The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Chicago Blackhawks last night by a score of 5-3. It wasn’t that the team played a stinker, but they didn’t play well enough to win. In reading other reviews of the game, as I do often, this one seemed to be chalking the loss up to being tired.
Maybe, but there also seemed to be a few other things going awry last night as well. For example, while Ilya Samsonov made some solid saves he also looked like he was just getting over an illness – which he was.
In the end, Patrick Kane scored three for his hat trick, and Max Domi registered a four-point night to help the Blackhawks beat the Maple Leafs.
Takeaway One: The Maple Leafs Just Couldn’t Get It Done
This game was the team’s win to have and they couldn’t get it done. Maple Leafs’ coach Sheldon Keefe suggested after that game that the team’s lack of energy impacted their ability to play smart and structured hockey. Whatever, the team gave the Blackhawks too many good chances; and, when you have a player as good as Patrick Kane, you only need a few.
Kane scored a hat trick last night and looked like the guy who has scored 100 points a couple of times and 40 goals a couple of times in his career. By the way, Kane had 92 points last season. He’s good.
Related: Maple Leafs All-In This Season: Get O’Reilly & Acciari for Picks
Takeaway Two: Morgan Rielly Scored His 400th Career Point
One positive of the game was that Morgan Rielly put up the 400th point of his career. I’m a fan of Rielly and particularly the way he carries himself as a person and a player. I think he’s one of the good guys.
I also think Rielly is not appreciated by Toronto fans as much as he should be. He has had a solid career in Toronto and reaching 400 career points is a significant milestone. I also appreciate that, even as tough as it is to play in Toronto, Rielly relishes it. He especially seems to love playing in Toronto and takes pride in being a Maple Leafs’ player. He represents the team with class.
Related: With Ryan O’Reilly, Maple Leafs Bring In Postseason Success
Takeaway Three: David Kampf Is Mr. Unknown Player
David Kampf is also an underappreciated player. Last night, he had a strong game and made a positive impact both on the penalty kill and with his physical play. He also showed some playmaking skills, which you don’t think of when you think of Kampf. He made a great assist on Noel Acciari’s first goal as a Maple Leaf.
Players like Kampf are going to be important on the team’s postseason run if they are going to have one. He needs to step up and contribute in multiple areas, and he gives the team the potential to stay in games. Kampf is one of those players who doesn’t change his game – regular season or postseason. He does his job well and can capitalize on opportunities when they present themselves. He was a find for this team two offseasons ago.
Related: THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE UGLY IN MAPLE LEAFS’ 5-1 WIN VS MONTREAL
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