In an necessary sport for each the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Calgary Flames, the Blue and White staff received a 5-4 shootout in opposition to the Red staff. No shock this season, William Nylander was the hero, scoring two objectives and including a main help. One of his objectives was a profession first – a shorthanded purpose.
Nylander continues to be the offensive driver power for the Maple Leafs. He’s now prolonged his level streak to a whopping 14 video games to begin the 2023-2024 season.
Maple Leafs’ goalie Joseph Woll confronted challenges throughout the sport however finally received his fifth of the season. While he skilled early struggles, he successfully shut down the Flames in additional time and through a lot of the shootout.
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Finally, Maple Leafs captain John Tavares and ahead Calle Jarnkrok added necessary objectives to the Maple Leafs’ offense. Each performed a key position in serving to their staff outlast the Flames.
Item One: The Maple Leafs Third Line Is Working
Last night time, the third line scored one other purpose with Nick Robertson stealing the puck within the impartial zone; Max Domi making the move; and, Jarnkrok discovering the again of the web. The third line is cooking.
Robertson and Domi appear to be a powerful partnership, particularly with Jarnkrok driving alongside. It’s good to see the third line working for a change. It’s additionally, at the least for me, good to see Robertson emerge from the closet to play some impressed hockey. He’s including offensive power to the staff.
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What we appear to have right here, with this twosome, is a case of opposites attracting. Robertson likes to shoot and evidently Domi’s forte is playmaking. So far, within the three video games they’ve performed collectively, the duo has shaped a workable and functioning mixture. They are including punch to the Maple Leafs’ offense.
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Adding Jarnkrok to this line brings some stability and addresses a number of the defensive considerations Robertson and Domi (particularly) appear to share. While each these waterbugs excel within the offensive zone, including Jarnkrok makes the road extra well-rounded (whereas on the identical time dynamic). It’s a option to permit the staff to make its greatest sense of their lineup’s offensive prowess. The fourth line ought to then change into extra of a defense-first line.
The early indicators recommend that Robertson and Domi may change into a promising partnership. Although earlier makes an attempt to make every participant (particularly Domi) work with completely different linemates, may this twosome be the best match for each gamers?
Robertson was at his greatest with the Peterborough Petes when he was Semyon Der-Arguchintsev’s finisher (now enjoying within the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) with Chelyabinsk Traktor). If he may evolve into Domi’s finisher, the twosome would carry a mixture of talent, tenacity, and willpower to the ice.
In addition to their on-ice chemistry, it has been famous that Robertson and Domi share a feisty, undersized participant profile that provides character and grit to the Maple Leafs’ third line. This new third line may change into a difficult twosome for opponents to deal with. In brief, the staff’s new third line is a constructive collaboration that might play out properly because the staff continues to determine methods to make the most of the low season newcomers greatest.
Item Two: Zadorov’s Trade Request Sparks Maple Leafs Rumors
In a current growth, it was reported that Nikita Zadorov (who scored final night time in opposition to the Maple Leafs) has formally requested a commerce from the Flames. This revelation provides some attention-grabbing dynamics given the John Klingberg scenario, no matter that’s (as in, is he actually injured?).
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While the particular causes behind Zadorov’s commerce request stay undisclosed, it indicators a possible change within the participant’s future with the staff. There’s not a lot of a doubt that he would provide the staff one thing they’ve been in search of. However, what would the Maple Leafs commerce for him? Putting collectively a horny commerce bundle is likely to be robust.
Zadorov is an enormous and robust (6-foot-6) Russian defenseman. He was a first-round decide for the Buffalo Sabres within the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. His resume contains stops with each the Colorado Avalanche and the Chicago Blackhawks earlier than then-Flames common supervisor Brad Treliving’s time there. Zadorov carries a wage cap hit of $3.75 million.
It’s uncertain what the implications of Zadorov’s commerce request for each the participant and the Maple Leafs is likely to be. Perhaps Maple Leafs followers will study extra within the coming days. Perhaps it’s simply noise.
What’s Next for the Maple Leafs?
Is Ryan Reaves near being finished with the staff? Might the Maple Leafs put him on the waiver wire to see if there are any takers? During final night time’s sport, the Maple Leafs benched the veteran forward after the Flames scored their third purpose.
With Reaves sidelined, forwards David Kampf and Noah Gregor got shifts with top-six gamers that included Tyler Bertuzzi, Matthew Knies, and Nylander. The staff’s teaching employees appears perplexed about methods to inject Reaves into the lineup with out his turning into a defensive legal responsibility.
Is a transfer about to occur?