Toronto Maple Leafs Get Unlucky and Lose to New York Rangers

Dec 19, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Tyler Bertuzzi (59) battles for
Dec 19, 2023; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Tyler Bertuzzi (59) battles for / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a much better record than they deserve this year so far, so maybe last night was a bit of a balancing of the ledger.

Regardless of how the rest of the season has gone, the Toronto Maple Leafs deserved to win last night's game, and they didn't.

What can you do?

The final score was 5-2, but how we got to that was, to say the least, pretty weird.

Toronto Maple Leafs Get Unlucky to the New York Rangers

Ironically, given the results, he Rangers best period, and the Leafs worst, was the first period, which finished up with no scoring.

The Leafs were the better team in each of the next two periods, despite being outscored 5-2. The score, however, is misleading. The first three Rangers goals were all on weird bounces, and not a one of them was the fault of Leafs starter Martin Jones.

The Leafs tied it on the second Auston Matthews goal of the night, then the Rangers almost immediately scored a ridiculous fluke goal. They added a power-play goal and an empty-net goal, and that was it for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Matthews added another two goals, scoring 25 goals in 28 games. That is insane production that puts him on pace of just short of 75 goals. Matthews's ability to score at will is one of the biggest reasons why the Leafs have so many points despite rarely dominating teams the way their record suggests.

On the night, both teams shared the puck equally, but the Leafs had 11 dangerous chances to the Rangers 4. (

Overall, you can't be too mad since the Leafs have won their share of games where they played poorly this year. Still, it was a frustrating game.

Both of the Toronto Maple Leafs top lines were dominant, and Jake McCabe was yet again playing lightyears ahead of what he was doing before his early season injury.

My only complain is about Sheldon Keefe and Nick Robertson. The coach shelters the third line and with Reaves out, which one you call the "fourth line" is basically a technicality. Yet again, Robertson was the player who recieved the least 5v5 icetime. For what it's worth, Robertson is scoring 2.62 points per 60 minutes of ice-time, which is first line production. The coach needs to get him more minutes.

The Toronto Maple Leafs remain 2.5 games (six points, game in hand) behind the Boston Bruins for the Atlantic Division lead. Winning the division gives them a much higher chance of winning the Stanley Cup, so catching Boston is a must.

Next. 10 Elite Defensemen the Leafs Could Trade For. 10 Elite Defensemen the Leafs Could Trade For. dark

Next up: Buffalo tomorrow night.