Toronto Maple Leafs: Three Observations from 2-0 win over Washington

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 17: Nazem Kadri /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 17: Nazem Kadri /

In the first game of a back-to-back, the Toronto Maple Leafs held the Washington Capitals offence in check coming away with 2-0 win on the road.

Going into this game, many would not have pegged this being a low scoring affair and the Toronto Maple Leafs appeared to be unfazed by that.

After losing in six games in the first round of the playoffs to the Washington Capitals, the Leafs put that all behind them as they delivered an impressive performance in the U.S. capital winning 2-0.

This is ase Capitals team that came red hot to start the season with Alexander Ovechkin scoring seven goals in his first two games. Luckily for the Leafs, Auston Matthews has been equal to the task and early on in the game, he was out on a mission with William Nylander, more on that later.

Here are the three observations from tonight’s victory over the Capitals.

1) Connor Brown continues to impress

It is hard to not be impressed with the work ethic of the 23-year-old. After being swapped with Mitch Marner, Brown took full advantage scoring his second goal of the season.

It just seems that when the Leafs are in tough to get on the board or need a goal at a crucial time, Brown is ready to step up. He did just that on the goal that broke the tie early in the third period.

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Credit Morgan Rielly for getting the shot on net that Brayden Holtby had a tough time tracking as the puck got out in front long enough for Brown to put it between the legs. Brown did all this while battling through Holtby’s and Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s sticks in front of the net.

Brown, Bozak and JVR played less than 14 minutes of ice time as Matthews, Nylander and Hyman led all Leafs forwards in that department.

It will be interesting to see what changes Mike Babcock makes to the lines going forward because Brown continues to make it tough to have him stay on the fourth line.

This could be a one game change that Babcock wanted to do because the team was on the road and with their next game at home, he has more control of the line match ups. The Leafs could have Brown stick with Bozak and JVR for road games in order to have a steady defensive presence upfront.