New Trade Rumour + Matthews 60 In 60?+ Maple Leafs Crush Coyotes

Feb 21, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Martin Jones (31) and Arizona
Feb 21, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Martin Jones (31) and Arizona / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made a pretty bad habit out of losing to the worst teams in the NHL.

For example, the Toronto Maple Leafs have lost this year twice to Buffalo, twice to Columbus, twice to Chicago, and three times to Ottawa.

That is nine losses or 18 points in the standings. Sure, some of those losses were in OT, but losing to the losers has cost them first place in the Atlantic, which they would easily be in right now if they had taken care of business against the NHL's worst teams.

So while last night's visit to Arizona and their pathetic minor league arena shouldn't have been an important game, it was actually vital.

Auston Matthews Seems Made Up + Toronto Maple Leafs Crush Coyotes

Auston Matthews, who seems made up, scored another two goals. He now has 51 goals in 54 games this season, and while he didn't get the arbitrary 50 goals in the first 50 games of the season (though he still might score the for some reason much less cared about in-season version for the second time) he is now making 60 in 60 look like a distinct possibility.

All he needs is a measly nine goals in his next six games. No biggie.

As for Timothy Liljegren, he scored 2 assists giving him seven points in the five games Rielly was out. He didn't exactly have his best game last night, but the stats are destroyed by score effects and he had two points, the Leafs were even when he played, and he led the team in overall ice time.

He should take Brodie's spot on the top line now that Rielly is back. As this statistical analysis proves, he was amazing over Rielly's absence.

The Leafs destroyed a bad team for once, and I really liked Keefe's new-look forward lines. The Robertson, Tavares, McMann line was especially effective and had 2 goals 5v5.

The Leafs need to approach this trade deadline smartly, and not create a situation where Robertson and McMann lose ice time. The latest rumour is that the Leafs are interested in Mario Ferraro from the Sharks, as well as forward Luke Kunin.

Depending on the cost, this would be an OK trade. Ferraro is a decent mid-lineup defender and Kunin is probably better than Reaves or Gregor.


It's going to be an interesting couple of weeks, but the Atlantic Division title is now possible, thanks to going 5 and 0 while Morgan Rielly was suspended.