After a 5-4 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche last night, Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe got nothing for his players.When He was interviewed by the media after the game He said: “I think our players did what we asked them to do today. Do we want two points? Absolutely. Should we have two? Absolutely. But this is a very good team. Coming here on the road and getting a point means a lot to our team.”
In this issue of Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’ll share player news emerging from games and comment on issues or thoughts surrounding the team.
Project One: Jack Campbell conceded five goals but played well
All night, Maple Leafs goalie Jack Campbell Keep his team in the game. In the end, he made 45 saves, which were usually enough to win games. Not last night is more indicative of Avalanche’s firepower than Campbell’s ability. His strong game wasn’t enough, he and his teammates were down.
To demonstrate the Avalanche’s dominance in the first quarter, the Leafs played a lot in the Avalanche’s closing stages, but didn’t score a field goal until nearly 8 minutes into the first quarter (7:52 to be exact) . As mentioned earlier, Campbell faced a total of 50 shots against an offensively dominant team. Still, he went into the third quarter with a 4-2 lead that he could hold in almost any other game. Not last night.
In a few months, if you look at the scoring, it will look like one of Campbell’s worst games of the season. no.The only goal I see he might want back is the defender’s extra-time winner Deventus Just over a minute into overtime.
Admittedly, I’m a Campbell fan. However, even considering the score, I think his game is solid. It was Campbell’s second game of the season, and he conceded five goals, but it was nothing like the first. The last was on Oct. 23 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he conceded five of his 21 field goals. Campbell has played well for most of the 2021-22 season.
Project 2: Nick Ritchie scores the second goal
It must have been a rough week for Nick Ritchie, who was both free and free. In his mind, that must mean no NHL team wants him. Still, he scored his second goal of the season, which is good for his confidence. Richie proved his worth, at least to himself.
Credit to Wayne Symonds, who excelled in front of the goalkeeper, circled the pass and passed the ball to Rich who had the open net. But also credit to Ritchie being in the right place at the right time and being able to score. Ritchie has time to play the power game and make it work.
It was Richie’s first point in over a month. He now has 9 points (two goals) in 31 games. Wouldn’t it matter if Richie stayed with the team and made a huge contribution in the playoffs? He might just be the kind of player general manager Kyle Dubas brought in at the trade deadline. Earlier this season, he had brought in Kyle Clifford for such a role. (From “Despite leading in overtime loss, Maple Leafs got ‘except the positives’ from coach,” Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun, 8/1/22).
Item 3: How good is Auston Matthews, compared to Mario Lemieux
I admit I never thought about it before. However, When Fox Sports covered Auston Matthews‘ They wrote last night against Avalanche that Matthews was like a young Mario Lemieux. For me, it’s a perfect comparison.
Matthews reminded them of a young Lemieux. Matthews has great hands, can shoot accurately from almost anywhere on the ice, and dominates when he drives the puck through the center zone. Matthews is so quick and deft with the puck that all defenders seem to be able to do is step back and try to stay between him and their goalie.
And, even that was difficult because he was a great skater and hockey player. He can get around most defenders with what looks like a simple stick move. He rarely concedes the ball. On the defensive end, how often does he catch a ball-handler from behind and then block the ball on the other side?
As quoted of Matthews, “He is very much like a young Mario Lemieux – big, fast, super technical, and very competitive. Matthews can score in a variety of ways while playing a dominant game. A two-way game.”
Matthews scored twice within 33 seconds of the first quarter. While the Avalanche dominated the field goal in the first quarter, in some ways, the Maple Leafs dominated the game on the ice where the game ended.
The Maple Leafs were in an avalanche finish for most of the second half of the first period. That’s about Matthews’ ability to control the puck and play the game. He is a true elite player. Matthews now has 36 points in 30 games, including 22 goals.
What’s next for Maple Leafs?
Although the Maple Leafs scored a point from the Avalanche, which Coach Keefe thanked, it was a tough loss. Things didn’t get any easier on Tuesday when the team faced the Vegas Golden Knights in their next game.
I have no doubt that Campbell will be the target of that game, and backup Peter Mrazek will win back-to-back games against the Coyotes in Arizona on Wednesday.
Currently, the Maple Leafs have 47 points, four behind the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. However, they have two games in Florida and four in Tampa Bay. They still played well, even after losing last night.
Senior Professor (Jim Parsons, Sr.) has taught for over 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He is a Canadian boy with two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing his hockey card and simply being a sports fan – hockey, Toronto Raptors and CFL football (think Ricky Ray is the embodiment of how a professional athlete should behave).
If you’re wondering why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son — also Jim Parsons — is hockey writer First and ask Jim Sr. to use another name so readers don’t confuse their work.
Since Jim Sr. worked in China, he adopted Mandarin to mean teacher (teacher). The first character lǎo (old) means “old” and the second character shī (teacher) means “teacher”. The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher”. This became his pen name.Today, except for hockey writer, he teaches graduate research design at several Canadian universities.
He looks forward to sharing his insights on the Toronto Maple Leafs and how sports can be more fully integrated into life. His twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf