The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t make it easy on themselves but they were able to take a 2-1 series lead over the Montreal Canadiens thanks to a couple of big performances in Game 3.
Without a doubt, Jack Campbell was the best player on the ice for Toronto stopping 28 shots. The bulk of the work came in the third period with the Canadiens outshooting the Leafs 15-2.
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It shouldn’t take away the dominant play from the Leafs through two periods especially with the Habs getting outshot 20-8 in the second. However, it’s nice to know that goaltending isn’t a problem for the Leafs in this series.
Going into a game, there was a surprise announcement that Nick Foligno would not be able to play because of a lower-body injury. This once again led to a shuffle for the second line with Alexander Kerfoot being bumped up and fortunately, it wasn’t an issue.
For a third straight game, William Nylander scored for the Leafs which hasn’t happened since 2003. It’s definitely a nice bump for the Leafs considering how tough it has been to get goals on Carey Price in this series.
It was also nice to see the Leafs score off a faceoff play since it puts an emphasis on winning the draw in the offensive. This was an issue for Toronto in Game 1 and it’s nice to see them getting rewarded with a set play where Nylander took an extra second to let a crowd form in front of Price.
A lot of credit to Kerfoot for being able to step in for Foligno playing 18:32 and having his best game of the post-season, maybe even with the Leafs.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Jack Campbell should get nod in Game 4
Sheldon Keefe wouldn’t name his starter for Game 4 and while it’s likely that Campbell will go up against Price, there’s some understandable hesitation from the Leafs.
After Game 1, Campbell wasn’t on the ice for practice in what looked to be a maintenance day. Toronto has been trying to be careful with Campbell’s workload since returning from his injury during the season.
It feels like this is Keefe’s way of not getting ahead of himself in naming Campbell as his starter and have to pivot afterwards. It wouldn’t be ideal to throw Frederik Andersen into Game 4 unless absolutely necessary especially when you consider how small the margin of error has been so far in this series.
What were your thoughts on the Leafs win over the Canadiens? Can they take a 3-1 series lead? Let us know in the comments below.