Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Murray, Jarnkrok, Marner & McMann

On Saturday night time, the Toronto Maple Leafs confronted the Ottawa Senators in a tightly contested recreation that resulted in an exciting shootout. Although he’s solely scored seven targets throughout the common season, Alexander Kerfoot was the shootout hero and scored the successful objective within the ninth spherical. 

Alex Kerfoot, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Toronto had a balanced scoring assault of their 5-4 win over the Senators on Saturday night time. For the Maple Leafs, Calle Jarnkrok scored twice, whereas Mitch Marner (including an help), and Jake McCabe additionally contributed targets. Auston Matthews had two assists.

Related: Auston Matthews’ Future Is Filled with Options & Possibilities

Goalie Matt Murray, who confronted his former staff, made an excellent 48 saves and performed an important position in serving to his staff skate to the win. 

Item One: Matt Murray Keeps His Team within the Game in Overtime

On Saturday night time, and after a bunch of criticism from followers, Matt Murray was a standout for his staff. He made 48 saves in regulation and the additional interval, and he stopped 6 of 9 shootout makes an attempt in a 5-4 win towards the Senators. 

Although Murray has now given up 4 targets in his six earlier video games, this efficiency was completely different. Murray was sharp and confronted quite a lot of strain, however he dealt with it properly. He made various key saves, particularly within the extra time. He was the staff’s greatest participant after regulation by far. 

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Latest News & Highlights

After the sport, Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe famous that the sport needed to be a confidence-building win for Murray. My guess is that tells as a lot about Keefe’s agenda (to assist Murray construct his confidence) because it does Murray’s confidence.

Interestingly, after the sport, Murray admitted that he didn’t even see Kerfoot’s game-winning shootout rating. He wasn’t even wanting, he simply put his head down and listened. There needs to be enormous strain on the goalies in these shootouts.

Item Two: Auston Matthews and Calle Jarnkrok Are New Best Buds

For all the priority made about bringing Calle Jarnkrok in throughout the offseason, he’s proving to be a priceless addition to the Maple Leafs’ roster. In reality, don’t look now however he’s having a profession season with the staff – even on the superior (hockey anyway) age of 31 years.

Calle Jarnkrok Toronto Maple Leafs
Calle Jarnkrok, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Despite enjoying in varied positions and on completely different strains, he’s persistently carried out properly and is flourishing with the Maple Leafs. After the sport, coach Keefe hinted that Matthews got here to him asking to have Jarnkrok stick with him on the highest line. Apparently final season’s 60-goal scorer loves the set-ups he will get from the newcomer.

Related: Ex-Maple Leafs’ Defenseman Jake Gardiner: Where Is He Now?

Jarnkrok’s chemistry with Matthews has been notably spectacular, and the 2 have developed an incredible on-ice relationship. Hence Matthews’ encouragement to maintain him on the highest line. Jarnkrok is presently on a four-game, six-point scoring streak. His 17 targets this season are a career-high.

Item Three: Auston Matthews Gets Assists on Both Jarnkrok’s Goals

Speaking of Matthews, he registered two assists within the Maple Leafs’ 5-4 shootout on Saturday. Matthews arrange Jarnkrok for each targets, together with a one-timer from the slot and a breakaway. It clearly goes each methods.

Auston Matthews Morgan Rielly Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews and Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Matthews additionally scored within the shootout. He has 70 factors in 62 video games performed this season, with 32 targets and 38 assists.

Item Four: Mitch Marner Isn’t Slowing Down

Marner isn’t slowing down, besides when he’s on the ice in entrance of the goalie assessing whether or not he ought to dish off the puck or put it within the internet himself. It virtually appears as if he’s having a Booster Juice and people-watching on the mall. He’s that calm. Is it attainable that Marner is getting even higher as a participant?

Related: What Ever Happened To Rob Schremp?

On Saturday night time, he continued to impress along with his scoring talents by including a objective and an help within the staff’s win. He merely doesn’t do what the goalie expects him to do. Is anybody extra affected person (or much less rattled is perhaps a greater solution to put it) with the puck than Marner?

Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs
Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Marner now has 12 factors over his final six video games, and he’s put up 89 factors in 69 video games performed this season, averaging 1.29 factors per recreation. If he continues this tempo, he’s projected to hit 105 factors by the tip of the season. Last season he totaled a career-best of 97 factors.

Item Five: Wayne Simmonds Impresses His Coach in His Small Sample Size

Wayne Simmonds returned to the ice on Saturday after not enjoying since Feb. 1. Although his ice time was restricted to six:44, he was as bodily as ever with three hits. He has discovered himself pushed deeper down the depth chart for the reason that staff’s trade-deadline acquisitions. But he nonetheless exhibits up.

Still, after the sport, Keefe praised Simmonds for offering power and being bodily on the ice after his lengthy absence from recreation motion.

Item Six: Still Waiting for Bobby McMann’s First NHL Goal

I, for one, can’t await Bobby McMann to attain his first NHL objective. He had one grade-A scoring probability (due to William Nylander) and skated exhausting all night time. While he didn’t rating his first objective, he is aware of the place to go and is placing himself in the best locations. He thinks like a scorer. 

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McMann had a robust recreation, regardless of not seeing quite a lot of ice. In the time he’s performed with the American Hockey League (AHL) Toronto Marlies, he’s put up spectacular numbers (with 21 targets and eight assists, for 29 factors in 30 video games). Last season he scored 24 targets and added 11 assists in 61 video games. 

Bobby McMann Toronto Maple Leafs
Bobby McMann, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

McMann has but to register an NHL level; however, regardless of his lack of manufacturing, the Maple Leafs’ group appears happy along with his improvement and his future potential.

What’s Next with the Maple Leafs?

The Marlies became the first team in the Eastern Conference to realize a Calder Cup playoff spot. With 12 video games left within the season, now the duty is to maintain the home-ice benefit by staying primary within the standings.

This would be the first style of playoffs for most of the Marlies’ gamers in addition to for head coach Greg Moore. Good luck to them.

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