Maple Leafs lose second-straight to Canucks – Rate That Leafs Game

Again, the Toronto Maple Leafs lose to the Vancouver Canucks. It wasn’t the best game for Toronto, but it also wasn’t one of their worst games of the season. They had 39 shots on Thatcher Demko, who really stole the game for the Canucks.
However, I don’t want to sit here and say the Maple Leafs couldn’t have played better because they could have. A lot of sloppy plays in their end and in Vancouver’s end which resulted in either a goal for the Canucks or a missed opportunity for Toronto.
All in all, not the best game but now they get to go home, get some rest and prepare for the Winnipeg Jets. I hope you enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs look to avoid first series loss this season against Canucks

Since the season started almost two months ago, the Leafs have played 13 different “series’” this season, also counting just a single game against an opponent as one. Going into tonight’s game, they have yet to lose one, but that may be in jeopardy tonight, as the Leafs look to rebound from Thursday night’s 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
Of course, it’s not like the Leafs played bad in that game. They actually played quite well for the first two periods, but once the third period rolled around, it was fairly obvious that fatigue was getting to them, as they were playing their 4th game in 6 nights, and the second half of a back to back. That fatigue may still be there for tonight’s game, but it probably shouldn’t be as big of a factor as Thursday’s game.
For the Canucks, they had lost five of their last six going into the game, so it might have been a big boost in team morale, especially without Elias Pettersson. But, since a 6-5-0 start to the season, they have gone 4-10-2, so those wins have come few and far between these days. However, …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs lose 3-1 to the Canucks – Rate That Leafs Game

As the Maple Leafs entered a back-to-back against the Vancouver Canucks, one thing was certain — it was going to be a tough game for Toronto. And that it was.
They struggled to score on Thatcher Demko who made it really tough for the Leafs to get anything past him. He stopped 31 shots in a 3-1 win.
We also received some sad news shortly before last night’s game ended. Walter Gretzky, the father of Wayne Gretzky passed away at 82. In my video, I explain what kind of impact he’s made on the game of hockey. His legacy will always be remembered and Walter was someone who grew the game immensely. Rest in peace, Walter Gretzky.
I hope you all enjoy the video.

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Leafs Prospect Roundup: Amirov in the playoffs, Liljegren lights the lamp, Abramov returns to action

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With how well the Leafs have played so far this season, fans could be forgiven for not being ultra focused on the franchise’s young talent playing outside the NHL.
The Leafs’ prospect pool, however, has improved significantly through the last couple of drafts and there are players in the system who might not be outside the NHL for long. The continued development of the organization’s top prospects will be essential to the Leafs being able to sustain the model they are currently finding so much success with.
Having so much of their salary cap space allocated to the top part of their lineup, the Leafs have had to find useful depth players on the cheap. Joe Thornton and Jason Spezza have made the most notable contributions among the lesser paid players on the team, but others like Zach Bogosian, Travis Boyd, and even Jimmy Vesey have played important roles for Sheldon Keefe’s squad as well.
Those guys won’t be around forever, and while Kyle Dubas will continue looking for cheap veteran depth, integrating some of the organization’s top prospects on cheap contracts will be key to maintaining a successful team in …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Second night of a back to back goes predictably bad for the Leafs

The Leafs are coming off of three hard played decisive victories over the second place team in the division, so it seemed somewhat inevitable that some level of fatigue might catch up with them, and the banged up Leafs fell flat against the Canucks, in what was a bit of a freebie scenario for Vancouver as the Leafs fell 3-1.
Now, that’s a lot of excuse making for the Leafs, but in a game where the potential netminder could have been any one of Andersen, Campbell, or Hutchinson, only to have it end up being Plan C, Hutchinson getting the nod at the 11th hour points to game that wasn’t one the Leafs seemed likely to win. Of course, the Canucks are also a very bad team, and for a team that was so dominant against Edmonton, expecting a win was a fair way to go into the game as well. Should we takeaway much in that it ended in a loss to the Canucks, no, probably not. Saturday’s game will be much more important in evaluating how these two teams line up against each other.
The game didn’t get off to the strong start, and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

