Toronto Maple Leafs Beat Devils With Alternate Lineup + Matthews Scores 66

Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils
Toronto Maple Leafs v New Jersey Devils / Elsa/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been neck and neck with the Carolina Hurricanes, Stars, Rangers and Oilers as the NHL's best team since January 18th (a totally arbitrary date I picked because the Leafs had previously lost 4 straight).

During this incredible run of 36 games, the Leafs are 25-10-1 and have won over 70% of the points available to them. The Toronto Maple Leafs lead the NHL in goal-scoring during this run, but they are a concerning 17th in 5v5 goaltending.

If they are this good with only the 17th best goaltending, logic dictates that they probably should have traded for an upgrade at the trade deadline, since it appears that with better goaltending they'd never lose.

But I digress, as I came here to talk about last night's Leafs vs Devils game in which New Jersey was eliminated from the playoffs and Auston Matthews scored his 66th goal of the year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Eliminate the New Jersey Devils

The Leafs had a great game and kept their home-ice hopes alive, although Florida also won.

The Leafs remain three points back of Florida with a game in hand. Toronto has four games left, Florida has three. (standings from

The Leafs can still get to 109 points, and Boston lost to Carolina (4-1) so they remain at 107 points, which means if the Leafs win out and Boston loses their three remaining games, the Leafs can win the Atlantic Division title.

This is unlikely, but so was losing 11 straight elimination games. As for the Presiden't Trophy, the Rangers already passed 109 points, so the Leafs cannot win that.

The Lighting can still catch the Leafs, but they are six points back and each team has four games to go, making it unlikely.

As for last night's actual game, Nick Robertson and Conor Timmins both returned to the lineup, and both looked good to me. Robertson scored again, and he now has three goals in his last four games and four in his last seven.

I also thought Timmins and Giordano were good, either one is superior to Ilya Lyubushkin who sat out last night. (stats


Last night the Leafs used Robertson, Giordano, Timmins and Woll. They were playing a team with nothing to play for missing their best player, but you still have to give them credit for having one of the most dominant games of the season. I think we witnessed the lineup they'll use in the playoffs after a loss, but I really do believe this should be their go-to one instead (with the exception of Noah Gregor, who I would not play in the playoffs at all).