4 Pleasant Surprises in the Toronto Maple Leafs Recent Winning Ways

Which players have really stepped up their game for the Leafs in recent weeks?

Jan 24, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren (37)
Jan 24, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Timothy Liljegren (37) / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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The Toronto Maple Leafs have been off and running so far in the month of February, having won eight of ten games, including their current seven-game winning streak after defeating entering the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

What has been more impressive is the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs have achieved most of their recent success without the services of their assistant captain and best defenseman Morgan Rielly.

One of the key factors had been the emergence of surprising players that have stepped up their game considerably during this current stretch to help augment the Leafs attack.

Together, they have made life miserable for the opponents, as in total, the Leafs have outscored the opposition 48-29 in the ten games so far this month.

4 Pleasant Surprises in the Toronto Maple Leafs Recent Winning Ways

As a result, we will take a closer look at some of these standout players that have surprisingly made some unexpected significant contributions in recent weeks.

Timothy Liljegren

Following the departure of fellow Swede Rasmus Sandin at the trade deadline last season, it was expected that Timothy Liljegren would be in line to play a bigger role for the Leafs this season as a result.

Especially when he was given the opportunity to quarterback the second power play unit, along with some valuable time on the penalty kill. The year didn’t start off as smoothly for Liljegren, as he needed some time to find his game following a high-ankle sprain injury back in early November.

However, he has finally picked up his game of late, in particular during the absence of Rielly. Given top-pairing minutes, Liljegren flourished in such circumstances, registering seven assists in the past six games including three power play points.

Of course, partnering with the veteran T.J. Brodie sure helped, but given his previous experience with partner Mark Giordano, his transition to the top pairing appeared to have gone seamlessly in the process. Now even with Rielly back, the Leafs may consider keeping Brodie and Liljegren together until the combination falters.