The TLN Three Stars: Depleted Leafs cruise by Columbus in game that was not as close as the score suggests

After a weekend of disappointment, (and a truly embarrassing display of just how fake tough the Jets are, yeah I said it,) the Leafs get back to the win column tonight in a 5-4 victory that can be best described as bittersweet in light of how it ended and the news of the Spezza suspension coming down mid-game.
So, let’s focus in on the game here, and… I’ll be honest, there was never really a point in this game where I thought the Leafs were out of it. Now, let’s take that into context: with four regulars from the roster out of the lineup (Spezza, Marner, Sandin and Dermott), this game ended up featuring the NHL debuts of two Marlies call-ups in Alex Steeves and Kristians Rubins, and even with that factoring into the game, the Leafs dominated the majority of this game in my eyes.
A quick note on Rubins: it’s almost poetic that I ended up covering tonight’s game, given that I cover the Newfoundland Growlers on a day-to-day basis and Rubins has now become the first full-time member of a Growlers team to make his NHL debut, and hopefully, the first of …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Jason Spezza Hat-Trick in 7-3 Win over Vancouver

Toronto defeated Vancouver 7-3 today in a dominant display of offense.
The Leafs scored early, scored often, and most importantly, scored at even strength. That is a formula for success in any game, especially when you cannot always rely on consistent officiating. I will limit this to one gripe, and that is the uncalled boarding on Kerfoot:

No call for this hit by Chatfield on Kerfoot. Directly into numbers on a vulnerable player into boards
— NHL Safety Watch (@NHLSafetyWatch) February 5, 2021

On to the positives though, this is Jason Spezza’s world and we are all just living in it.

Spezza snipe #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 5, 2021

What is so deceptive about this goal is that Spezza constantly uses the fake slap pass, building up his reputation just to lower opposing goaltenders guards.

Sauce and snipe #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 5, 2021

Nic Petan made a case for himself staying in the lineup, showing his hockey IQ by passing to ‘free points’ sign, Jason Spezza.

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 5, 2021

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation