Toronto Maple Leafs Aim to Finish 2nd Five-Game Segment Strong

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 31: William Nylander
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 31: William Nylander /

The  Toronto Maple Leafs play the Jets tonight.

The Toronto Maple Leafs vs the Winnipeg Jets is the perfect example of Eastern Canada vs Western Canada.  Not only that, but it shows hockey fans the top two drafts picks in the 2016 NHL draft going head-to-head: Auston Matthews (1st overall), vs Patrik Laine (2nd overall).

It’s no secret that Mike Babcock, likes to break the season up into five game segments.  Babcock does this so his players don’t lose track of the short term during the long grind of an NHL season.  He likes for his teams to earn at least six points every five games.

After defeating the Washington Capitals 4-2 and the LA Kings 4-1, the Leafs lost 3-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins and 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues.

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman was a warrior against Pittsburgh October 18, 2018.

Zach Hyman, Left Wing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, showed a lot of heart as the Leafs were defeated 3-0 by the Pittsburgh Penguins October 18, 2018.  The game was closer than the final score reveals.  Two goals were scored on an empty net late in the third period; the game winning goal was scored on the power play.  Neither team scored at 5v5.

Zach Hyman was roughed up a lot during the game.  He found himself on the wrong end of some unfortunate calls (and non-calls), but never let his emotion get the best of him.  He left the ice late in the first period for medical attention (i.e., stitches) after taking a stick up high to the eyebrow area.  An inch in the wrong direction and Hyman may have lost an eye on the play.  When he returned, he had an extended visor but that incident was just the beginning of his troubles.  His eye was visibly bruised in the games that followed.


I’m predicting a big game against Winnipeg from Zach Hyman and the John Tavares line more broadly.  The Toronto Maple Leafs’ all GTA line wasn’t rewarded with goals against Pittsburgh.  The all GTA line also only helped score once against St. Louis (an assist by Mitch Marner).  However, if you’ve been watching the games you’d know that unit has still generated high quality scoring chances.  They’ll soon be finding the back of the net more frequently.

Speaking of finding the back of the net, Nazem kadri has been hitting a lot of posts lately and he is due to be rewarded for his efforts soon.  He scored 32 goals in back-to-back seasons and he’ll score at least 30 again this season once he finds his groove.  If the Toronto Maple leafs can sign William Nylander to a bridge deal and get Willy (or Marleau) on Kadri’s wing then Kadri’s production will take off.

A win against Winnipeg would silence a lot of critics and show doubters that the Leafs can bounce back from a losing streak.  The Toronto Maple Leafs need a statement victory; I’d like to see a 7-2 victory with goals from each of the following Leafs: Nazem Kadri, Josh Leivo, Connor Brown, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Frederik Gauthier, and Morgan Rielly.

Thanks for reading!

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