It is laborious to be too crucial of a group who simply picked up two factors on the street in opposition to the next-best group within the standings, however there have been some issues left to be desired within the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 win in opposition to the Winnipeg Jets at BellMTS Centre on Wednesday.
The Leafs got here out with numerous power to begin the sport. Within the first interval, they generated ten high-danger scoring probabilities in comparison with zero by the Jets by means of 20 minutes, in response to analytics web site NaturtalStatTrick.com.
Rewarded for his or her effort, Auston Matthews opened the scoring for his league-leading twenty fourth objective of the season at 4:40. He additionally collected the first help on Zach Hyman’s objective at 10:47.
Matthews’ objective was his third in as many video games and maybe the clearest signal that the worst of his wrist damage is behind him.
“It is feeling so much higher so I can not complain,” Matthews mentioned. “It is simply been enjoyable getting on the market taking part in.”
The Leafs performed so nicely within the opening body at even energy that three power-play probabilities ought to have been the demise knell to the Jets, a group that performed its first sport at residence after a six-game street journey that spanned two weeks out west.
As a substitute, Toronto missed on the chance and generated only one complete scoring probability with the person benefit.
“I feel we’re not doing an excellent job creating probabilities and getting appears,” Matthews mentioned of the facility play. “We switched some stuff round tonight and it did not actually work.”
One of many adjustments noticed Alex Galchenyuk get added to the second power-play unit, however it did little to spark any change as they went 0-for-5 on the evening and has now missed on their final 24 probabilities.
The Jets began the second interval with out ahead Blake Wheeler, who left the sport with an undisclosed damage. The Jets went on the offensive and managed the play for the body.
The Jets had two consecutive energy performs after Leafs defenseman TJ Brodie was assessed a double-minor for prime sticking when he knocked out Paul Stastny’s tooth.
Toronto’s Alex Kerfoot took benefit of a turnover from Winnipeg’s Josh Morrissey and scored in a breakaway that made it 3-0 at 16:40.
“I noticed that he (Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck) was form of again in his web and I simply tried to get it off as fast as I might,” Kerfoot mentioned.
It was Kerfoot’s first shorthanded objective in his profession.
Morrissey atoned for the turnover by scoring on the identical power-play probability at 7:15.
From there, the Leafs performed protection and staved off the assault from the Jets.
“I believed we had been defending just a little an excessive amount of, greater than I might have preferred to do within the third (interval) there,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned. “There’s numerous issues you possibly can select about that we might do higher and we’ll actually get to work on that tomorrow.”
Winnipeg and Toronto had been pretty even in offensive-zone possession time, in response to Sportlogiq. The sting for the Jets got here from particular person play. Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele completed with 1:04 and 1:01 of offensive-zone possession time, respectively. The highest Leaf was defenseman Morgan Rielly at 0:34.
Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell rose to the event when relied upon. He made 26 saves and improved to 7-0-0 this season with a .948 save share. Campbell restricted the second-chance alternatives with stellar rebound management.
Having missed the final sport together with his lingering lower-body damage, a difficulty that has plagued him all season lengthy, Campbell has purchased into the employees’s administration of his ailment.
“I am feeling good, we’re managing and the employees’s been nice right here, they’re caring for me,” Campbell mentioned. “Simply staying on high of the physique and hopefully prepared for subsequent sport.”
With beginning goaltender Frederik Andersen awaiting a follow-up examination on his lower-body damage on Thursday, the web is Campbell’s as long as he can keep wholesome and carry out nicely.
The Leafs improved to 49 factors in 36 video games and elevated their lead on the North Division by three factors over the Jets. Other than leaping out to an early lead and the stellar play from Campbell, and Keefe did not have a lot good to say about his membership.
The Jets had been taking part in their first residence sport after an almost two-week-long, six-game street journey out west.
“It was possibly a little bit of a sloppy sport for each groups so far as execution goes, that they had a tough time getting a deal with on that puck,” Jets coach Paul Maurice mentioned. “There was nothing in that sport that made me really feel like we had been means off, however we weren’t nearly as good as we would been.”