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Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 3-2 Overtime Loss to Islanders

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost a frustrating game last night in overtime to the New York Islanders. What are three key takeaways from the game?

In what seemed to be the Toronto Maple Leafs cruising to a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, suddenly the team hit an iceberg. An errant pass attempt by goalie Erik Kallgren up the ice rather than into the corner resulted in a game-tying goal.

Then, when the team came out for overtime, they continued to make poor passes. The Devils once again accepted the gift, put one past Kallgren, and the game was over. It was frustrating as a fan to watch. I know before both Devils’ goals that they would be into the net.

Sadly, I was right.

Takeaway One: The Maple Leafs Are Seldom Successful in Overtime

For a team with as much firepower as the Maple Leafs, they certainly have a tough time winning overtime games. In last night’s loss, and this is similar to what I’ve seen in other games, the team was simply sloppy. They were lackadaisical in their passing; and, instead of putting it on their teammate’s stick, they kept throwing (or sliding the puck) into empty spaces. 

The Islanders were there to accept the gifts, turn the puck over, and start going the other way. This, to my count, happened at least three times during overtime. William Nylander made two errors within seconds, but the biggest error was from Mitch Marner, who had played really well during the game.

Related: Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Hoefenmayer, Villeneuve & Holl

Takeaway Two: The Maple Leafs Defense Might Be Down Another Player

One of the biggest storylines of the game is that Morgan Rielly left the ice late in the third period after accidentally running into Kyle Palmieri. Neither player saw the other coming. The question is: “How injured is Rielly?” Last season, Rielly played in all 82 games for his team. We won’t know until later today what the answer is to that question.

If Rielly is out for any period of time, the team would feel the gap for sure. He will be re-evaluated today after he undergoes more imaging and evaluation. Fans should hear more about Rielly by this afternoon at the latest.

Morgan Rielly, Maple Leafs
(2013-14 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection – Ice Premiere Auto Patches)

The team’s defensive corps has already been hit with the injury bug and the team will likely bring up a defenseman from the AHL. Over the past few days, Mac Hollowell (who has yet to make his NHL debut) has been moving up and down between the NHL and the AHL like a yo-yo. He might be tapped on the shoulder. Or Victor Mete has NHL experience. I can’t see the team panicking and making a trade that doesn’t bode well for the team’s future.


Takeaway Three: Rasmus Sandin Heroes Up for Auston Matthews

In a game story featuring another defenseman, when Auston Matthews was hit knee-on-knee, Rasmus Sandin jumped in to seek retribution. It was his first fight in professional hockey, but he did just fine. 

Sandin didn’t hesitate to engage the transgressor. Good move for the youngster to jump in when he saw his best player take some unnecessary physical abuse. Sandin scored points with his teammates for his quick action. I’m also sure that he scored some points with Maple Leafs’ fans.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Kallgren, Murray, TJ & Samsonov



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  7. Ssdd

    November 22, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    Those Devils, they must be SC contenders, apparently, according to the Old Prof they overcame a 2-1 deficit last night to beat the Leafs in OT & I watched them beat the Oilers 5-2 on another channel. What a team, 4 points in one night!

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