Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 observations from 4-3 comeback win over the Blackhawks

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 9: Auston Matthews
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 9: Auston Matthews /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 9: Jonathan Toews /

3) Totally different team after the first period

One thing the Leafs have not had to do is make adjustments when coming from behind in a game. If this game is an example of what this team can do when they fall early in the game.

Where the Leafs struggled early was a lack of intensity and awareness especially in their own zone. The first goal was caused by some overly aggressive puck pursuit which left two Blackhawks players open in front of the net.

The biggest change from over the last two periods and overtime was that the Leafs were more responsible with the puck. There were not many lazy plays made in their own end and it showed because the Blackhawks struggled to generate scoring chances.

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One thing that has not been talked about is how well Morgan Rielly and Ron Hainsey have played early into the season. At one point, Ray Ferrraro noted that Hainsey was talking with Borgman on the bench offering some advice. Rielly played led all defencemen with 23:41 of ice time and while the stat sheet says that he was a -2 but it is hard to blame him for the goals against.

The first was a pass that went off Mitch Marner‘s stick and got by Frederik Andersen. The second was a pass by Jake Gardiner that hit off of  Andersen’s stick and Gardiner was unable to get back to the net.

Hainsey has been a big part of the Leafs penalty kill playing 7:20 with Zaitsev second among defenceman playing 6:43. It will be interesting to see whether Rielly and Hainsey can keep this going because they have been steady for the most part.

Next: Buffalo Bills running out of options in the passing game

Next up is the New Jersey Devils who will present another toughchallenge for the Leafs as they are 2-0 to start the season after beating the Buffalo Sabres 6-2.