The Toronto Maple Leafs (35-23-14) took care of business on home ice and improved their playoff chances with a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils (27-34-12) on Thursday night.
Thoughts and Observations
The power play is a big reason for Toronto’s success this season and it’s been humming as of late, with the team scoring 10 power play goals in their last 10 games. Their penalty kill has also been coming up big recently, killing off a five-minute major against the Blue Jackets on Wednesday and a 5-on-3 against the Devils. But this PK against the Devils was tremendous when you consider two (Brian Boyle
) of the team’s three best penalty killers were in the box andRoman Polak
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was given another opportunity to showcase what he can do on Thursday, and, you guessed it, he ended up scoring a goal. #Freivo, I mean, Leivo has played very well when given an opportunity this season. However, I do understand and agree with what Mike Babcock is saying in regards to Leivo being restricted because of his inability to play the PK. If Leivo can fix that part of his game, I could see him competing for ice time withNikita Soshnikov
Of course, there were a few bonuses handed out during Thursday’s game. Here’s a recap of who earned what, starting with Nylander’s bonus.
Matthews maxed out his bonuses, too.
Babcock provided an update onEric Fehr
after the game, saying he underwent successful surgery and does not have a timetable for his return, but will be “out for a while.” By the sounds of it, I’d say Fehr’s season is over.
Stat of the Night
22-1-9 and 27-1-9
Just how important is it for the Leafs to jump out to an early lead? Well, according to Paul Hendrick’s of Leafs TV, the Leafs own a 22-1-9 record when they lead after 20 minutes of play, and they own 27-1-9 record when leading after two periods.
The Maple Leafs will travel to Western New York to take on the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. Despite the Sabres being out of the playoff race, I’m sure this game will be an interesting contest since Toronto is only a short drive down the QEW. In other words, expect Leafs Nation in full force at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo.
What did you think of the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below