Toronto Maple Leafs Weekly Report: Trending in the Right Direction

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The Good

Nov 1, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw (65) gets off a shot on Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer (34) as defenceman Stephane Robidas (12) and Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews (19) look on at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Chicago 3-2. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Leafs got an unlikely win over the Blackhawks after losing against the Penguins, Bruins and Red Wings previously on Hockey Night In Canada.

The newly-formed top line with Kadri, Kessel and Winnik played pretty well scoring in all three games this week.

Reimer has been slowly gaining the confidence of Randy Carlyle, making the most of his opportunity against the Blackhawks.

Gardiner and Rielly have been improving their play after a slow start to the season. Rielly had two points in the win against Buffalo, while Gardiner added a goal.

Sam Carrick made his debut against the Blackhawks, but it still remains to be seen how long he stays with the Leafs. He has great strength and speed that the Leafs could use on the fourth line. Holland has also played well with the additional minutes – he played 16:35 against the Blackhawks on Saturday night.

The Bad

Oct 28, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul (19) during the player introductions against the Buffalo Sabres at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated Buffalo 4-0. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Lupul finally got to play with Kessel again. However, after one game together Lupul breaks his hand at practice and is expected to miss three weeks. Luckily this happened now and not at the end of the season but, Lupul’s injury concerns continue to haunt him.

The Leafs were not great in the third period in their games against Chicago and Columbus being out-shot 37-9. Carlyle will have to figure out a way to get his team to come out strong in the third period, but I think having Polak playing close to 20 minutes a game does not help.

The fourth line did not play a lot in their three games which is concerning, because the other forwards have to log more minutes. Carlyle has to find a way to get this line more minutes going forward.

The Leafs have to find a way to improve moving forward. It is still way too early to talk about trades, but that does not mean that they should not be looking around to improve their team.

Upcoming Games: Tuesday vs Phoenix Coyotes, Thursday vs Colorado Avalanche, Saturday vs New York Rangers, Sunday vs Ottawa Senators (rescheduled game).