Marner, Samsonov, Woll & Blame


On Tuesday night time, the Toronto Maple Leafs misplaced 7-2 to the New York Islanders. It was a irritating sport the place the goalies made all of the distinction. The Islanders’ Ilya Sorokin clearly received the battle in opposition to Ilya Samsonov. It was essentially the most lopsided loss Toronto has been handed all season.

There was some excellent news. Sam Lafferty was the recipient of a superb luck purpose that pinballed round, touching him final on the best way previous Sorokin and into the online for the primary rating of the sport. It was his first purpose for the Maple Leafs. Bobby McMann assisted to earn his first NHL level. Mitch Marner additionally scored later within the sport, to provide him 90 factors on the season.

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

However, in a nutshell, it was a narrative of too many turnovers and operating into a superb goalie. Sorokin denied virtually every part and easily wasn’t going to be overwhelmed. 

Item One: Mitch Marner Makes Maple Leafs History

Marner’s reached a milestone solely achieved by just a few gamers in Maple Leafs historical past, recording his second 90-point season in a row. Only Doug Gilmour, Darryl Sittler, and Lanny McDonald have achieved what Marner accomplished Tuesday night time.

It’s additionally been 30 years since a Maple Leaf had consecutive 90-point seasons. Gilmour did it in the course of the 1992-93 season when he set a franchise document with 127 factors.

Related: Grading the Maple Leafs’ Matthews, Marner & Murray

I used to be stunned by how not often this feat has been achieved. However, Marner might go down as one of many biggest gamers Toronto has ever drafted and developed. He’s turn out to be an elite participant and staff chief. Now his process is to guide the staff within the playoffs.

Item Two: Ilya Samsonov Headed Home to Be with His Family

Samsonov had a troublesome sport, permitting six targets on 28 pictures.

Ilya Samsonov Toronto Maple Leafs
Ilya Samsonov, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He received’t stick with the staff for the remainder of their highway journey. Instead, after observe at present, he returned to Toronto to be together with his spouse for the delivery of their baby. He is predicted to remain at dwelling and be prepared for the March 29 sport in opposition to the Florida Panthers. 

Item Three: Joseph Woll Has Been Called Up to the Maple Leafs

In Samsonov’s place, Joseph Woll will be a part of the Maple Leafs for the remainder of their highway journey. Woll will possible see some enjoying time on the weekend with back-to-back highway video games in opposition to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday and the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

Item Four: A Game Like Last Night Brings Out the Fan’s Ire

When the Maple Leafs play a sport like they did on Tuesday night time, the followers are positive to precise their frustration, and so they have. I get it. These video games deliver again waves of dangerous reminiscences.

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I’ve no reply for the staff’s sturdy play in a single sport (for instance, beating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 final week) and their exceedingly poor play final night time (on the flawed facet of a 7-2 beating by the Islanders).

Even the very best groups expertise inconsistencies of their play, with no clear cause for any ups and downs. In Toronto, the standard suspects responsible embrace head coach Sheldon Keefe, the over-paid gamers’ collective hearts and needs, or basic supervisor Kyle Dubas, who put this whole “mess” collectively. 

Sheldon Keefe Toronto Maple Leafs
Sheldon Keefe, Head Coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Is Keefe making the proper teaching selections? Why hasn’t he settled on one set of defensemen as a substitute of enjoying musical chairs? Does he even maintain his gamers accountable for his or her errors? 

As for the gamers, the place is their effort? Don’t they care sufficient to play effectively? Why isn’t the staff gelling or working collectively as a cohesive unit?

Sure, they may be in fourth place within the NHL, however right here they go once more! Are they setting themselves up for an additional early playoff exit?

Related: 7 Cool Things About Auston Matthews

All this jogs my memory of one thing my father as soon as mentioned to me: “There are many things that cannot be known, but I don’t know any of them.”

What’s Next for Samsonov?

As famous earlier, Samsonov returned to Toronto to be together with his spouse. She’s because of give delivery to the couple’s first baby. I favored his quote after the sport:

“I want to forget about this game, it’s history right now. I have more important things at home right now than thinking about this game” (from ‘KOSHAN’S LEAFS TAKEAWAYS: Turnovers, perimeter play, Sorokin add up the flawed approach for Toronto,’ Toronto Sun, 22/03/2022).

His perspective appears sensible to me. Another sport is coming. Then one other.


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