In Tuesday night time’s recreation towards the Washington Capitals, as soon as once more the Toronto Maple Leafs shot themselves within the foot. The staff surrendered their one-goal benefit throughout the third interval and misplaced in time beyond regulation to the Capitals, Four-Three, when Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play objective.
The frustration wasn’t a lot Ovechkin’s objective – he’s scored loads of them, 669 to be actual. It was that the Maple Leafs saved getting themselves into hassle by taking penalties simply once they shouldn’t.
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William Nylander tripped Tom Wilson close to the beginning of time beyond regulation, giving the Capitals the person benefit. Then, after desperately preventing off volley after volley of pictures, Mitch Marner high-sticked John Carlson a second earlier than Nylander’s penalty expired. It didn’t take lengthy for Ovechkin to finish it.
As Ovechkin famous, “The blokes tried to feed me and at last I received a pleasant shot.” That objective moved him previous the good Luc Robitaille to 12th place in NHL historical past. As I’ve famous earlier than, watching Ovechkin management the ice is like watching LeBron James management the basketball courtroom; he’s that good.
For the Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews had three factors (two targets and an help) and Andreas Johnsson scored the opposite Maple Leafs objective.
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Andreas Johnsson scores on Boston Bruins’ Tuukka Rask. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
That recreation apart, I need to hold u up to the mark on a few of the staff’s information.
Merchandise One: Ovechkin Criticizes the Maple Leafs for Their “Particular person” Play
Previous to the sport, the 34-year-old Ovechkin criticized the Maple Leafs’ method. Particularly, he famous: “They’re nonetheless a younger group of men, hopefully they’re going to be taught. Nevertheless it’s as much as them how they need to do it. In the event that they need to play for themselves or in the event that they need to win the Stanley Cup, they should play in a different way.”
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What did head coach Mike Babcock take into consideration Ovechkin’s assertion? He didn’t disagree. As an alternative, he famous: “I don’t know if he’s unsuitable. He is aware of as a result of he lived it. It’s the final word staff recreation and also you’ve received to sacrifice particular person rights for staff rights.”
Merchandise Two: Former Maple Leafs GM Jim Gregory Passes
Maple Leafs basic supervisor Kyle Dubas, who was employed at age 32, is just not the one younger GM within the group’s historical past. Jim Gregory, who held the job from 1969 to 1979, was 33 years previous when he he was employed. Sadly, Gregory died at age 83 on Wednesday.
Hockey Corridor of Famer Jim Gregory (AP Picture/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn, File)
When he handed, Gregory was nonetheless lively as senior vp of hockey operations for the NHL. He was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame within the builder class in 2007 and acted because the Corridor of Fame’s choice committee chairman for 17 years.
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We want to supply our condolences to the Gregory household.
Merchandise Three: Matthews Headed In direction of 50 Objectives
Matthews had a little bit of a tricky week, however he saved on scoring. In opposition to the San Jose Sharks, he needed to depart the sport after a second-period hit. He returned later within the third and scored with solely 30 seconds left in regulation time. He didn’t cease there. In opposition to the Capitals, he scored two targets and added an help within the time beyond regulation loss.
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports activities)
Matthews has 11 targets in 14 video games (with 5 assists) which places him on tempo for nearly 65 targets. It’s a tricky tempo to maintain up, however the 22-year-old is off to a quick begin. Not solely is he firing a lot of pictures on web, however nearly 20 p.c (19.Three taking pictures share) of his pictures are crossing the objective line. By the best way, Matthews has a profession taking pictures share above 15 p.c and posted an 18.2 taking pictures share throughout the 2017-18 season.
Merchandise 4: Muzzin Injured and Leaves Tuesday’s Sport
Jake Muzzin, maybe the Maple Leafs’ finest defenseman this season after Morgan Rielly, suffered a leg harm and left Tuesday’s recreation towards the Capitals early. Reviews are calling it a charley horse.
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports activities)
The final phrase was that Muzzin wasn’t at Wednesday’s observe, however he would possibly return to play the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Muzzin, who’s not often called a scorer, has 9 factors in 14 video games and had taken on a management position this season, backing up his speak together with his play.
Merchandise 5: Dermott Performed on Tuesday
Travis Dermott, who had been out since final season with a shoulder harm, was within the lineup on Tuesday and performed nearly 13 minutes. Final season, in 64 video games he scored 4 targets and 13 assists.
Merchandise Six: Gravel Reassigned to Toronto Marlies
After enjoying three video games with the Maple Leafs, 21-year-old Kevin Gravel was reassigned to the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies earlier this week. In doing so, the Maple Leafs cleared a roster area for Dermott to return.
Travis Dermott #23 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Picture by Claus Andersen/Getty Photographs)
The transfer isn’t any shock as a result of Gravel was considered one of various depth gamers Dubas signed throughout the offseason to spherical out the roster in case of harm. He’ll seemingly stick with the Marlies until one thing problematic occurs.
What’s Subsequent for the Maple Leafs?
After various back-to-back video games, the Maple Leafs even have a while to relaxation. Not that the staff has performed effectively, nevertheless it’s been a tricky grind to start out the season. Some would recommend that their 6-5-Three report is successful given their troublesome schedule.
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I’m certain some don’t share that evaluation. Nonetheless, given the three-day relaxation interval and the truth that reinforcements are on their means – with John Tavares and Zach Hyman due again quickly – the Maple Leafs is perhaps prepared for a little bit of a profitable streak, and it wouldn’t be quickly sufficient.