Game 21 Three Stars: Kraken (3) vs Leafs (4) (SO)

Fresh off of their 2-1 shootout victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night, the Leafs were back in action as they hosted the Seattle Kraken. Head coach Sheldon Keefe elected to go with Joseph Woll between the pipes in back-to-back games, and honestly, who could blame him? Woll was outstanding on Tuesday night against the Panthers, and quite frankly, he earned the right to get the start again last night. The blue and white were up 3-1 heading into the third period of action last night. Unfortunately for them, the Kraken managed to battle back and tie the game, forcing it to overtime and eventually to a shootout. Luckily for Leafs Nation, the blue and white managed to skate away with the 4-3 victory and another two points in the standings. 

First Star – Mitch Marner 

Mitch looked like his old self last night. Well, his play did, at least. After taking a puck directly to the jaw on Tuesday night, he was sporting the fish bowl full shield in this one. Despite the pain, stitches, and wearing a full shield, Marner did not disappoint and put on a show for the fans in attendance. Mitch played a total of 24:39 where he scored three goals, was plus two, fired four shots on goal, and had two blocked shots. Even though he was a point per game so far on the season coming into this game, Marner has not had the start to the season that he or Leafs Nation wanted him to have. The organization can only hope that his performance in this game can springboard him into having several performances like this moving forward. 

Second Star – Joseph Woll 

Once again, Woll was stellar for the Leafs last night. Yes, he did give up three goals on the night, but he made some ten-beller saves throughout the game; especially down the stretch. He faced 40 shots on the night and turned aside 37 of them, giving him a 0.925 save percentage on the night. It’s safe to say Woll is finding his groove for the blue and white. Woll improves to 3-1-0 in his last four starts where he has posted a 0.933 save percentage throughout those four games. His overall record on the year improved to 8-5-0. Woll continues to prove to both the Leafs organization and the coaching staff that he deserves to go on a run between the pipes for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to see if they reward him with that or not. 

Third Star – Jared McCann 

Sniper. If I were to use one word to describe McCann it would hands down be sniper. The guy can flat-out fire the puck, his release is top-notch, and he doesn’t need much time or space to rip it past goaltenders. He played a total of 19:03 last night, scoring two goals and firing a total of four shots on goal. For those who may not have known, McCann is a former Leaf. Well … sort of. Before the expansion draft that welcomed the Seattle Kraken into the NHL, Leafs GM at the time, Kyle Dubas traded prospect Fillip Hallander and a 2023 seventh round pick to the Penguins in exchange for Jared McCann. Initially, the trade received glowing reviews throughout Leafs Nation. Unfortunately, they didn’t know that Kyle Dubas acquired McCann only to expose him in the expansion draft so he didn’t have to expose either Justin Holl or Alex Kerfoot. Safe to say, it was not a good decision by Dubas. Last year, he scored a career-high 40 goals and 70 points in 79 games. So far this year, McCann has scored 11 goals in 24 games … yeah it was not a good move, to say the least. 

The Leafs are back in action tomorrow night as they are set to do battle with arguably their biggest rival, the Boston Bruins at Scotiabank Arena! Leafs … Bruins … Hockey Night in Canada, it doesn’t get much better than that!

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