The game was shades of a playoff game, and this time the Florida Panthers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime by a score of 3-2. It was a good game; and, to my eye, both teams played well enough to win.
In this edition of Maple Leafs’ takeaways, I’ll look at the events of the game and comment on what they might mean going forward to the end of the regular season and – perhaps – beyond.
Takeaway One: Jack Campbell Was in Good Form
Jack Campbell didn’t win the game; and, knowing him he took the blame for the loss. However, he played well enough to win. He only allowed three goals on 35 shots in last night’s overtime loss to the Panthers.
One more regulation goal and he would have won; and, his team had plenty of chances. However, on the other end, the Panthers’ goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was just as good. Both goalies played well.
Campbell has now turned in three strong games in a row where he’s only given up two goals in regulation. The loss last night was a bit of a setback; however, given that his team played the top team in the Atlantic Division even up until the overtime was a good thing. A playoff series with these two teams might go either way.
Campbell had struggled during the middle of the season, but he’s found his form over the past few games. Win or lose, he’s looking like the Campbell of old.
Takeaway Two: Mitch Marner Scored a Goal Last Night and Is One Point Closer to 100
Mitch Marner scored the first goal of the game last night, and now has 96 points on the season. He’s been averaging almost 1.4 points each game and needs only to post a point-a-game plus one over his last three and he’ll hit the century mark for his team.
Over this season, Marner has scored 35 goals and 41 assists (for 96 points) in the 70 games he’s played. He has three games left to do it. I’m betting he’ll get there.
Takeaway Three: Auston Matthews Is Ready to Play
Auston Matthews didn’t score his 59th goal last night. In fact, he didn’t register a point in his return to the ice. However, that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a strong game – he had a great game. Once again, even after missing three games, he was able to dominate the game. He just wasn’t able to score.
Matthews played his usual over-20-minutes per game (21:40 to be exact) and logged seven shots on the net. Rumors that he’d re-injured his surgically-repaired wrist seem ill-founded after his performance last night.
The question is if Matthews can hit 60 goals on the season? Currently, Matthews remains on top of the NHL’s goal leader board with his 58 goals. He has a chance to hit 60 and he has three games left to do it.
The team plays the Washington Capitals tonight, the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, and the Boston Bruins next Friday. Good luck getting two in your last three games.
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