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Three Maple Leafs Takeaways from the 3-1 Loss to the Rangers

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost 3-1 last night to the New York Rangers. What are the three key takeaways from the game?

All good things must come to an end. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ consecutive-game point-scoring streak was a very good thing. Last night’s loss to the New York Rangers by a score of 3-1 was one good team losing to another. It was (hopefully) a blip on the radar.

All things considered, as noted, the streak ended. At this point in the Maple Leafs’ past, many Maple Leafs’ fans would now feel obliged to panic. They’d believe that their team would soon fall into the tank. 

There are two reasons I believe this team might have a hiccup here and there but won’t implode from the occasional loss. First is the solid play of the two goalies who man the Maple Leafs’ net. The second is that the team is playing solid defense. 

The truth is that the team didn’t play well offensively last night, but they continued to play solid defense. Had their offense – specifically their power play – been cooking, they would have won.

Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 7-0 Win Over the Ducks

Takeaway One: The Consecutive-Game Streak Was Great Fun for Fans

Entering the last night’s game against the Rangers, the Maple Leafs were coming off a strong home stand where they had won three straight games. Two were shutouts – a 7-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks three days ago and a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Ilya Samsonov was in the net for both of those games.

In between, they won an ugly 5-4 overtime game against Calgary Flames on Saturday night. That was Matt Murray’s game.

Last night, Toronto lost only its first regulation game since November 11. In the past 15 games, they put together a great 12-0-3 record. It was a great run for the team.

What a treat for Maple Leafs’ fans. It’s something that we all should appreciate about how well the team played. The Maple Leafs moved up in the standings game by game. Now there’s only one team with more points than the Maple Leafs 44. The Boston Bruins have 48 points on the season. 

Congratulations on the streak.


Takeaway Two: Mitch Marner’s Streak Is Officially Over

Mitch Marner’s franchise-record consecutive-game point-scoring streak ended at 23 last night in the 3-1 loss. This time, instead of frantically trying to corral a point, Marner sat out the final seconds of the game. It was what it was, and Marner had a great run during this streak.

Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs

Marner’s streak was the longest in all of Toronto’s history. It was also the third-longest point-scoring streak by any current NHL player. It falls in line behind Patrick Kane’s 26-game streak (set in 2014-15) and Sidney Crosby’s 25-game streak (set in 2010-11). 

It sure captured my attention. I enjoyed anxiously watching and waiting to see if he could manufacture a goal or an assist.

Related: Maple Leafs’ News & Rumors: Murray, Samsonov & Hollowell

Takeaway Three: Ex-Maple Leafs’ Jimmy Vesey Scores Twice

Former Toronto player Jimmy Vesey scored two goals last night. His second goal was the game-winner against his old team. With fewer than five minutes remaining in the second period, Vesey scored to snap a 1-1 tie. His second goal came at the end of the game into the empty Maple Leafs’ net.

Vesey, who has kicked around since leaving the Maple Leafs, returned to Rangers – his first NHL team – this past offseason. He had played three seasons for the Rangers after he finished his NCAA career at Harvard University. 

Jimmy Vesey, New York Rangers

Vesey was plucked off Maple Leafs’ waivers by the Vancouver Canucks. After that, Vesey kicked around the NHL. He’s played for four other NHL teams since his first stint with the Rangers and his current place on their roster.

Vesey attended the Rangers’ training camp this offseason and won a job. He even skated on the Rangers’ top line until a recent slump. Perhaps this two-goal game will help him restore his game.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Samsonov, Marner, Tavares & Vesey



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