Monday Afternoon Toronto Maple Leafs: Robertson + News + Standings + Trades

Feb 29, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner (16) looks to pass
Feb 29, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner (16) looks to pass / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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The Toronto Maple Leafs played a very good, very entertaining game against he New York Rangers on Saturday night.

The game had it all - a newly acquired player getting injured, a fight between Ryan Reaves and a small giant, a shootout, terrible refereeing that adversely affected the Toronto Maple Leafs, and one hell of a goal by former #1 overall pick Alexis Lafreniere.

The most important thing, however, was that the Leafs took on one of the top teams in the NHL and more or less dominated them at 5v5 (57% Puck Possession, 61% shots, 67% scoring chances, 75% dangerous chances). (stats naturalstattrick.com).

That is a grade A ass-kicking. You are going to win a lot of games with those numbers. Yes, the PP and the PK (and overtime) were weak, but special teams are not the Leafs problem, and I'll take a great 5v5 game every single time.

And let's give a shout-out to the absolutely dominating line of Tavares centering Jarnkrok and McMann.

It was a great game, and the Leafs are showing what a great team they can be. With a couple of additions this could be the best team in the NHL.

Last year after the deadline, the Leafs were the best team in the NHL. They had the most elite talent and they were the deepest. No one else in the league was anywhere close to healthy-scratching players like Gustufsson or Liljegren.

Sure, the Leafs GM seems poorly suited to his current job, and hasn't done a single thing to inspire confidence since he was hired, but as he is showing, it's hard to screw up a team with Auston Mattehws, John Tavares, Mitch Marener, Morgan Rielly and William Nlyander on it.

Here's hoping he has more up his sleeve than just massively overpaying for a waiver-wire defenseman.