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The Wild West: Leafs are locked and loaded

December 10, 2019, 10:27 AM ET [31 Comments]
Lucas Neilson
Toronto Maple Leafs Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
You have to admit, the Maple Leafs season has been entertaining out the gates here with a constant barrage of changes with adjustments to follow.

The Leafs are coming off a quality win versus the defending Stanley Cup Champions. It was a solid game by Toronto as they really took it to the Blues in the first period scoring four goals. The Leafs were quite stagnant in the first period, especially scoring the first goal before Keefe. So that is one positive to look at, the more wins than losses doesn’t hurt to look at either.

Remember when the Leafs were waiting for the return of Zach Hyman to the lineup? Instantly the penalty kill has improved, and in a big way. Hyman has also added some consistency to the lineup with his ability to play wherever needed; he really is the team’s Swiss army knife.

Hyman added two more goals to his tally, including a short hander which just happened to be the game winner. Matthews got the rake out and cashed in another two goals and magic Mitch contributed to his orchard with a pair of apples getting him back up to 20 points in 20 games played. I’m truly expecting the Marner-Tavares connection to get extra spicy sooner than later as the Leafs start to get in a rhythm under Keefe. Once the Leafs get their top two lines firing on all cylinders it should be quite the voyage to the top of the standings. The boys have their work cut out for them but I’m confident Saturday’s game gave them a much needed confidence boost.

This western swing is going to be the trip that rally’s Leafs Nation.

The Leafs will square off against the Canucks tonight at 10pm. The line they need to smother is the JT Miller – Elias Pettersson – Brock Boeser combination; they truly are dangerous. The Leafs will want to stay out of the box against Vancouver as they have a dangerous power play with youngster Quinn Hughes torching the scoresheet on a weekly basis.

If the Leafs can put together a quality road trip out in Western Canada they will be in a much better position in the standings and will face the Sabres, Rangers and Red Wings next week. This is a big time trip for the Buds as they only have one more win than loss and the next five games are all versus teams above .500. The Leafs have 51 games remaining and need about 65 points to secure a playoff spot (give or take).

I have to admit, I never thought id be looking at the Leafs outside of a playoff spot at the third game benchmark of the season. It’s unbelievable really. Not one win on a back to back game and not one win from a backup goalie. The reality is those stats are beyond pathetic and something needed to be done in terms of acquiring a better backup goalie a month ago (if not in the summer). I get the Leafs tried with Hutchinson as he’s had some success, but the bottom line is; he’s just not good enough at the NHL level. When the Leafs play the Detroit Red Wings next Saturday night, which had better be Hutchinson’s first win of the season and the Leafs first back to back win of the season. If we can’t beat the Wings on a back to back, we can’t beat anyone.

This is the turning point for the Leafs season, let’s hope they see it that way and play like they want it.

Enjoy tonight’s game if you are prepared for a late one!

~The Leafs are apparently kicking the tires on veteran goaltender Ryan Miller~

Thanks for reading,
Go Leafs Go!
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