Toronto Maple Leafs News and Notes, Player Stats and Quotes, Week 3.

TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 28: Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs is congratulated by teammate Zach Hyman #11 after the 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens during an exhibition game prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on July 28, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 28: Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs is congratulated by teammate Zach Hyman #11 after the 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens during an exhibition game prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on July 28, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
CALGARY, AB – JANUARY 24: Wayne Simmonds #24 (C) of the Toronto Maple Leafs(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /

News and notes

Wayne Simmonds has scored a goal in 3 consecutive games, which last happened 4 years ago.  Specifically, it happened during a stretch of games from 12-4-2017 to 12-6-2017 while a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

He finished that season with 24 goals in 75 games, including 11 on the powerplay.  It was his last full season as a Flyer as he was traded to Nashville the following year.  There’s a story here that involves him being healthy again, so it is possible that he will be able to contribute more offensively than we initially anticipated.

Austin Matthews is heating up with a goal in each of his last 5 games.  I’ll give the crown to McDavid, but is Austin Matthews becoming the 2nd best player in the world?  I’m starting to think so based on his 200 ft game and his insane ability to generate offense.

Is Mikheyev the fastest guy on the Leafs?  He sure looks like it on most nights.  The eye test tells me that he’s played really well, and yet the data suggests otherwise.  He currently has just 2 points in 10 games (all assists) with a 44.3 CF%.  What am I missing?  Nothing.  He also has the highest dZS% on the team at 63.5.  Plus, he has a crazy Relative Corsi For % while short handed at 24.6, easily tops on the team, making him standout as  the Leafs best penalty killer.  So don’t worry folks, he really does look good, he’s just been so trusted by Keefe that his usage is crazy tough.  I’m hoping he breaks out soon with some offense.

Now, let’s get to the Muzzin puck flip at Tkachuk.  For those of you who haven’t seen it, here it is for your viewing pleasure.

I have to say, it might have been a little “unsportsmanlike”, but I absolutely loved it. Muzzin was battling with him all night, and he definitely remembers the Campbell knee drop, so that little flick of the puck was a savvy veteran move that SERIOUSLY got under the skin of Tkachuck.  Tkachuck went bonkers.  It was wonderful.

As a side note to that incident, Muzzin was a key member of the Los Angeles Kings when Tkachuk slammed his elbow into Drew Doughty’s head back in 2017.  That feud was legendary, and Muzzin must have some interesting memories from those times.  Remember, Muzzin played with Doughty on the same pair for a while, I’m sure the two of them had some wonderful, and colorful, conversations about Matthew Tkachuk.

Speaking of Muzzin, the guy finally has some help, and is no longer fighting those kinds of battles alone.  The additions of Simmonds, Bogosian, and Thornton, have allowed players like Muzzin to feel more comfortable playing a style that the other team just doesn’t like.  So this is a little poke at Calgary Flames fans, I’m glad that you don’t like Muzzin, just like you’re glad that I don’t like Tkachuck.  Hello rivalry.

Lastly, I have a few things to say about the first live showing of the retro jerseys.  The colors are good, I started to like them more as the game went on and I got used to them a bit.  The idea of a new jersey is long overdue in my opinion.  This is a young core, with a young coach, and a young GM, and it’s the perfect time to put out a different visual for the fans.

I have one negative thing to say though, and it’s kind of important so it was definitely an oversight on the part of the Leafs’ current fashion team.  The color scheme makes it very difficult to identify the numbers on the jersey, thus making it a challenge to follow the play in terms of who is who.  I was able to overcome the challenge by squinting at the TV, and noticing other visual ques that tell players apart, but less experienced Leaf fans would not be able to so easily overcome this issue.  Something to consider.