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Toronto Maple Leafs

Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 3-2 Win over Rangers

Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Ranters 3-2 in their final game of the season. Who played key roles in the win?

In the final game of the regular season, the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New York Rangers 3-2 on the road. Noel Acciari scored the game-winner in the third period. Even better, although a large number of key Maple Leafs’ players rested over the past two games, the team won both of them. 

Now the Maple Leafs enter the postseason with an impressive 5-0-1 record over their past six games. Goalie Joseph Woll shone yet again, making 22 saves to help his team to the win. The Rangers had two goals called back – one for being offside and the other for kicking the puck into the net. That helped.

Other than Acciari, Timothy Liljegren and William Nylander also scored for the Maple Leafs. The team wrapped up its regular season on a high note. They clinched second place in the Atlantic Division with 111 points. 

This marks the team’s seventh straight playoff appearance, but you all know the end of that sentence. The Maple Leafs have not won a playoff series since 2004.  Let’s hope the team can carry its momentum into the playoffs and end that long-standing playoff drought. It’s been an albatross.

Takeaway One: William Nylander Scored Goal #40

William Nylander was on fire from the opening tip-off. It seemed only a matter of time before he scored his 40th goal of the season. He didn’t disappoint. 

I thought that Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe made a great move against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday when he rested both Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. It pushed a slumping Nylander into the role of carrying the team, and he did. It was Nylander’s second strong game in a role.

William Nylander, Maple Leafs

Again, games like this one jump Nylander’s confidence heading into the playoffs. It isn’t as if Nylander hasn’t had past postseason success; but, it’s also good to grease the wheels. If he continues to play the way he has over these past two games, it sure helps the Maple Leafs have a successful playoff run. 

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Richard, Woll, Marner & Matthews

Takeaway Two: Joseph Woll Shines Yet Again

What can you say about Joseph Woll? He didn’t have another .938 save percentage as he did against the Lightning on Tuesday, but he did have a 917 save percentage. During the season, Woll’s record in seven games was 6-1-0 with a goals-against-average of 2.16 and a save percentage of 0.932. 

In the team’s final regular-season game against the Rangers, Woll made 22 saves. Given that Matt Murray is injured, what a good time for Woll to show up and shine. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see Woll get into a game during the upcoming playoff series against the Lightning? Stranger things have happened.

Related: Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Kadri, Kampf & Postseason Questions

Takeaway Three: Mitch Marner Did Not Get #100, But Noel Acciari Did

Mitch Marner tried hard all game long; but, in the end, he came just short of 100 points for the season. On the other hand, Noel Acciari hit his 100th career point. Acciari’s was both a goal and the game-winning goal for the Maple Leafs. 

MItch Marner Maple Leafs 4
MItch Marner Maple Leafs 4

It wasn’t that Marner didn’t have a lot of good chances – especially late in regulation with the goalie pulled. However, it wasn’t destined to be his night. Marner finished the season with 99 points. I suppose that just leaves something additional to shoot for next season. The fact is that Marner has had a phenomenal season.

Although Marner didn’t hit 100 points, his contributions likely carried his team to dozens of wins during the season. Truth is, at least from my perspective, he’s getting stronger every season.




  1. Jon Harding

    April 14, 2023 at 11:59 am

    Good to see Nylander going and great end to the regular season. With a few days to kill and being light on news today, I love seeing the accountability under way in Pittsburgh. They (top of the hockey house there including Burke and Hextall) either fell in love with their players or listened to the fans. It’s not hindsight saying the rebuild should have started in earnest. You could see it from a mile away and they wanted to prove they were smarter than everyone else. The NHL is an old boys network through and through and the truth is, a whole lot of ‘em just aren’t that sharp.

  2. Pingback: Keys to Winning Round One for the Lightning & the Maple Leafs

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