Toronto Maple Leafs: William Nylander and John Tavares Are Red Hot

Toronto Maple Leafs - William Nylander (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs - William Nylander (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs moved above .500 with their win over the Las Vegas Golden Knights last night. It was a 4-0 victory which saw the team improve their record to 5-4-1 through the first ten games.

In that victory over the Golden Knights, the Toronto Maple Leafs had an awakening of sorts. All four of the team’s so-called “Big Four” were involved in last night’s victory.

Marner had a three-point night with one goal and two assists. Matthews had two goals and showed that his wrist looks to be at 100%. Nylander continues his hot start with a goal and an assist, while Tavares, with one assist, continues his hot start as well.

Toronto should find themselves on the right side of the score sheet more often if all four of these players are clicking at the same time. Head coach Sheldon Keefe switching Marner and Nylander has paid off for Toronto. The chemistry between Nylander and Matthews has been rekindled. The same can also be said about the chemistry between Tavares and Marner.

Toronto Maple Leafs Captain John Tavares

Tavares is having a good start to his 2021-22 NHL season. Toronto’s team captain has three goals and five assists for eight points in ten games. He is putting to rest any doubts that existed about his game.

Many were worried that the head injury he sustained in the playoffs would have lasting effects. So far, there is no evidence of that, and he looks to be playing just fine.

Since joining the Toronto Maple Leafs back in July 2018, Tavares has been playing at almost a point per game level. This season is proving to be no different with his eight points in ten games.

The last time Tavares and Marner were regular linemates, Tavares registered 47 goals and 41 assists for 88 points in 82 games. Marner also did well that season with 26 goals and 68 assists for 94 points in 82 games. Hopefully, the two of them can have similar seasons this year. (Stats from: Hockey-Reference.com)

William Nylander Finding Early Season Success

Nylander is having one of the best regular-season starts of his career. He has four goals and four assists for eight points in ten games. Even more impressive is that five of those eight points have been at even strength.

His point production is a tribute to how Nylander has been able to control the puck during his shifts. When he is on the ice, the team has control of the puck 60.6% of the time.

His play without the puck has also been good this season. He currently has 14 takeaways while playing without the puck and only two giveaways with it. Nylander is proving that good defense leads to good offense, and if he continues to play this way, he could end up having the best season of his career.

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To have success, the Toronto Maple Leafs need their “Big Four” to produce. All four seem to have found the right gear as of late, so let’s hope they keep it.