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,ON – JANUARY 20: Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs  (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Stat of the week

Freddy Andersen is 4-1-1 with a 2.50 GAA and a .910 SV% in his last 6 starts (all stats via hockey-reference.com).  His value to this team cannot be understated, as he has been a huge factor in this team sitting atop the division after 10 games.  I talk about the importance of a good bounce back season in detail here, and after a rough start where he put up a .839 SV% in the first two games, Freddy has gotten on a bit of a roll here just as the team has needed him.

He’s looked big and calm in the crease, and his movements are much more efficient than they were in his first 2 starts.  It seems as though the great Dane is back after shaking off the early rust.

Best quotes

I really liked something Keefe said in his practice presser from Monday, when he was explaining how he goes about deciding who starts the 3 on 3 overtime.

"“Generally, I would start Matthews and Marner…in the case of the other night, you saw that Matthews had played about two and a half of the final three minutes in regulation, in a bid to make a push to try to win the game in regulation time, and not have it go to overtime.  So having gone through that, just by the time it started I looked down at the bench and just didn’t feel Austin was quite ready to go out again and skate up and down the rink at 3 on 3.  I felt another minute or so would be beneficial to him.”"

To me, the fact that he prioritized a regulation win instead of thinking about OT was huge.  That is exactly what I want to see from the coach.  OT is it’s own animal, it’s a bonkers track meet that usually ends up being all about the goalies, so going all-in during the final few minutes of regulation sounds like the best way to go.

After practice on Monday, Hutchinson was asked which players on the team have really good shots that nobody talks about.  His response included a surprising name.

"“As far as a hard shot, Pierre Engvall, it’s like he’s trying to put the puck through the net every time he shoots.”"

Common Engvall, show me that shot in a game.  Seriously though, if Engvall created a bit of offense he would probably be a fixture on the 4th line.  Shoot the puck.

After Monday’s practice, Adam Brooks talked a about Spezza and gave up a little tidbit of interesting info on the old vet.

"“We played a little bit of a basketball tournament, just in the player’s lounge, obviously spread out and following guidelines, on Nintendo switch, and me and him were the champions.”"

I don’t even know what Nintendo switch is, other than the fact that it’s a video game console, and I’m not that much older than Spezza.  Just another creative way that Spezza has a positive impact on the culture of this team.

Morgan Rielly explained defense perfectly after practice on Friday.  He was asked about gap control and keeping a tight gap when defending.

"“I think it’s about skating and it’s all really a group effort.  I mean if we have a high forward and good back pressure, I think it just makes our job a lot easier, and it makes it easier to keep that gap.  So, all in all, it’s just a group effort as a unit.”"

Defensman get blamed for their gap control, or lack of it, all the time.  The truth is, a defenseman can only tighten the gap while defending if the other players are doing their jobs.  Defense is a five man unit.  There has been a noticeable commitment to defense on display so far in the early going, and it’s one of the reasons the team currently occupies first place in the north division.

Next. 3 Leafs Defying Expectations. dark

Until next week,

Keep your sticks on the ice.