The Toronto Maple Leafs won a game they probably had no business winning last night.
Through two periods, the Toronto Maple Leafs were getting dusted by one of the NHL’s worst teams.
The Flyers started the game on fire, and for the most part, they kept the superior Leafs from getting anything going – for two periods.
But in the third, the Leafs did what good teams do – they pulled a near certain loss out of the fire, and reminded everyone why they’re a top team. They scored four third period goals, seemingly at will, and ended up with their fourth win in a row.
That’s what great teams do. (stats naturalstattrick.com).
Toronto Maple Leafs vs the Flyers
The NHL’s upcoming Hart Trophy winner, Auston Matthews, scored his 51st goal of the season, and his 44th in his last 46, an accomplishment that ranks on par with anything anyone in the NHL has done this century.
If Covid had not cut the last two seasons short, Matthews may very well be going for his third straight 60 goal season, while Mitch Marner would be looking for his 3rd straight 100 point season.
Currently, Matthews leads the NHL with 51 goals, while his 88 points rank him fifth overall.
Meanwhile, Marner has six straight multi-point games, and since returning from injury January 15th, has played 33 games and has 60 points, seven more than anyone else in the league. He has scored at a 54 goal pace, and only four players have more goals than he does, during this time.
While Matthews should be the run-away Hart Trophy winner, Marner should probably also be nominated.
As to the rest of last night’s game, it was notable because Nick Abruzzese made his NHL debut, playing just under ten minutes. A 4th rounder in 2019, it’s impressive that he’s already played in the NHL.
Jack Campbell made his long awaited return and was fantastic. If not for a bouncing puck that hit at least two people before going into the net, he would have let in just two goals, while keeping his team in the game until they got it going in the third.
Campbell had a very good return to the lineup.
This was the fourth win in a row, and their seventh in the last nine game, for the Toronto Maple Leafs who now have 93 points and are tied with Tampa for 4th overall (by points and points-percentage).
Next up: A back-to-back situation against Florida and Tampa.