How Justin Holl has been so successful against Connor McDavid

After last night’s 6-1 win, the Leafs have now played seven games against the Oilers and won five of them (a 5-1-1 record overall). Throughout the three-game mini-series, Toronto held Edmonton to just a single goal and kept Connor McDavid off the scoresheet entirely.
While we’re on the subject, each passing game between the two clubs has seen McDavid struggle when matched up against Justin Holl which has resulted in Leafs fans constantly making jokes about how Holl is McDavid’s father. It has no doubt been quite the fascinating storyline of seeing Holl make life miserable for McDavid, but how exactly has he been able to do what few have achieved?
One thing that is working in Holl’s favour is he has a significant height and weight advantage over the “Best Player in the World.” Standing at 6’4″ and 205 lb, he is significantly higher than McDavid’s 6’1″ 193 lb frame. Despite not being faster than McDavid (actually, no one is unless you are Ilya Mikheyev), Holl balances it out by getting enough speed and having a larger wingspan to get sticks in the lane. It forces McDavid to the outside where he would have to …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Vesey scores a pair and Leafs sweep Oilers in spectacular fashion

The Toronto Maple Leafs were looking to take their third win and make a clean sweep tonight, while the Edmonton Oilers were looking to reignite their spark and get their fire going. The Leafs managed to shutout the Oilers and leave Connor McDavid without a single point the last two games, but would they be able to do it again? I mean, it’s what the people want (and if you were wondering, yes, I am people).
As the puck dropped for the third game in this series, and with a few good chances on both ends of the ice, you could tell that both teams were ready to get this game going. Just over the half-way mark into the first period, Jason Spezza made a play from the side of the net, which Travis Boyd redirected right to Jimmy Vesey who had just skated off the bench and got the puck past Mike Smith, which gave the Leafs the early lead and made it 1-0.

JIMMY VESEY
Fourth line strikes again! pic.twitter.com/6BmFFJRDXG
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 4, 2021

Well, the Vesey train didn’t stop there. Around the three minute mark into the second period, Zach Bogosian made an …

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Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation

Leafs News & Notes: Matthews and Andersen nearing return, Nylander held out of practice, Dermott ready for retribution?

The Leafs are riding high after Jack Campbell and Michael Hutchinson helped lead the team to back to back shutouts over Connor McDavid and company in the last couple of games, and they’ve done so without Auston Matthews in the lineup as well. Tuesday’s practice, however, brought with it some optimism that reinforcements for an already formidable squad could be on the way sooner rather than later.
Matthews has been skating for the last few days but Tuesday’s practice was the first time that he was back skating in his regular place between Mitch Marner and Joe Thornton as part of the main practice group. He is still questionable to return for Wednesday’s matchup but returning to full practice is an encouraging step in his recovery.

Auston Matthews on how his hand/wrist is doing:
“It’s feeling a lot better. Day by day it’s progressed. The plan is to see how it feels tomorrow and go from there.”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) March 2, 2021

According to head coach Sheldon Keefe, Matthews has been battling with an injury to his hand/wrist area for most of the season but it was aggravated further in last Wednesday’s overtime …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs blank Oilers in two-straight games – Rate That Leafs Game

So, again, the Maple Leafs defeat the Edmonton Oilers. And, again, Toronto shuts them out. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both couldn’t solve Michael Hutchinson as he made 31 saves in this one.
William Nylander, aka Willy Styles, scored his fourth goal in three games, Zach Hyman and Morgan Rielly also added the other two goals.
Another incredible game for the Maple Leafs which now puts them even further ahead in the North Division. I hope you enjoy today’s video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: The impact of Eichel possibly being available and TSN Trade Bait Board

So here’s the deal for all you cool cats and kitties, the Leafs are pretty tight lipped at the moment, so there isn’t a whole lot in the way of rumours connecting certain players directly to the Leafs. We don’t need any wild accusations of this being a clickbait post, but if we’re being perfectly honest, isn’t every rumours post a clickbait post?
No, we’re not dealing with specific players rumoured to the Leafs, we’re talking rumours around the league and the speculating where we can. That said, once we get something more tangible connecting the Leafs to someone, you better believe we’ll beat that into the ground. You’ve been warned.
Jack Eichel could be done in Buffalo
This comes up on almost an annual basis, but it really does seem like it’s happening for real this time. It certainly would be great if the Leafs could find a way of bringing Eichel into the fold in Toronto, and for a player of his calibre I’d argue the only untouchable is Matthews, but this ignores a couple of things. Despite the fact it would be an incredible upgrade for …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation