Toronto Maple Leafs: Observations from 3-1 win over the Ducks

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 4: Defenceman Andreas Borgman
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 4: Defenceman Andreas Borgman /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
WINNIPEG, MB – OCTOBER 4: Goaltender Frederik Andersen /

The Toronto Maple Leafs got back into the win column on Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks, with help from Patrick Marleau and Frederik Andersen.

I almost forgot what winning hockey looked and felt like. Luckily for me, as well as Toronto Maple Leafs fans, the Buds went out and took care of business on Wednesday night, beating the Anaheim Ducks 3-1.

Let’s jump straight into the points of the game, so I can get to bed at a decent time.

1) Defence & goaltending

I told you this would be a staple going forward, at least until the Leafs’ defensive core starts turning in consistent performances.

Mike Babcock must have seen enough of Roman Polak (just kidding, he’s playing on Thursday night) because he finally had Connor Carrick back in the lineup. He didn’t stop there, however. Babcock went a step further and juggled his lines and, dare I say, it looks like the move worked.

Morgan Rielly was still paired alongside Ron Hainsey for this game. However, Jake Gardiner played with Carrick, while Nikita Zaitsev played with Andreas Borgman.

I have really started to notice the pairing of Hainsey of Rielly as a stable force on the back end. As mentioned previously, Hainsey gives Rielly the ability to jump up in the play and carry the puck more as he stays back and defends.

Surprisingly though, Hainsey has nine points so far this season, and two came in this game. He’s been an under the radar signing for the team and has played well so far.

Overall a good performance on defence, but the story of the game was again Frederik Andersen. The Dane was making his first start in Anaheim since being traded by the Ducks prior to last season. He played well, stopping 28 of 29 shots, including all 11 shots when the Toronto Maple Leafs were shorthanded, to preserve the win.