The Toronto Maple Leafs followed a demoralizing loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins with another loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. This loss wasn’t so demoralizing, but it still was a loss and moves the Maple Leafs’ record on the season to 2-4-1. Saying it frankly, it’s a horrible start for a team that expected better.
In this post, I want to share three takeaways from the game.
Related: After the Maple Leafs Total Beat Down in Pittsburgh: Now What?
Takeaway One: Frederik Andersen Is Not Having His Typical Slow Start to the Season
Both Frederik Andersen and the Hurricanes are unbeaten on the season. No doubt about it, Andersen’s made the Hurricanes look smart for signing him during the offseason. In last night’s game, he saved 24 of 25 shots on the net to stake his new team to tie their best start in franchise history. (They had a similar five-game winning streak at the start of the 2019-20 season.)
Andersen is the only goalie the Hurricanes have used this season, and why would they go anywhere else? He stoned his former teammates, allowing only one goal by his good friend Auston Matthews during the first period.
I hate to say it, but I was hoping that Andersen would have a good season, just not against the Maple Leafs.
Takeaway Two: Auston Matthews Finally Gets Into the Goal-Scoring Column
Finally, after four games, Auston Matthews has finally scored a goal. Unfortunately, for the Maple Leafs, it was the only goal they scored in the 4-1 loss. It wasn’t one of Matthews’ typical one-timers; instead, he swept around Andersen and tucked the puck into the net.
For Matthews, it was the 200th of his great young career. Again, thank Michael Bunting for doing the heavy lifting by his hard forechecking that resulted in a turnover. Bunting, for his part, looked as if he fits on the first line.
Still, although it’s a positive thing that Matthews scored, his game just isn’t back to normal for some reason. He skated over 20 minutes during the game but had only two shots on goal during that time. Something’s up. It was Matthews’ first point in the four games he’s played this season. He doesn’t have an assist.
Takeaway Three: Jack Campbell had a Better Game than His Statistics Suggest
Honestly, Jack Campbell can’t be blamed for this loss. Sure, he let in three goals on 35 shots; but, he was under constant pressure all night long. His own team simply couldn’t generate enough offense to give him a chance to pull out the win.
As the Maple Leafs did during the Penguins game, they kept up during the first period but soon succumbed to the overwhelming pressure. Things fell apart during the second period, and it wasn’t long before another loss seemed inevitable.
The Maple Leafs have now lost four games in a row, and Campbell’s record also now falls to 2-2-1 with a goals-against-average of 2.39 and save percentage of .915. It isn’t good enough.
Related: The Maple Leafs and the Quicksand that’s Swallowing Them
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October 26, 2021 at 9:03 am
I still always enjoy reading your articles, Old Prof, even if we do disagree here and there about the Leafs.
Considering the Leafs seemed to be trying harder against the Canes, it could have been as demoralizing for them. Only 1 goal is pathetic when they have 3 players making about 11 mil each!! I’ve had no issue with Nylander since the playoffs. Hopefully he’ll keep up his good play (for a change instead of slacking off for months). Surprise, surprise how Andersen can play well at the beginning of a season but chose not to bother for the Leafs! It wasn’t until Bozak was traded to the Blues that he suddenly played defensively as well. Many times, a player is too comfortable and lazy playing for their first team or team they’ve been with for ages. I believe Marner needs a change of scenery, on another team that would cause both the Leafs and Marner to play better. I also thought Bunting looked good on the first line! Ritchie has been invisible whereas Bunting was very noticeable. Agreed that it certainly wasn’t Campbell’s fault at all.
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