Connect with us


Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 4-2 Win Over the Blues

In a sluggish game yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the St. Louis Blues by a score of 4–2. What were three takeaways from this game?

Perhaps it was the time it got underway, but yesterday’s clash between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues started slowly. The first period was sluggish, with both sides struggling to find their skating legs. Fortunately, as the game progressed, the Maple Leafs found their stride and transformed what initially seemed like a slow start into another solid performance. In the end, they picked up an important win over the Blues.

The team has now had four solid games in a row, despite playing with a patchwork lineup. Ultimately, Toronto emerged with a 4-2 win over the Blues. This winning streak extends an impressive feat where they have successfully covered for their suspended defenseman Morgan Rielly.

In short, the Maple Leafs have played well with this cobbled-together lineup – perhaps because of the absence of their top defenseman. In reviewing the game, what were my three takeaways?

Related: Celebrating Maple Leafs Bobby McMann’s Surprising Hat Trick

Takeaway One: Marner and Matthews Were Amazing One Again

The Maple Leafs wasted no time capitalizing on a power-play opportunity early in the second period, scoring just 45 seconds in. Mitch Marner was amazing in this play. After intercepting the puck from Blues defenseman Nick Leddy, he showed patience and precision by waiting behind the St. Louis goal. He just stood there and, by doing so, he allowed Auston Matthews to maneuver into an excellent scoring position. Marner then delivered a pinpoint pass to his linemate Matthews, who quickly buried the puck past the Blues goalie for his 49th goal of the season.

Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner Leafs

Marner continued to make significant contributions throughout the game, tallying three assists in total. His first assist came on Matthew Knies‘ goal early in the second period. In the third period, he used his vision and hockey IQ once again, setting up two more goals with perfect passes. Marner has a unique ability to create scoring chances with his elite playmaking.

Takeaway Two: What Was Reaves Thinking?

Ryan Reaves experienced a forgettable shift that ended in the Blues’ first goal of the game. Despite having a chance to change along with his linemates after Matthews’ line jumped onto the ice, Reaves opted to join the rush instead. However, that decision proved costly. When the puck was turned over, he was tired and took a tripping penalty behind the Blues’ net.

The resulting St. Louis power play ended in a goal when Brandon Saad‘s wrist shot from the middle of the slot beat goalie Ilya Samsonov to put the Blues on the scoreboard. In short, Reaves’ decision to go on a run with the Matthews’ line could have shifted the momentum into the Blues’ favor.

What was Reaves thinking? The series of events is a reminder of the importance of discipline and smart decision-making on the ice. His penalty might have given the Blues a chance to change the course of the game. Fortunately, it did not have a significant impact on the outcome.

Takeaway Three: Bertuzzi’s Scoring Luck Remains Bad

Tyler Bertuzzi‘s struggles with luck continued yesterday. At a crucial moment, with the opposing goalie pulled, he had a chance to seal the win for the Maple Leafs. Facing a wide-open net, he missed a shot that would have given his team a routine finish. Instead, his shot sailed over the goal, missing the net completely. This missed opportunity proved costly, and the Blues scored on their next possession. That narrowed the gap to within one goal with just over a minute left in the third period.

Bertuzzi’s recent goal against the Ducks had ended his 20-game goalless drought. There was hope that his luck would have changed. Yet, it appeared unchanged. His missed shot threatened to undo the Maple Leafs’ hard work and potentially cost them the game. Fortunately, teammate Bobby McMann came to the rescue by scoring an empty-net goal to secure the win.

Related: It’s Simple: Matthews Is the Best Player in Maple Leafs History

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

More News

Discover more from NHL Trade Talk

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading