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Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 5-2 Loss to the Flames

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Calgary Flames last night 5-2. What were three takeaways from the game?

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ six-game winning streak came to an end in the 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames. So did ​​Mitch Marner’s eight-game goal and point streaks. Auston Matthews’ assist pushed his point streak to six games (six goals, seven assists). Jack Campbell had his third loss in his last six games.

However, the Maple Leafs had most of the play. They fired 48 shots at the Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom; and, as Markstrom sometimes does, he stopped almost everything. He was the difference between the Maple Leafs winning and losing.

In this edition of Maple Leafs’ Takeaways, I’ll look at three takeaways from the game.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Big D-Man Question: What About Luke Schenn?

Takeaway One: Forget the Teams, This Game Was a Good Game for Sweden

When the boxscore is studied, it’s impossible not to see the importance of Swedish players to both teams. On the Maple Leafs’ side, the points (goals and assists) were meted out this way: Michael Bunting scored a goal; Rasmus Sandin scored a goal. William Nylander had an assist, as did Timothy Liljegren, Auston Matthews, and John Tavares.

Rasmus Sandin, Maple Leafs good young Swedish defenseman

For the Flames, the goals were scored by Andrew Mangiapane, Elias Lindholm, Oliver Kylington, Noah Hanifin, and ​​Rasmus Andersson. The following players registered assists: Andersson had one, Mikael Backlund had two, Blake Coleman had one, Johnny Gaudreau had one, Hanifin had one, Chris Tanev had one, as did Matthew Tkachuk.

In total, there were 19 points scored during the game. Swedish players totaled nine of those points – or almost half. That’s a lot of points for Swedish players. Oh, by the way, the Flames’ Jacob Markstrom stopped 46 of 48 shots. Yes, he’s Swedish as well. The game’s three stars? Markstrom, Backlund, and Andersson – all Swedes. 

Takeaway Two: Ondrej Kase Knocked Out of the Game on a Violent Hit

Given Ondrej Kase’s history with concussions, this was not a hit that anyone wanted to see. Nikita Zadorov knocked Kase out of the game with what Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe called a “violent hit.” Although he didn’t call the hit dirty, it was clear he didn’t like it and thought it was dangerous, and certainly thought it was a penalty. 

As Keefe described it: “The puck is gone. Any time you see a guy get hit in the head with the helmet flying and all of that kind of stuff, my opinion is that it should be automatic. It is a violent hit. We are trying to get those hits out of the game that injures players like that.”

Keefe added, “I thought there should’ve been a call. The ref saw it differently. … If you are trying to protect players, that is the kind of one you are looking for a call on. But you move on.’ 

Specifically, about Kase, Keefe noted: “You are trying to protect players and players’ heads in particular. Kase, with his history, you worry for him.”

Right now, there hasn’t been an update. Keefe had not talked with Kase or the doctors yet. After his miraculous comeback this season, no one wants to see Kase go down with what kept him from playing for two years.

Takeaway Three: Their Goalie Was Better than Our Goalie

It was Jack Campell’s first start since the All-Star Game, and he wasn’t the best goalie on the ice in last night’s game. Over his last six games – including last night’s – Campbell has won three and lost three. He’s also allowed 22 goals in those six games. 

Jack Campbell Toronto Maple Leafs goalie
Jack Campbell goes to make a save for the Maple Leafs

Specifically, Campbell gave up five goals on 26 shots during the loss. During the second period, Campbell was especially porous. He gave up four goals on nine shots. Campbell’s record on the season is a strong 21-7-3; however, last night he simply wasn’t able to keep up with Markstrom – who faced a ton of rubber (48 shots by the Maple Leafs) – but only let in two goals. 

Related: Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Learning Defensive Play & Dirty Goals

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. afp1961

    February 11, 2022 at 7:25 am

    Not a referendum but here goes…..
    1: this is the type of hockey the leafs will see come the playoffs. Strap up boys and get ready.
    2: 2nd line has been poor for quite some time now. Kerfoot for all his upside is not the LW this line needs. Cannot rely upon MM & AM to carry this team.
    3: 2nd pairing needs time to reunite but warts are still there. An upgrade at RHD2 would fix that pair and also push Holl to the 3rd pairing making the whole defensive group better. Its like getting 2 for 1 through one move.
    4: Jack has been off for a month plus now. Needs to get back with Briere and the org psych coach to figure this out.

    • Old Prof

      February 11, 2022 at 8:42 am

      I read a Tweet Recently where it said that life is going to be interesting when the Maple Leafs fans start to turn on Campbell – could that happen?

    • gfinale

      February 11, 2022 at 5:13 pm

      When it comes to the playoffs, it would just be nice if MM and AM chipped in 2 or 3 goals let alone be relied upon! Agreed they must get top4 and shift Holl to 3rd.

  2. Jon Harding

    February 11, 2022 at 7:30 am

    Here is my take: No panic here and the Leafs have been playing great of late. However, a few things stand out from last night that bother me. First, Keefe is standing up for his guy but it’s very clear Kase just needs to keep his head up. The puck was not “gone” as Keefe said. When a team looks across at its opponent and knows the physical battle is won, that’s a problem. I have real concern about Toronto’s inability to rough it up with the likes of Calgary, Washington, Florida etc. and what that could mean in the playoffs. Lastly, Matthews did the old laugh routine while in a scrum last night, similar to what he did while Shea Webber was rag-dolling him in a scrum against Montreal last summer. It wouldn’t hurt for Matthews to pick a time and place at this point in his career to show a little anger. Not Brad Marchand or Bobby Clark anger but something more than what he’s ever shown. It may not be in his nature but I still think it would help his evolution as a player and teammate/team leader.

    • gfinale

      February 11, 2022 at 5:16 pm

      Agree with all!

  3. Old Prof

    February 11, 2022 at 8:46 am

    Hi Jon – as I was reading your notes here, I thought of Mark Messier. What if Matthews just reamed on someone – he’s big enough. Thanks for your notes here. Jim Sr

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  5. gfinale

    February 11, 2022 at 5:09 pm

    Kase is a Kamikaze as Spezza said though. He was bound to get another injury. The same goes for Robertson. These two players are too small and injury prone to play like that.

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