When the Toronto Maple Leafs misplaced 3-1 to the New York Rangers final evening, one high quality NHL workforce beat one other high quality NHL workforce. That occurs. The Maple Leafs had their probabilities to win the sport, however couldn’t get their offense firing – particularly on the facility play.
However, the workforce’s protection held the Maple Leafs within the recreation. The rating was 2-1 Rangers till a late-game empty-net objective. The upside was that Toronto continued to play high quality workforce protection and likewise bought good goaltending. Both held them within the recreation.
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Those two info bode properly for the workforce’s success subsequent time and the following. This doesn’t appear to be a workforce that’s heading towards an implosion. In this version of Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’ll check out a number of the participant information from final evening’s loss in addition to share some information rising from the group.
Item 1: The Maple Leafs’ Streak of Consecutive Games with a Point Is Over
Last evening’s loss was the workforce’s first regulation loss in over a month. Nov. 11 in opposition to the Pittsburgh Penguins was the final. On that date, the Maple Leafs’ document was 7-5-3.
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Over their 15-game streak, their document was 12-0-3. The workforce’s success has moved them up within the standings, and, as of at this time, solely the Boston Bruins (with 48 factors) have extra factors than Toronto’s 44.
Item 2: Mitch Marner’s Personal Franchise Record Streak Ended
Mitch Marner’s 23-game point-scoring streak ended in final evening’s loss as properly. Not solely was it the longest in Maple Leafs’ historical past, but it surely was the third-longest streak by an lively NHL participant, behind Patrick Kane (who put collectively a 26-game streak throughout in 2014-15 season) and Sidney Crosby (whose streak stopped at 25 video games in the course of the 2010-11 season).
Marner’s streak additionally pushed him up the NHL’s scoring leaderboard. He’s now inside the highest 10 main scorers with 12 objectives and 25 assists (for 37 factors) in 31 video games.
Item 3: Michael Bunting Has Now Taken Marner’s Place
Given the Maple Leafs’ next-man-up philosophy that has helped them take care of accidents, maybe the identical could be true about consecutive-game, point-scoring streaks. If that’s the case, maybe we will flip to first-line, left-winger Michael Bunting.
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Bunting prolonged his now team-leading consecutive point-scoring streak at 10 video games when he popped in one other first-period rebound to tie the sport 1-1. It was the workforce’s solely objective within the recreation. Bunting now has 12 factors in these video games (three objectives and 9 assists). Before this streak, he had bounced across the lineup, which resulted in his sluggish begin on the season. In his first 21 video games, he’d totalled solely 10 factors.
Interestingly, whereas Bunting has benefitted from taking part in within the workforce’s prime six, he was skating with third-line middle David Kampf when he scored.
Item 4: Timothy Liljegren Leaves Game with Upper-Body Injury
After taking part in simply over 10 minutes in final evening’s recreation, Timothy Liljegren left the sport with an upper-body damage. Little is understood concerning the extent of the damage to this point; nevertheless, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe stated he can be re-evaluated at this time.
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Liljegren’s been taking part in properly with elevated duty this season. He’s discovered success as a continuing accomplice on the second pairing with Rasmus Sandin. He has two objectives and three assists (for 5 factors) in 20 video games performed.
Item 5: Jordie Benn Is Getting Ready for Game Action
Yesterday, Jordie Benn was removed from the IR (injury reserve). His upper-body damage has healed, and his return appears imminent.
Although Benn has been injured twice and has performed solely six video games on the season, he’s performed properly when known as upon. His success has been a shock to each followers and pundits – the 35-year-old veteran defenseman has two factors, 18 hits, and 15 blocked photographs this season.
What’s Next for the Maple Leafs?
Yesterday, the group made a transfer that may make them a bit extra versatile. They positioned Axel Rindell on unconditional waivers for the aim of giving him his unconditional launch.
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It appeared fairly clear that Rindell was not going to discover a pathway to the NHL within the Maple Leafs group. He will most likely not be claimed and can return to Finland to play within the SM-liiga, the place he’s already skilled success.
Rindell was the Maple Leafs’ fiftieth contract, which is the utmost a workforce can have. They now have room so as to add one other if want be.
The 22-year-old right-shot defenseman performed six video games with the AHL’s Marlies with out registering a degree. In 5 video games with the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers, Rindell scored two objectives and added two assists. Good luck to him wherever he lands.
The Old Prof (Jim Parsons, Sr.) taught for greater than 40 years within the Faculty of Education on the University of Alberta. He’s a Canadian boy, who has two levels from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, the place he lives together with his household. His hobbies embrace taking part in together with his hockey playing cards and easily being a sports activities fan – hockey, the Toronto Raptors, and CFL soccer (thinks Ricky Ray personifies how knowledgeable athlete ought to act).
If you surprise why he doesn’t use his actual identify, it’s as a result of his son – who’s additionally Jim Parsons – wrote for The Hockey Writers first and requested Jim Sr. to make use of one other identify so readers wouldn’t confuse their work.
Because Jim Sr. had labored in China, he adopted the Mandarin phrase for instructor (老師). The first character lǎo (老) means “old,” and the second character shī (師) means “teacher.” The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher.” That turned his pen identify. Today, apart from writing for The Hockey Writers, he teaches graduate college students analysis design at a number of Canadian universities.
He appears ahead to sharing his insights concerning the Toronto Maple Leafs and about how sports activities engages life extra totally. His Twitter tackle is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf