Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 observations from 8-5 win over Rangers

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 7: Ondrej Pavelec
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 7: Ondrej Pavelec /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 7: Ondrej Pavelec /

It wasn’t the easiest game they’ve ever played, but the Toronto Maple Leafs took care of business on Saturday night against the New York Rangers.

I know the Toronto Maple Leafs slogan is “Honour. Pride. Courage.” but they should really consider “Never a Dull Moment” as a secondary tag for the team.

The Leafs picked up right where they left off, in the home opener Saturday against the New York Rangers. They scored five goals in the first period.

But then, fans saw some bad tendencies from last season peak back up. The Leafs gave up a three-goal lead in the second, but eventually pulled ahead in the third to win 8-5.

1) Zach Hyman: Offensive machine?

Zach Hyman is without a doubt someone who needs to get off to a good start. In our recent roundtable before the start of the season, I argued he had the most to prove on the Leafs’ roster this season.

Hyman decided that his 100th career game would be the perfect time to have one of his best games as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Coming into the matchup with the Rangers, Hyman was one of only six skaters that didn’t have a point. He took care of that early, scoring the second goal of the night for the Leafs off a lucky bounce into the slot, that gave him a partial breakaway on Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist.

He followed that up with a great effort behind the net which led to a scoring chance. William Nylander was originally credited with the goal, but Hyman was later given his second of the night.

As usual, Hyman was pinballing around and separating bodies from pucks. He had a great chance off the rush right before his first goal. He split the defence and went backhand, but was stopped by Lundqvist.

This is most likely not the coming out party for Hyman. However, with two goals in the first week of the season, he is already a fifth of the way to his total from last season.

That’s definitely encouraging for Hyman, who will play with Auston Matthews and Nylander until he gives Mike Babcock a reason not to. If he can finish on the chances created by those two, he’s going to have a solid season.