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Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 4-2 Win over the Oilers

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 last night. What are three takeaways from the game? Who played well?

It was one of those crazy games where the Toronto Maple Leafs beat an undermanned Edmonton Oilers’ team by a 4-2 score. However, if you just look at the quality of the goals, the Oilers scored two quality goals and the Maple Leafs scored only one. 

Still, a goal is a goal, whether it’s a flukey bounce off a skate or a goal generated from a great pass and accurate shot. And in the end, the Maple Leafs’ goofy bounces off the wall, and the goalie’s skate, or off a group of defenders five feet to the right of the goalie and into the net still counted. 

Give the Oilers full marks for their desire to win and the hard work they demonstrated during the game. At the same time, give the Maple Leafs full marks for taking advantage of the bounces.

In this edition of Maple Leafs’ takeaways, I’ll share three of my takeaways from the game as I comment on the Maple Leafs’ players and their impact on the outcome.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Nick Ritchie? Lots of Questions, Not So Many Answers

Takeaway One: Jack Campbell Shakes off First-Period Rust to Beat the Oilers

After Leon Draisaitl scored to make it 2-1 Oilers, I thought it might be one of those games where Jack Campbell just wasn’t going to get the job done. To me, he looked shaky in the first period. But he shook that off and went on to stop 28 of 30 Oilers’ shots in the 4-2 Maple Leafs’ victory.

As I noted, the Oilers never gave up, but Campbell got steadier as the game went on. He didn’t allow a goal during the final 49 minutes to rack up another victory. The 29-year-old former backup has now won three games in a row and has only allowed three goals during that winning streak. 

Jack Campbell Toronto Maple Leafs goalie
Jack Campbell goes to make a save for the Maple Leafs

Two of Campbell’s wins were against the Oilers. Campbell’s record now improves to 17-5-2. His goals-against-average went up a hair to 1.87, and his save percentage stayed at .939 for the 25 games he’s played on the season. 

How good has Campbell been? It was the 18th game out of 25 that he’s allowed only two goals or fewer. There’s no doubt that Campbell has been one of the best goalies in the NHL over the start of the season. He has my vote for the Vezina right now.

Takeaway Two: William Nylander Is Now the Leading Scorer on the Maple Leafs this Season

William Nylander registered two assists during the game and is now the leading scorer on the team with 35 points in 32 games. He has 15 goals and 20 assists. Over his career, Nylander has scored 61 points two times and looks to beat his career-high easily. Should he continue on this pace, he should bump into 90 points or so on the season.

William Nylander, Maple Leafs leading scorer on the season

Given the Maple Leafs’ offensive firepower, that he’s the leading scorer on the team is quite an accomplishment. The 25-year-old Nylander is on a seven-game point-scoring streak. In those seven games, he has 12 points (on five goals and seven assists). He’s starting to rack up multiple-point games as he’s engaged in the best season of his career.

Takeaway Three: Alex Kerfoot Has One of Each – a Goal and an Assist in Last Night’s Game

Alex Kerfoot is having a quietly-good season. In fact, after his two points last night (on a goal and an assist) he’s only two points away from his entire total for last season when he played 56 games. This season he’s played 32 games. 

Kerfoot’s assist came on the first goal of the game, a William Nylander shot that was tipped by John Tavares, bounced off the backboards, onto goalie Mike Smith’s skate, and then slid into the net. Kerfoot’s goal was an empty-netter to ice the game. He was also a plus-2 in the game to extend his team-leading plus/minus to plus-18. 

Alex Kerfoot, Maple Leafs (Upper Deck Card)

Kerfoot’s been on a two-game roll, and he’s scored a goal and added four assists during those games. Kerfoot has now scored five goals and added 16 assists (for 21 points) in the 32 games he’s played. The rumor’s out that Kerfoot might be sacrificed during the offseason to clear up salary-cap space so the team can re-sign goalie Jack Campbell, so if you’re a Kerfoot fan – like I am – enjoy what might be his last season with the team.

Related: Maple Leafs Use COVID-19 Break to Run with Jack Campbell in Goal



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  3. gfinale

    January 6, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    The key word there is engaged. Half or more of the time, Nylander isn’t but he has been for all of this season SO FAR. He has proven over and over that he slips back into lazy and disengaged often. This is why I’m not a fan of his. I prefer players who put it out for their entire career such as Salming, Sitler, Clark, Gilmour and NONE of the so-called core four or Rielly except Tavares. He has periods of playing with someone such as slacker Nylander and is only willing to put up with that so much but, otherwise he works hard.

  4. Old Prof

    January 6, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    I haven’t noticed that Tavares slacks off at any time.

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