The game against the Seattle Kraken wasn’t fun, and the team lost decisively. However, things changed. Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs had fun when they beat the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 6-2.
It was a great game for the Maple Leafs! It’s always good when the Maple Leafs can sweep their season series against another team, especially if that team is the John Tortorella-coached Flyers. Both Mitchell Marner and Auston Matthews had strong performances. Marner registered three assists and Matthews scored his 20th goal of the season.
It was also good to see that Matt Murray made 34 saves in goal for the Maple Leafs. A strong team effort led to the victory. That is except for one thing, which Maple Leafs’ head coach noted after the game. Surprisingly, the Flyers outshot the Maple Leafs – 36 shots on the net.
That said, it didn’t seem that the Flyers had great scoring chances or breakaways. The Maple Leafs started strong, even when they should have been tired after their game last night when they beat the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 4-1.
In this edition of Maple Leafs’ takeaways, I’ll share player news about the game.
Takeaway One: Matt Murray Had a Bounce Back Game
It was a good bounce-back night for Matt Murray. Since the middle of December, Murray’s save percentage has been falling, but not tonight. In fact, Samsonov had a bounce-back game against the Red Wings two nights ago, and Murray followed suit against the Flyers.
Murray had a strong (but perhaps quiet) performance in the game against the Flyers, making 34 saves and allowing only two goals on 36 shots. It’s good to see him bounce back after a sporadic series of poor games.
Takeaway Two: Calle Jarnkrok Has Been a Great Fit with the Second Line
The team’s top six were solid. The newcomer this season Calle Jarnkrok has been nothing short of amazing since he returned from his injury. The Tavares line was strong all night. All three linemates had three points. Marner had three assists, and both Tavares and Jarnkrok had a goal and two assists.
Who would have thought that Jarnkrok would complement his other linemates so well? He seems to have found an expanded role with the team. He’s looking even stronger since he’s come back from his injury. In nine games since Jarnkrok’s been back (he returned on December 20), he’s scored four goals and added seven assists (for 11 points).
Last night, it was the second line’s time to shine. Jarnkrok, Tavares, and Marner all contributed offensively. As noted, Jarnkrok seems to have found a good space on the team. It’s good to see his scoring success in the recent games. If he can keep it up, the second line can be explosive.
Takeaway Three: Matthews and Tavares Both Scored
I’m not sure what happened with John Tavares last night, but he was upset during the game. Nor am I sure whether his ire impacted his game, but he did score a goal and added two assists in the team’s 6-2 win.
Auston Matthews also scored and now has 20 goals on the season. Funny, last season everything went in for Matthews; but, not so much this season. It’s just a normal season this season, and he still might score between 40 and 50 goals. He had a strong goal last night – one of his patented catch-and-release shots that happens quickly.
It’s good to see both Matthews and Marner performing so well for the Maple Leafs. The team completely changed when they were drafted (nor can I forget William Nylander). I know from reading responses to my posts that many fans take these players for granted. They probably shouldn’t.
Takeaway Four: How Can Conor Timmins NOT Be in the Lineup?
What’s to say about Conor Timmins? How can you keep him out of the lineup? He scored his first NHL goal and just keeps putting up points.
Last night he scored and also played over 18 minutes. He added an assist for two points. Timmins moves the puck well and consistently shows up on the scoresheet. What more can a team ask?
Timmins has been impressive. It’s odd that the Maple Leafs at one point this season believed its defense was weak; and, now it seems it’s one of the strongest parts of the team. Part of that has been the arrival of Timmins and his contribution while he’s in the lineup.
It was great to see him score his first career goal and make such a positive impact on the game.
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