Toronto Maple Leafs’ depth shines in pivotal win over Canadiens

Travis Dermott #23 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his goal against the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Travis Dermott #23 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his goal against the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

On a night where the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ top offensive weapons weren’t getting the job done, the team had to rely on production from unlikely contributors against the Montreal Canadiens.

It started in the second with the Leafs needing a goal and missing some big opportunities then Travis Dermott stepped up and provided some life. Returning to the lineup after missing the last two games, Dermott found an open shooting lane and unloaded a perfect shot that beat Carey Price.

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Then, another defender decided to shoot his shot as Justin Holl unloaded a traditional slap shot from the point that gave Toronto a 2-1 lead. It was certainly a rare sight to see a Leafs defenceman score like that and Holl admits that he didn’t think about shooting it right away.

"“Right when I wound up, I saw Willie out of the corner of my eye beaver-tailing,” Holl said to reporters after the game. “So, as I came down, I was like, ‘Oh, man. Willie’s going to want this biscuit,’ you know? But it went in, and all’s well that ends well.”"

Holl and Dermott weren’t the only ones getting over their goal-scoring slump as Ilya Mikheyev was finally rewarded for what seems like the unluckiest streak. It has been 411 days since the Russian found the back of the net and maybe this will finally open up the floodgates for him.

On a night like this, it reminds us that the Leafs have players who are more offensively capable and just need to take advantage of chances like they had against Montreal. This is especially important when the games get tougher because Toronto has to show they can rely on unlikely contributors.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Defence limits Montreal Canadiens’ offensive attack

After Josh Anderson gave the Canadiens an early lead beating Frederik Andersen five-hole. It wasn’t the best goal considering it wasn’t a tough shot but Toronto made it a point to limit the dangerous chances on net.

The past two games have seen a similar path to victory for the Leafs which is to keep things close for two periods then take advantage of mistakes in the third. It showed that the Leafs are committed to putting in the work defensively and seeing the benefits on offence.

This was the toughest test the Leafs have faced over the past couple of weeks and now they have one of their best starts since the 1993-94 season.

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What are your thoughts on the Leafs’ victory over the Canadiens? Is there anything they need to work on? Let us know in the comments below.