The Toronto Maple Leafs took just about three weeks off (for some reason, I forget why) but you wouldn’t have known it by their first game back, in which they absolutely destroyed a very bad Ottawa Senators team.
Then again, the Senators also had nearly just as much time off, and their best team would likely have trouble with the Marlies on any given night, so maybe it’s too early to judge the Toronto Maple Leafs on their lack of rust.
Still – what a return! (Even if the Senators had six players in Covid Protocol and even if this game was in no way fair to them).
Ilya Mikheyev and William Nylander each scored twice, and the game was 2-0 (on short-handed goals) before Ottawa even had their second shot of the game.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs the Ottawa Senators
The Leafs got some reinforcements before last night’s game as Mitch Marner and Rasmus Sandin both returned to the lineup after extended stints on the I.R for actual injuries (as opposed to Covid).
Jack Campbell, who, according to Sportsnet, led all NHL goalies in goals-against average and save-percentage during the calendar year of 2021, started off 2022 by posting a shut-out, which means he now leads all goalies in both categories in 2022 as well.
Get the man a Vezina trophy already. (stats naturalstattrick.com).
Last night’s game was more notable for the hilarious way the scoring turned out than anything else. For instance, despite scoring six goals, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner combined for zero points, and John Tavares had just one assist.
I don’t know how many times the Leafs have ever scored six goals without Matthews and Marner scoring at least once, but it can’t have happened very often.
Alex Kerfoot and TJ Brodie each had three points, while the aforementioned Mikheyev added seven shots to go along with his two goals.
The win gives the Toronto Maple Leafs a .710 points-percentage on the year, which is absolutely crazy. It might be crazier, however, than four other teams have higher points-percentages. For perspective, over the last 150 (ish) NHL games over three seasons, no team is over .700.
The Leafs don’t play against until Wednesday because tomorrow’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes (a much better matchup than the Sens game!) is postponed. On Wednesday they’ll play the Oilers.
The shut-out last night was Jack Campbell’s fourth of the season. That puts him second behind Calgary’s Jackob Markstrom and he is first in both GAA and save-percentage.