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Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs 6-3 Loss to the Rangers

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost last night 6-3 to the New York Rangers. What are three takeaways from the game?

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ went ahead 3-1, then allowed five straight goals to lose to the New York Rangers by a score of 6-3. Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe could not have said it more pointedly. After the game in his media interviews, he noted:

“I just thought we got exposed today for being a team that was just soft and purposeless and just kind of playing the game hoping it was going to work out. We are missing important people tonight on defense, in particular, so our team game had to be very, very solid and purposeful in trying to make life easier on our defensemen and goaltender. We didn’t do that nearly enough.”

In this edition of Maple Leafs Takeaways, I’ll share my three takeaways from this game. 

Related: Maple Leafs Player Moves and Line Combinations for Rangers’ Game

Takeaway One: Jack Campbell Is Growing More Human Every Game

Jack Campbell gave up five goals yet again on only 26 shots and his Maple Leafs lost last night to the Rangers. It wasn’t as if his team didn’t give him a chance to win – at least during the first part of the game. Then, the Rangers came pouring back and the Maple Leafs simply couldn’t stem the tide. On top of that, Campbell couldn’t stop enough shots.

The Maple Leafs’ lead didn’t last through the second period, and the game was tied going into the third. I kept expecting the Maple Leafs to score and they had two breakaways, but they couldn’t. But the Rangers would score two more times on Campbell in the third period. The last goal was into an empty net.

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

Campbell’s overall numbers have taken a huge beating over the past few games, and he is starting to look more than human. In three of his last four starts, he’s given up five goals. I don’t think Campbell is going to lose his ability, but he surely needs to be better and he also needs a better team effort in front of him. 

Look for him to start against the Islanders on Saturday, and let’s hope his team is more motivated. I can guess that Campbell is taking the rap for the loss right now.

Takeaway Two: Good For Mitch Marner for Scoring on the Powerplay

If Mitch Marner is going to regain his point-a-game pace this season, he’s going to have to start picking up multiple points in a few games in a row. He started that tonight when he scored a goal and added an assist in the loss to the Rangers. Even better, Marner scored a power-play goal against New York goalie Igor Shesterkin early in the first period. 

Marner’s power-play goal was his eighth goal of the season; however, he got the monkey off his back by scoring his first power-play goal in 101 games. That’s like two seasons in the COVID-19 era. Marner got an assist on Michael Bunting’s goal, but then the Maple Leafs’ high-danger offense basically went away – except for a couple of breakaways as I noted.

Mitch Marner Upper Deck Maple Leafs
Mitch Marner Upper Deck Maple Leafs

Also as noted, on the season Marner has now scored eight goals and 17 assists (for 25 points) in 28 games. He’s inching closer to a point-a-game pace.

Takeaway Three: Auston Matthews Ties NHL Record, Then He Doesn’t

Auston Matthews got a point in this game, but the big goal he was looking for just didn’t come. Well, it sorta came, then sorta went away. Specifically, Matthews, who had scored in 10 straight road games, almost made it 11 games. 

However, the goal was challenged after the puck went in off his skate blade. The challenge was successful and the goal was disallowed when officials ruled that Matthews had made a kicking motion. I watched it and I have no quibble with the call.

Auston Matthews UD Card Toronto Maple Leafs MVP
Auston Matthews UD Card Toronto Maple Leafs MVP

Matthews did add an assist on Bunting’s goal. However, the Rangers rallied and Matthews ended up a minus-2 on the night. 

Related: Maple Leafs Open to Clearing Cap Space Before Trade Deadline

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Greg

    January 20, 2022 at 7:26 am

    In fairness to Campbell, on two goals, there were guys totally untouched and left completely alone in front of the net. That is not Campbell’s fault. He did let a couple of bad rebounds and fumble the puck but the game was lost by shoddy D which and lack of killer instinct to a really good team.

    • Old Prof

      January 21, 2022 at 4:33 pm

      I saw similar things – and so close to the goal line as well

  2. Afp1961

    January 20, 2022 at 9:41 am

    Leafs lost because they built an easy early lead and thought more layups would come all night without effort. Lackadaisical 2nd and 3rd PPs were squandered when they could have iced the game. Then instead of control and calm they allowed NY to take the momentum over and push back. NY used their size to dominate the 2nd and 3rd D pairings and Jack had another mediocre game (now sporting an .800ish ave over the past four games).

    All this underscores the need to make changes to bringing in more snarl and heavier players. It will only get tougher down the line and into the playoffs. Last few games are small examples of what’s in store for the leafs. As was evident against CBJ and the Habs and now, the moment our sole defensive warrior, Muzzin goes down, the leafs wilt. Need more heavy help on the back end now.

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