Toronto Maple Leafs: A Redemption, a Benching and a Brawl

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 07: Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Michael Hutchinson (30) in warmups prior to the regular season NHL game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Toronto Maple Leafs on November 7, 2019 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 07: Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Michael Hutchinson (30) in warmups prior to the regular season NHL game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Toronto Maple Leafs on November 7, 2019 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs looked to continue their winning ways as they played host to the Detroit Red Wings last night on Hockey Night In Canada, and they did just that.

Entering Saturday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs were on a 3 game winning streak, and were winners of 5 of their last 6 games.

They continued their winning ways as they defeated the dead last Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on home ice.

Multiple story lines by the end of last night’s game that I would like to talk about and share as well, the most important one, is who the guy in the Toronto Maple Leafs net was that got the win tonight.

Tempers also flared late in the third period between these two teams that I will eventually get too and discuss the situation.

Michael Hutchinson Grabs First Win

The biggest story line so far this season with the Toronto Maple Leafs has been their backup goalie situation, and if they should trade for one because their record with a backup in net is not the greatest.

As their record entering Saturday’s match was 0-6-1 which is not what you need, especially to a Toronto Maple Leafs team who struggled early in the season. (Stats from

Fast forward 2 and a half hours after puck drop we see Michael Hutchinson and the Toronto Maple Leafs secure a 4-1 win over the struggling Detroit Red Wings.

Meaning, a Toronto Maple Leafs backup goalie finally has a win on the season, yes! A win!

Hutchinson faced 30 shots and only allowed 1, which was a late power play goal, scored by Tyler Bertuzzi. Almost securing a shutout as well, what a story that would’ve been.

Matthews & Marner Continue Hot Streak

Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are two of the Toronto Maple Leafs biggest stars and they are currently on a very, very hot streak. Matthews picking up 2 goals and 1 assist on the night,  as well as Marner picking up 2 assists.

Auston Matthews currently on a 3 game point streak (4 goals & 3 assists) and Mitch Marner on a 7 game point streak starting back in St. Louis on December 7th, (4 goals & 8 assists)

A lot of last night’s success from these two came because they were on a line together with Zach Hyman who also potted home 2 goals and 1 assist. You may be thinking…. Hyman-Matthews-Marner on a line together?

Yes Sheldon Keefe started line juggling during this game because the Toronto Maple Leafs were struggling to generate offence and were getting out shot by their opponent. (Stats from

Keefe threw Hyman with Matthews and Marner, Tavares with Engvall and Mikheyev, and demoted Kapanen and Nylander, after benching them in the second,  to the third line to play with Kerfoot.

Once the Toronto Maple Leafs got on the score sheet and jumped to a 2-0 lead after Matthews power play goal, Keefe was comfortable again in rolling all 4 lines.

As we all know the Toronto Maple leafs eventually jumped to a 4-0 lead in the third period and were coasting through yet another third period without giving up a goal, as they are known for that under Sheldon Keefe.

Tempers Start To Flare

With around 2 minutes left in the game and the Toronto Maple Leafs minutes away from a 4-0 win with backup Michael Hutchinson in net, defensemen Jake Muzzin lays a clean hit on Madison Bowey resulting in Anthony Mantha to jump Jake Muzzin and stick up for his teammate.

Yet it did not end how Mantha wanted it too, Mantha approached Muzzin and gave him a cheap-shot in the face, then Muzzin returned a punch as well and it ended with Muzzin and Mantha tangling up and Muzzin throwing Mantha down to the ice.

Now Mantha was injured as he hit the ice as it appears he hit his head on the way down, but that stuff happens when you go to fight Muzzin who layed a clean hit on Bowey. Mantha throws the first punch, Muzzin returns one, they both go down.

Now this isn’t where it ends, Andreas Athanasiou coming in at full speed through the neutral zone sticks out his knee to hit Alex Kerfoot knee on knee, luckily Kerfoot just gets out of the way in time but that did not stop Justin Holl to come in to the rescue for his teammate.

Holl jumps Athanasiou and just like the Muzzin, Mantha situation, Athanasiou body slams Holl to the ice getting him tossed from the game.

The one thing I don’t understand is why get frustrated this late in the game when you’re down 4-0 with 2 minutes left, resulting in one of Detroit’s star players being injured (Mantha) and Athanasiou making a careless play where he could’ve injured Kerfoot really badly or even himself.

Last Stretch Of 2019

The Toronto Maple Leafs are 6-3-0 in the month of December and are currently on a 4 game winning streak, winners of 6 of their last 7 like I stated earlier on. They have a real good shot at continuing this run as they have 4 games remaining in December…

Dec 23 vs Carolina

Dec 27 @ New Jersey

Dec 28 vs New York Rangers

Dec 31 @ Minnesota

As currently only 1 team is in a playoff spot that they face next and it is the Carolina Hurricanes. The New Jersey Devils are struggling all season long, they dealt with the New York Rangers in MSG couple nights ago, and the Minnesota Wild who they beat earlier on in the season when they were struggling to string some wins together, but as of late have put some wins together.

Next. Toronto Maple Leafs All-Decade Team. dark

There are still lots of games to be played, Toronto Maple Leafs are looking good, they are looking comfortable playing alongside each other, and Keefe realizes what he is working with now. We will have to see how the Toronto Maple Leafs play against the Hurricanes tomorrow afternoon and so on.