocy. He might end up with a suspension, which would actually help the Bruins (because he is bad), but that wouldn’t help his team get the puck behind Frederik Andersen.
Backes is a player that just a few months ago injured Blake Coleman with a disgusting blind-sided hit to the head.

It’s in his blood. As a Bruin for the past two years, he has already been suspended a total of six games for two different instances, the Coleman …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation