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Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 3-2 Win Over the Canadiens

Last night the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. What were three takeaway from the game?

It looked like it was going to be an easy win for the Toronto Maple Leafs after a solid first period when Auston Matthews scored his 57th and his 58th goals less than 30 seconds apart to stake his team to a quick lead. In the end, it wasn’t that easy a win. Still, the result was the same and the Maple Leafs beat the Canadiens 3-2.

John Tavares Auston Matthews
John Tavares and Auston Matthews were the Maple Leafs’ goal scorers last night (upper deck cards)

Other than Matthews extending his NHL lead in goals, the other key event was that the Maple Leafs wrapped up a playoff spot for the sixth season in a row. And, the team hit the 100-point mark in the standings.

In this edition of Maple Leafs’ takeaways, I’ll look at some of the key events of the game and comment on their impact on the team.

Related: Line Combinations for Maple Leafs’ Game vs. the Canadiens Tonight

Takeaway One: Erik Kallgren Has Strong Game in Goal

Erik Kallgren started in goal last night against the Canadiens. Although the rookie Swedish goalie was injured in Tuesday’s game against the Florida Panthers, he was ready to go last night. Kallgren stopped all but two of 26 shots in the 3-2 win. He took a 2-0 lead into the second period, but the Canadiens came back. But they couldn’t come all the way back, thanks to John Tavares’ goal that put the Maple Leafs up 3-1.

In each of his last four starts prior to this game, Kallgren had surrendered exactly three goals. He made a number of really strong stops during the first two periods when the Canadiens were pushing. But Montreal could never break through to even tie the game. In nine games on the season to date, Kallgren has put together a 5-2-1 record, with a goals-against-average of 2.78, and a save percentage of .904.

Takeaway Two: Auston Matthews Scores Two More Goals

As noted earlier, Matthews scored two goals in last night’s win. In his last 50 games, he’s scored 50  goals (actually 51 goals with his second of the game). The last NHL player to accomplish this feat was none other than the great Mario Lemieux, who did it 26 seasons ago in 1995-96.

With those two goals, Matthews pushed his points streak to 16 games. In those games, he’s just under the two-points-per-game mark with 21 goals and 10 assists. Matthews did all his damage during the first period and gave his team a nice cushion that they never relinquished. 

On the season, Matthews has now scored 58 goals and 41 assists (for 99 points) in only 67 games. It seems as if he’s easily going to win the Rocket Richard Trophy. However, how can he not be considered for both the Hart Trophy and the Selke Trophy?

Related: Thinking Ahead too Soon: Next Season, Who Can the Maple Leafs Keep?

Takeaway Three: The Maple Leafs Finally Beat the Canadiens

Although the Maple Leafs have been on a roll recently, the fact is that during the season before this game Montreal had beaten Toronto in two of the three games the teams had played. In fact, the last time the Maple Lears had lost in regulation was on March 26, when they lost 4-2 to this same team. 

The Maple Leafs have had a habit of playing up or down to their opposition. Given the strengths of the two teams this season, the history of their Original-Six rivalry, and the fact that the Canadiens had sent the Maple Leafs home early in last season’s postseason, it was about time the Maple Leafs took a game.

It wasn’t a cakewalk, but Toronto found the determination to win. The win was the team’s second in a row after dropping the game to the Panthers in overtime last Tuesday. They play the Buffalo Sabres next, another team that has been a tough team for Toronto.

Related: Are Matthews and Marner Ready to Lead the Maple Leafs to the Stanley Cup?



  1. Afp1961

    April 10, 2022 at 8:31 am

    Showing more and more maturity every game that passes. Guys like Engvall and Mikheyev are playing solid games as is Tavares. Agree Kallgren looked good, likely his best game. Although not overworked he made four five key 10 bell saves on Habs bigger shooters.

    Matthews is on a massive heater. 60 is definitely in his sight. Hope he can gain some rest as we get close to the end.

  2. Old Prof

    April 10, 2022 at 10:55 am

    Good point – it has to be a balance between going for the record and resting for the playoffs – perhaps both can happen.

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