The Toronto Maple Leafs’ game against the Ottawa Senators was exciting in a tedious sort of way. A shootout that lasted about 10 minutes of real-time ended when Alexander Kerfoot scored the winning goal in the ninth round. What a solid goal by a player for whom goals are coming hard this regular season.
During the rest of the game, Calle Jarnkrok scored twice for the Maple Leafs, while Mitch Marner and Jake McCabe also found the back of the net. Matt Murray made 48 saves against his former team and played a crucial role in helping his team get the win.
Takeaway One: Calle Jarnkrok Is Thriving with the Maple Leafs
Who would have tought that, when the Maple Leafs signed Calle Jarnkrok in the offseason, that he’d be having a career season at his age and extended experience? But he is thriving with the Maple Leafs and developing great chemistry with Auston Matthews. His recent performances have been outstanding, and he seems to be playing at a whole new level.
Jarnkrok has been good for this team all season. Despite playing with different players, on different lines, and in a variety of positions this season, he’s been a consistent performer for the team. That said, playing with Matthews has some advantages. It’s certainly helped him generate offense and facilitate for his linemates.
In addition, Jarnkrok has a huge supporter in Matthews. Both Matthews and Jarnkrok like playing together, and their success on the ice makes that fact evident. In fact, after the game head coach Sheldon Keefe intimated that Matthews had “insisted” that the coaching staff keep Jarnkrok with him on the top line.
Jarnkrok has been a worthy addition to the Maple Leafs’ roster. He’s on a four-game, six-point scoring streak (with three goals and three assists in those games). He’s never had as many goals in any other season as he’s had this season with 17. One more assist and he’ll match his career best in that category as well.
Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Samsonov, ZAR, Marner & Acciari
Takeaway Two: Matt Murray Gives Up Four Goals Again, But It Wasn’t the Same
It seems as if Matt Murray has been giving up four goals a game for the past while. But this game was different. Murray was sharp and faced a ton of rubber in the game.
The game had to have been a confidence-building win for Murray. In fact, coach Keefe’s comments at the end of the game noted as much. Despite facing a ton of shots, Murray handled the pressure well and was able to make key saves to keep the game in hand.
Murray hasn’t had much of a workload during the recent games he’s, so maybe it was good during this game that he got more engaged. He made an amazing 52 saves (on 56 shots). That will inflate his stat numbers. Overall, it was a positive outcome for both Murray and the Maple Leafs.
Related: Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 5-2 Win Over Hurricanes
Takeaway Three: Mitch Marner Scores Again
The Maple Leafs Mitch Marner simply continues to score. Last night against the Senators, he scored a goal and added an assist in his team’s (eventual) 5-4 win over the Senators. That now puts Marner on a six-game, 12-point streak.
Marner’s power-play goal came in the second period when he placed a wrist shot perfectly from the right face-off dot. He’s a talented player, who has now accumulated four goals and added eight assists in his current point streak.
Doing the math, Marner now has 89 points in 69 games, for an average of 1.29 points per game. If he stays healthy and continues that same pace for the last 13 games of the season, that would give him 16 more points. He’d hit 105 points on the season. His best was last season’s 97 points.
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March 19, 2023 at 8:51 am
Interesting OP. Jarnkrok’s the real deal and works as hard as anyone. My takeaway from last night is that Ottawa is going to be pretty darn good moving forward. On an unrelated subject prompted by Steve Simmons’s weekend column in the Sun, I think the Leafs would be mad to replace Kyle Dubas this summer, irregardless of how they do in the playoffs. He’s coming into his own as a GM and I’m one fan who trusts his approach completely now.
March 19, 2023 at 10:07 am
I don’t have any clue why Keefe continues to play Holl again he is on for 3 goals against just standing beside the net , Holl has been on the ice in the past games he has played for over 90% of the goals against.
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