Toronto Maple Leafs: Did Leivo Have His Best Game

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 6: Josh Leivo /

Toronto Maple Leafs Forward, Josh Leivo, had a great night September 28th, 2018.

Josh Leivo already had three assists by the end of the second period as the Toronto Maple Leafs dismantled Detroit in NHL pre-season action on September 28th, 2018.

This is the second time in Leivo’s career he’s had a three point game at the NHL level.  The last time was February 14th, 2017 against the New York Islanders.

This article briefly breaks down the scoring from the Leafs game against Detroit before suggesting Leivo’s multi-point performance was not an anomaly, but rather, is what Leivo is actually capable of when given an honest shot.

Scoring Summary Against Detroit

The Toronto Maple Leafs dismantled Detroit by a final score of 6-2.  The Leafs outshot Detroit 29 to 26 and connected on the power play three times out of six attempts.  Leivo finished the game with three assists.  Tavares scored the game winning goal. Jake Gardiner scored twice.

1st Period

1:38 – Nazem Kadri assisted by Brown and Leivo.

10:20 – Gustav Nyquist (PPG) unassisted.

2nd Period

12:47 – Jake Gardiner (PPG) assisted by Leivo and Marleau.

14:58 – John Tavares (PPG) assisted by Matthews and Reilly.

15:25 – Patrick Marleau (PPG) assisted by Leivo and Johnsson.

16:41 – Par Lindholm (SHG) assisted by Brown.

3rd Period

1:10 – Dylan Larkin assisted by Jenson.

14:41 – Jake Gardiner assisted by Matthews and Zaitsev.

A Potential Career Performance for Leivo?

Was tonight the best NHL game of Leivo’s career with the Toronto Maple Leafs?

At first, I thought it would be easy to say it was, but then when I did some research I discovered Leivo also had a three-point night two seasons ago against the Islanders.

On February 14th, 2017, Leivo scored a goal and had two assists against New York in 9:48 of ice time.

Leivo was a +2 in that game in 2017, and only a +1 recently against Detroit.

Also, while three assists against Detroit is impressive, it took Leivo 13:13 of time on ice to earn those three points, and even then, they were only-preseason points so they don’t count towards his career total.

Therefore, since this game didn’t actually matter (it was only a pre-season game) and Leivo scored a goal in the three-point performance in 2017, the other game was arguably better.

Still, though, this game might end up having a more significant impact on Leivo’s career in the long-term because it may have finally solidified his spot in the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup.

This is Leivo in his final form

A lot of fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs want to see Leivo get an honest shot in the line up because we believe he’ll succeed when he gets it.

Games like the three-point night he had September 28th, 2018, against Detroit help justify that narrative.

I honestly believe this wasn’t an anomaly.  This is what Leivo is actually capable of when he gets the time on ice he deserves.

The eye test backs this up.

Have you ever seen Leivo step out from the bench for a shift and not look like putting the puck in the other team’s net was his life mission?

He plays with heart and soul every shift.

Not surprisingly, Leivo is one of the members of the Toronto Maple Leafs roster that was actually born in Ontario (i.e., he’s a home town kid).  Hence, I’d be willing to wager that he cares about the success and failure of the Toronto Maple Leafs a lot more than someone who was born across the world and has only come to Toronto to play hockey because they happened to find employment here (Looking at you right now William Nylander).

I hope Leivo finds a permanent roster role with the Leafs.  He looks great on the power play, and he generates shots like a machine at even strength.

Both him and Tyler Ennis could end up being steals for the bargain rate they signed for relative to the offence they have the potential to contribute.

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Questions: Are you a fan of Josh Leivo or did you want the Toronto Maple Leafs to trade him this offseason?  What line do you want to see Leivo play on?  Who is your favourite fringe Leaf?  Does Leivo deserve another year in the press box?  Does anyone?   Have your say in the comments below!

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