Last night the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 7-0. In that game, the usual suspects showed up to lead the way to the win.
For example, Ilya Samsonov threw his second shutout in a row at an opponent. He’s now the NHL leader in two key goalie statistics. He has a goals-against-average of 1.70 and a save percentage of .939, and he’s given up only 18 goals on 295 shots on the net.
As well, Mitch Marner extended his streak of consecutive games with at least a point to 23 when he delivered a nice goal-mouth helper to John Tavares. Tavares tapped it home from the doorstep and also collected two points on the night.
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The Maple Leafs Who Seldom Get Mentioned
In this post, I want to look at some of the Maple Leafs’ “other guys.” Those players contribute to the win but are seldom mentioned as part of regular game reviews. A team is a team, and I want to make sure to note these players – even if they are not always in starring roles.
Player One: Joey Anderson
Joey Anderson played his second game with the Maple Leafs this season and scored his first goal for the Blue and White. His goal came on a rebound of a Pontus Holmberg shot during the third period. It was Anderson’s first NHL point since 2019.
Although Anderson hasn’t had much NHL game action, he’s been an on-ice team leader with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies both this season and last. The 25-year-old forward scored 11 goals and added eight assists (for 19 points) in his 21 games AHL games.
In both his games with the big club, Anderson hasn’t looked out of place. He drew two key penalties against the Calgary Flames with his energetic play in the team’s sloppy but successful overtime win on Saturday night. Given his success in a limited role, he should get a chance to show what he can do until Nick Robertson’s shoulder or Calle Jarnkrok’s groin injury have healed.
Player Two: Conor Timmins
In only his fourth Maple Leafs’ game, Conor Timmins registered three assists in last night’s win. The three helpers are his highest point total in any NHL game he’s played. Before last night, he’d only had a single assist in his two games with the Arizona Coyotes and his short tenure with the Maple Leafs.
The 24-year-old Timmins came to the Maple Leafs’ organization in a recent trade and was brought up to the big club a week ago when the team’s defence suffered yet another injury. He’s made the most of his opportunity and looks like he might be a keeper for the team past the immediate help he brings covering for the rash of blueline injuries the Maple Leafs endured this season.
Currently, the Maple Leafs still have five defensemen on IR (injured reserve). Timmins could secure a long-term spot with the team if he continues his solid play. He’s getting better every game he plays with the team.
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Player Three: Pontus Holmberg
Pontus Holmberg played another strong game by helping to create three goals. He recorded three assists in last night’s 7-0 win over the Ducks. All three of Holmberg’s assists came on third-period goals scored by Alex Kerfoot, Pierre Engvall, and Joey Anderson.
This is the 22-year-old rookie’s first multiple-point game of his career. He now has totalled two goals and five assists (for seven points) in 15 NHL games. Holmberg’s been a find for the team that needs inexpensive depth players. He was developed in the Maple Leafs’ system and will likely provide consistent offensive production down the road for many seasons as a Maple Leafs’ forward.
As Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe has noted, Holmberg is one of those players who seldom makes a mistake on the ice.
Player Four: Alex Kerfoot
Alex Kerfoot has been a contributor for the Maple Leafs all season; however, he hasn’t had much success lighting up the scoresheet. Last night, he scored two goals to help push his team to victory. His first goal came within the first two minutes of the game and his second in the third period. Both goals were wicked shots from the faceoff circle.
On the season, the 28-year-old Kerfoot now has scored four goals and has added 10 assists (for 14 points) in 30 games. He’s now started a bit of a hot streak, with three goals and an assist during the past four games.
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