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Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 4-3 Win Over Blue Jackets

Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2. What were the three key takeaways from the game?

In a game that seemed to lack energy, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 4-2.

The Maple Leafs had a strong offensive performance in their win. They set season highs in shot attempts, shots on goal, and expected goals. They created a ton of scoring chances and these were quality chances. Only because the Blue Jackets goalie Jet Greaves played a fantastic game did the score stay close.

Zach Aston-Reese scored twice, including his career-high 10th goal of the season. Alex Kerfoot also scored his second goal in five games. Auston Matthews, who had an impressive 11 shots on goal in the game, fired in an empty-netter to take over the team’s goal-scoring lead again on the season. He now has one more goal than William Nylander.

Overall, although there wasn’t a lot of jump at Scotiabank Arena, a win is a win. That’s what the Maple Leafs need. With a few more wins, they’ll clinch second place in the Atlantic Division. They’ll also get the home-ice advantage that goes with it.

Takeaway One: Joseph Woll Has a Successful Game

Joseph Woll played a strong-enough game on Tuesday night. It wasn’t his best, but he did earn a win for the Maple Leafs against the Blue Jackets. Woll was recalled from the Toronto Marlies of the AHL on an emergency basis today to take Matt Murray’s place. He made 24 saves in the game. He allowed only two goals on 26 shots and helped the Maple Leafs secure a 4-2 victory.

With the win, Woll now has put together a record of 4-1-0 this season and a save percentage of .932. He’s been nothing if not reliable when called upon. With Murray out day-to-day (if he has a concussion not being able to fly), look for Woll to head to Boston for Thursday’s game. He’s likely to get a few more chances to start in the near future.


Takeaway Two: Zach Aston-Reese Finding His Groove

Who would have thought at the start of the season that Zach Aston-Reese would score 10 goals? He had never scored in double digits before this season. Yet, he’s been playing at a high level and producing offensively for the past few weeks, even before the trade deadline.

Aston-Reese has also formed good chemistry with his linemates, particularly David Kampf. The Maple Leafs have a formidable fourth line, which is something most successful postseason teams have. Aston-Reese scores goals as he plays, by working hard around the net and being physical.

At the same time as he’s scoring, he isn’t losing his defensive responsibilities. While Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe seems to like to tinker with lines, he’s left Aston-Reese and Kampf together for most of the season. Given their success together, that seems wise.

On Tuesday night, Sam Lafferty was on the fourth line as well. He worked out well there.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Bunting, Samsonov, Woll & Zohorna

Takeaway Three: Scary Moment for Mitch Marner

There was a scary moment involving Mitch Marner. During the game, Kirill Marchenko accidentally stepped on the back of Marner’s knee and leg with his skate. Fortunately, although Marner felt something odd, he could continue playing the rest of the game without serious injury.

Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs

Marner expressed relief that there was no cut. However, skates are sharp and the incident could have been problematic. Fortunately for Marner, he was none the worse for wear.

Related: Do the Maple Leafs and Michael Bunting Have a Problem?



  1. Jon Harding

    April 5, 2023 at 5:47 am

    I hope they all know what they’re doing. The Leafs’s execution across the board has been poor and they seem to be embracing the concept of resting for the playoffs with great gusto. I’m not sure William Nylander’s heart rate went above 80 bpm the whole game last night. Maybe this is all a good thing? It will be fascinating to see how they play Boston tomorrow and vice versa.

  2. gcmgome

    April 5, 2023 at 11:19 am

    I have been beating the drum to involve Joseph Woll in a 3 goalie rotation for some time now. This statement underscores the reason for my endorsement of this young goalie quite well: “He’s (Woll) been nothing if not reliable when called upon.”
    Last night’s game was not a virtuoso performance by Woll, he caught an edge on the first goal, while the second goal found a hole but it was an NHL win in which he allowed just two goals.
    I think back to the goaltending situation at the end of last season. The four keepers under NHL contract entering the playoffs were Jack Campbell, Petr Mrazek, Michael Hutchinson and Erik Kallgren (Woll had been shut down with season ending surgery).
    How does the quartet of Ilya Samsonov, Joseph Woll, Matt Murray and Erik Kallgren of this season stack up to that group? I would say that the worry factor between the two groups is not even comparable.
    If it turns our that Woll backs up Samsonov, with Murray becoming the de facto 3rd stringer and Kallgren sitting in the 4th string slot. I’d say that we are not in bad shape between the pipes entering the playoffs.

  3. Pingback: Maple Leafs' Ryan O’Reilly Ready to Return Tonight vs Bruins

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