In the definition of a statement game, the Toronto Maple Leafs stayed hot and collected their fifth straight win against the Boston Bruins in a 5-2 victory. The game capped off an impressive week that the Maple Leafs are sure to be proud of, following victories against the Vegas Golden Knights and the Tampa Bay Lightning. While the former have had an underwhelming start, they’re still team that should never be taken lightly.
Related: Maple Leafs Daily Download
The Maple Leafs thrived in many areas tonight, but it all comes back to how the stars are back doing what they do best. Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, and John Tavares all had multi-point nights, and Jack Campbell stood tall and shut the door when the Bruins started to apply extra pressure in the third period. As always, there’s lots to be said about tonight’s game, so let me narrow it down. Here are three takeaways from the Maple Leafs’ victory over the Bruins.
Maple Leafs’ Stars Are Back and Thriving
It was a storyline that was beaten to death all summer and into the start of the season. I got tired of writing about it, as I’m sure fans got tired of talking about it. But fact of the matter is, when the Maple Leafs’ best players are playing like their best players, the team plays its best hockey.
Marner especially has been on a tear, tallying four points in Saturday night’s win to make that nine points in his last three games. Tavares had three points to keep his five-game point streak alive, where he has nine points in those five games. Matthews added two goals to make that four goals and six points in his last three games. 12 of the last 13 goals the Maple Leafs have scored have come from these three players, with the other one going to William Nylander.
Having seen the performance of these guys this past week, I think it’s safe to say we can put any concerns that they don’t have the will to win or don’t have heart to rest. I think we were all guilty of that at one point or another – myself included. But it’s evident that these guys care about winning. As Marner said, they just needed to stop overthinking their game and play the way they know they can. And last night, we saw what they’re capable of when they do that.
Maple Leafs’ Power Play Starting to Find Its Groove
After going six straight games without a power play goal, it appears the Maple Leafs are starting to figure it out on the man advantage. They’re 5-for-10 on the power play in their past four games after that forgettable streak saw them go 0-for-17 over that six-game stretch. And to the surprise of nobody, the power play seemed to turn around once the superstars found their game. Coincidence?
Listen, just because the Maple Leafs’ power play has looked much better of late, doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to be done. There are certain times, like the 5-on-3 against the Lightning on Tuesday, where you give the Maple Leafs’ top unit what should be an easy opportunity for a goal and they end up either making one too many passes or shooting the puck directly into the defenders’ shin pads.
But either way, it certainly appears as though they’ve made some good progress on the man advantage. And they’re going to need it down the stretch. The Maple Leafs have established their brand as a speed-first, offense-heavy team, so the power play should be one of their biggest weapons. And while I want to see it like this for a span of more than three games, it’s hard not to take notice of their improvements.
Maple Leafs’ Campbell Handling Workload With Ease
Man, if there’s one person I can’t say enough good things about right now, it’s Jack Campbell. He’s started four of the last five games after Petr Mrazek tweaked his groin again, and he’s been nothing short of incredible between the pipes over that stretch. The Maple Leafs’ offense held up their end of the bargain against Boston, and Campbell backed them up by stopping 40 of 42 shots.
With Campbell’s performance through the end of October and into November, he now boasts a 5-2-1 record on the season with a goals against average (GAA) of 1.86 and a save percentage of .932. These are not just good numbers, these are elite numbers. And it’s more impressive when you consider that Campbell wasn’t supposed to be taking on a workload like the one he has this season.
When the Maple Leafs signed Mrazek, the intention was that the two goalies would compliment each other and work as a tandem. And while Mrazek has been battling some injury issues early on, as he’s had to in the past, Campbell has stepped up and shown the Maple Leafs that he’s no joke. While he and Mrazek both boast great potential, the injury concern was always there for both of them. And with Mrazek sidelined for most of the first month, Campbell’s performance has been everything the Maple Leafs could have asked for.
Maple Leafs Will Host Kings on Monday
With a successful week of hockey behind them and momentum on their side, the Maple Leafs will continue their homestand and face the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. The last time these two teams faced each other was on Mar 5 2020, when the Leafs lost 1-0 in a shootout in the middle of a nightmarish California road trip.
You May Also Like
- Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Underhill, Ritchie, Spezza & Rask’s Curse
- Maple Leafs Trade is Imminent and Shortsighted
- Between the Stripes: Sergachev’s Head Shot on Marner
- Maple Leafs Should Look to These 5 Marlies as Call-up Options
The Kings are riding a bit of a hot streak of their own with four straight wins heading into Monday’s contest. It will be interesting to see if Mrazek is good to go for Monday’s game or if the Maple Leafs will opt to start Campbell once again, this time to face his former team. The Maple Leafs now sit at second in the Atlantic Division with a record of 7-4-1 and will look to make it six straight on Monday.
Alex Hobson is a writer and a radio producer for 610 CKTB. He has been writing about sports since 2015 and has been with The Hockey Writers since October of 2020. He covers the Toronto Maple Leafs, World Juniors, and the NHL Entry Draft, and is also part of the Sticks in the 6ix Podcast, presented by THW. He also makes weekly appearances on THW’s Maple Leafs Lounge Roundtable. For interview requests or any other inquiries, you can follow Alex’s social media pages listed at the bottom of his articles like this one.