Toronto Maple Leafs: Price Can’t Stop 97% of Top Line’s Shots Forever

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made it through five games with the lead as the series returns to Montreal for game six.

The Toronto Maple Leafs top line has looked great for most of the series, they just haven’t been rewarded for it.

Though criticism for lack of production can be warranted if it extends over a period of time, Leafs fans should be patient here with there best players – the goals will come.  If anything, the fact that the Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews are overdue for a big game works in their favor.

Game six should see the Leafs two best players come through when it counts the most.

Toronto Maple Leafs Best Players vs Montreal

Matthews and Marner are currently getting 54% of all shot-attempts that occur when they are on the ice, as well as 60% of the shots that hit the net, 54% of the scoring chances, and 64% of the expected goals.

Despite not scoring much, they’ve held the Canadiens off the score sheet for the entire series and while they’ve only been on the ice for three 5v5 goals, they have allowed zero.

Matthews has 25 shots and one goal. That’s 4% shooting for a guy who shoots roughly 16% for his career.  He is overdue to score some goals.  Five shots per game while dominating 5v5 play is exactly why Matthews is a Hart Trophy candidate.  The fact that Carey Price has made 24 saves against him is just bad luck.

Hyman has 16 shots, one goal.  Marner 14 shots, no goals.

Carey Price has stopped 53 of 55 shots by the Leafs top line.  That’s just shy of 97% of the shots. It is also unstainable and a complete joke, honestly.  There is one reason this series is going to a sixth game, and it’s Montreal’s goalie.

In the NHL it is extremely common that fans complain about players that are playing great but not getting lucky when it comes to production.  I’ve yet to see anyone complain about Matthews, but I have seen people criticize Marner, which is ridiculous. (all stats

The on-ice stats are crazy, the guy should have 10 or so assists and a couple goals himself.  These types of streaks happen – especially when you’re facing a team propped up by  a star goalie.  Marner should be above this criticism though because he’s never taken a shift off in his life and he’s a great penalty killer, and he’s bringing solid defense even when he’s not scoring.

Next. Recapping the Other Series in the NHL Playoffs. dark

Look for that to end in game six.  Look for each member of the Leafs top line to have three or four points. Matthews hard luck dates back to last years Columbus series. Combined over his last 10 playoff games he has 3 goals and is shooting 5%.   He’s due.