Ilya Samsonov held off the Jets long enough for Maple Leafs’ scorers to show up

Some would call Thursday night’s matchup a measuring stick game for the Maple Leafs, others would say the same for the Winnipeg Jets.
It seemed as if there was more discussion about the goaltending heading into this game more than anything else. Ilya Samsonov started for Toronto, after coming in for relief on Tuesday, while the Jets went with none other than Connor Hellebuyck.
The first period was all Winnipeg with shots at the end of the opening frame being 16-6, not in favour of Toronto.

The Maple Leafs were the team to strike first, although they weren’t the ones driving play for most of the game. Auston Matthews, who we’ll discuss more of later, scored two quick goals in the second. His earliest being eight seconds into the period.
That seemed to give Toronto some life which allowed Mitch Marner to contribute on the score sheet, too. It was his franchise-leading 19th-straight game with a point at home.
After that, Winnipeg continued to drive play in all situations. All of that offensive pressure eventually led to a power play and Kyle Connor scored during the man advantage just after David Kampf had trouble clearing the puck out of the zone.
But that was the only goal the Jets could score because Ilya Samsonov was incredible on Thursday.

Toronto generated the only two goals at five-on-five while Winnipeg dominated in the shots department. By the end of the game, shots were 38-27 for the Jets — a far margin. Though at five-on-five, shots w …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs trade down to 38th in order to dump Mrazek’s toxic contract

Let’s call this something you hate to see. About three hours into draft coverage with players like Brad Lambert still on the board, the Leafs opt to trade away their 25th overall pick in order to rid themselves of Petr Mrazek’s $3.8M AAV cap hit.
Mrazek will go to Chicago and the Leafs will pick 38th. Obviously no salary was retained by the Leafs in this deal.
With cap space being a premium asset and the Leafs very much living in the now and not the future, the Leafs pulled the trigger on a deal that can only be described as disappointing and given that Mrazek was a Dubas acquisition, a bad situation that sits solely with the current Leafs regime.
The good news in this is that there should still be a very good player available at pick number 38 and now the Leafs have some more flexibility to build out their roster, although more work can still be done there as the Holl, Kerfoot, and Muzzin contracts are still options that will hopefully be explored tomorrow.
The biggest disappointment probably comes from committing over three hours to Sportsnet’s draft coverage and knowing it was just to see the Leafs clear some salary. Toronto will now pick three times to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation