Three Stars: Kings (4) vs Leafs (1)

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The Leafs were finally back in action on home ice last night as they hosted the LA Kings. Their five game road trip concluded with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Predators in Nashville on Saturday night. They concluded the road trip with a 3-1-1 record, giving them seven of a possible 10 points. 

First Star – Cam Talbot 

While the Leafs never challenged Talbot to make many challenging saves at any point throughout the game, he was busy for most of the game. He faced a total of 30 shots, and he stopped 29 of them, giving him a 0.967 save percentage on the night. It was hands down Talbot’s best start so far this season. With the victory last night, Talbot improved his record to 4-2-1, and his save percentage improved to 0.914 on the year. The only shot that beat him came off of the stick of Leafs captain John Tavares as he rifled a bullet right under the bar for his fifth goal of the year. 

Second Star – Trevor Moore 

The former Leaf was noticeable all game long. He was responsible defensively while also being a factor in the offensive zone. While he didn’t score, he did fire three shots on goal, but he made a fantastic pass to find a wide-open Phil Danault in front of the Leafs net, who made no mistake tapping it into the open net for his first goal of the year. Moore also had one takeaway as well as one turnover while playing a total of 17:45. Moore’s relentless work ethic and determination is something that will impress anyone who watches him. While he isn’t large in stature, he does not shy away from the dirty areas on the ice. He will always get in on the forecheck and will always give his all to try and get the puck back from the opposing team. 

Third Star – William Nylander 

Nylander strikes again. He picked up a secondary assist on the only Leafs goal on the night, which extended his season-opening point streak to nine games, a new franchise record for the Maple Leafs. The record was previously shared by the trio of Lanny MacDonald, John Anderson, and Frank Mahovlich. Nylander played a total of 18:54 and had five shots on goal, one hit, and one takeaway on the night. He continues to prove that he deserves to get paid on his next contract. Once again, I think it would be in the Leafs best interest to lock him up sooner rather than later. 

The Leafs head back out on the road for a single game to take on the Boston Bruins on Thursday night at TD Garden. They then return home for a seven game homestand. This is a prime opportunity for the blue and white to try and find their groove to kick off November, a month where they have typically been a very strong team in the past.

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