02/29/2024

VGK:

4

BOS:

5

Final

CAR:

4

CBJ:

2

Final

NYI:

5

DET:

3

Final

MTL:

3

FLA:

4

Final

BUF:

3

TBL:

2

Final

ARI:

2

TOR:

4

Final

WPG:

1

DAL:

4

Final

MIN:

1

NSH:

6

Final

COL:

5

CHI:

0

Final

PIT:

0

SEA:

2

Final

LAK:

5

VAN:

1

Final

ANA:

6

SJS:

4

Final

03/01/2024

ARI:

5

OTT:

3

Final

PHI:

2

WSH:

5

Final

NJD:

3

ANA:

4

Final

03/02/2024

WPG:

5

CAR:

3

Final

FLA:

4

DET:

0

Final

EDM:

2

SEA:

1

Final

COL:

1

NSH:

5

Final

MIN:

1

STL:

3

Final

VGK:

2

BUF:

7

Final

OTT:

2

PHI:

4

Final

MTL:

3

TBL:

4

Final

NYR:

3

TOR:

4

Final

BOS:

1

NYI:

5

Final

CBJ:

5

CHI:

2

Final

SJS:

2

DAL:

3

Final

PIT:

3

CGY:

4

Final

03/03/2024

ARI:

5

WSH:

2

Final

NJD:

1

LAK:

5

Final

WPG:

5

BUF:

2

Final

SJS:

3

MIN:

4

Final

VAN:

2

ANA:

1

Final

PIT:

0

EDM:

5

3

19:22

03/04/2024

VGK:

0

CBJ:

0

07:00 ET

FLA:

0

NYR:

0

07:00 ET

STL:

0

PHI:

0

07:00 ET

BOS:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

CHI:

0

COL:

0

09:00 ET

SEA:

0

CGY:

0

09:30 ET

03/05/2024

FLA:

0

NJD:

0

07:00 ET

CBJ:

0

PIT:

0

07:00 ET

EDM:

0

BOS:

0

07:30 ET

STL:

0

NYI:

0

07:30 ET

MTL:

0

NSH:

0

08:00 ET

SEA:

0

WPG:

0

08:00 ET

CHI:

0

ARI:

0

09:00 ET

VAN:

0

LAK:

0

10:30 ET

DAL:

0

SJS:

0

10:30 ET

03/06/2024

BUF:

0

TOR:

0

07:00 ET

DET:

0

COL:

0

09:30 ET

OTT:

0

ANA:

0

10:00 ET

Leafs’ First Week Observations

Auston Matthews and Tyler Bertuzzi
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Leafs have played in two regular season games so far this season: a 6-5 chippy win over the Montreal Canadiens and a “much closer than the score suggests” win over the Minnesota Wild.

It’s time to overreact to early games! *Play Hall & Oa…Pursuit of Hap…whatever song you want*

Auston Matthews is back, baby!

If you watched Auston Matthews play at all last year, you could tell something was just…off about him. He wasn’t shooting as well; it seemed he had trouble handling the puck and just wasn’t playing the same Hart-caliber hockey we had grown accustomed to. So, of course, he ended the “poor” year with 40 goals. Naturally.

Matthews did confirm that he had been playing through an injury most of last year and said he was feeling 100% this season. So far, he’s backing that claim up. Six goals in two games with back-to-back hat-tricks, something not seen in a Leafs uniform since Wendel Clark did it in the early 90s.

To say Auston Matthews is “feeling it” would be an understatement. Some people seemed to write him off after last year, but he’s decided to fight back into the conversation of “second-best player in the world.”

Willy is getting paiiiiid

Not to be outdone, William Nylander has probably been the second-best player on the Leafs this season so far. Three goals and two assists in two games, combined with his regular Willy Styles brand of playing, has put Nylander back in the conversation of “maybe this guy is worth $10 million”.

As the season progresses, all eyes will be on the negotiations to see if Nylander re-signs. If he hasn’t re-signed by the Trade Deadline and he’s still playing as well as he’s shown in the first two games, Brad Treliving is going to have a heck of a decision to make…

The kids are…alright

Fraser Minten set the world on fire by playing his way into a roster spot with the Leafs. Matthew Knies was already expected to be in the opening-day lineup. Their play so far has been…alright. Just alright.

Game 1 against Montreal was probably a game that Minten wants to forget. He looked like a rookie playing in his first NHL game, getting easily pushed off the puck and making a couple of rough turnovers. His performance in game 2 was 1000% better, a game in which he almost got his 1st NHL goal. He has seven games left to prove that he belongs with the club full-time. We’ll see if he can continue his play from game 2.

Knies is a player that I want to see in the top six. Full stop. I don’t think Domi works with Tavares and Nylander, so let’s throw the kid in there and see how he does. He looked like he belonged in a top-six role in the playoffs last season, so let’s see it again and try to get him going.

Should we be concerned about goaltending?

Last week, I wrote an article asking if we should be concerned about the preseason play of Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll, our 1-2 combo in net. I argued that it was only preseason, and once the games started for real, both goalies would pull their goalie pants up and play well again.

I  uh…might have egg on my face. Because I am concerned.

Samsonov has allowed nine goals in two games…and while some of them were bad luck and weird bounces, a lot of them were stoppable shots.

Even just ignoring the shots that got past him, he hasn’t looked completely comfortable in the net yet. His rebound control has been off, and there have been times where it almost seems like he’s lost the net.

Obviously, there’s a lot riding on this season, so having your #1 goalie looking this uncomfortable so early in the season is a bad sign.

Joseph Woll starts the game against Chicago tonight, so we’ll see how that goes.

Leafs have that dawg in them.

A lot of people criticized the Ryan Reaves contract when it was signed. I was one of them.

But so far, the Reaves experience has come as advertised. Two fights in two games, a lot more snarl in the Leafs game, and a horrible shots-against differential. We knew what we were getting into…

Having said all that, Treliving came into this job wanting to make the Leafs harder to play against. Reaves, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Max Domi are all players that have snarl. All three have already gotten themselves into scrums and brouhahas.

Defensive warts aside, other teams might actually start looking both ways when playing the Leafs.

Oh yeah, the All-Star Game…

Am I the only one who forgot that Toronto is hosting the All-Star Game this year? If I hadn’t seen the patch on the Leafs’ jerseys, I would have never known. Poor marketing, or just not the right time yet? With the NHL, you just never know…

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