canada africa partner reservation Maple Leafs Round 1 Report Cards: Another early playoff exit for Toronto

Maple Leafs Round 1 Report Cards: Another early playoff exit for Toronto

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Another early exit.

David Pastrnak scored the decisive game winner two minutes into overtime, sending the Toronto Maple Leafs home early again. William Nylander put his team ahead midway through the third, but the Boston Bruins responded less than two minutes later, giving their best player a chance to be the hero.

The Leafs did well to force a close Game 7 considering all their injuries, but a first-round loss is still a first-round loss. They got wrecked on special teams and they couldn’t find a way to create many high-risk scoring opportunities.

It’s sure to be another interesting offseason in Toronto.

Player Reports

Important note: Player numbers are based on the entire series rather than just Game 7.

A+

Joseph Wol

Woll missed Game 7, but he was the main reason his team got there in the first place. He stopped 27 of 28 in an overtime victory in Game 5 and stole the show again in Game 6. The moment never got to him.

Jake McCabe

It’s hard to overstate how well McCabe played in this series. He picked up the bulk of the minutes against one of the league’s best scorers, Pastrnak, and thrived on the right side while paying with a partner who was put on waivers earlier this season.

William Nylander

Nylander missed the first three games of the series, but found a way to make a big impact, scoring both his team’s goals in Game 6 and the opening goal in Game 7. He wasn’t exactly dominant, and his first goal was a bit of a fluke, but he held his own when his team needed him to.

a

Ilya Lyubushkin

The Leafs outgained his minutes 6-1 in his five-on-five minutes. He was less impressive on expected goal difference, and the Bruins did generate a decent number of scoring chances when he was in action, but he ultimately turned in an impressive Luke Schenn impression.

Matthew Knies

Knies scored the overtime winner in Game 5 and made a smart pass to set up Nylander for the eventual game-winning goal in Game 6. He also took advantage of an excellent pass from Mitch Marner in Game 3, so it’s not like he did that didn’t. have an impact on the scoresheet. He was one of Toronto’s best players in Game 7, and is certainly clutch for someone who is only 21.

A-

Max Domi

This series was mostly a five-on-five defensive battle, but there were plenty of opportunities on both sides when Domi was on the ice. He was a beast in the faceoff circle, and while he failed to capitalize on a few high-risk opportunities, he did manage to rack up four points.

B+

Simon Benoit

Benoit played tough minutes, and his pair performed quite well considering they combined to take up less than $3 million in cap space. The downside to him is that the Leafs generated very little offensively during his minutes, and his questionable puck movement contributes to the team’s lack of goals.

b

Auston Matthews

Auston Matthews was outstanding in Game 2, putting the team on his back with 3 points in a 3-2 win. Although he still didn’t look 100 percent in Game 7, he found a way to set up Nylander for the game’s first goal. He just didn’t look like himself and couldn’t play in games 5 and 6. It’s hard to judge a player who plays through something, but while he scored points he didn’t come close to the performance he did. did in the regular season.

Pontus Holmberg

Holmberg is in the team as a defensively responsible forward who works hard. He fulfilled his role effectively, but also failed to generate any offense.

B-

Morgan Rielly

The Leafs fared well in Rielly’s minutes, as he gave up just three five-on-five goals. However, there are high expectations for Rielly to improve his play in the playoffs, and he hasn’t exactly been a playmaker offensively. He deserves some of the criticism for poor power play results.

C+

Ilya Samsonov

Samsonov played well in Game 2, but lost his job after Game 4. It’s not like he was terrible, but I didn’t like the first goal he allowed in Games 3 and 4. He had a huge opportunity to be the hero in Game 7. and got off to a great start by stopping all 18 shots he faced in the first two periods. However, less than two minutes after the Leafs took a third-period lead, Hampus Lindholm beat him to the blocker side:

Pastrnak beat him for the decisive goal:

Nick Robertson

Robertson didn’t look out of place, but was a healthy scratch in Game 7. He can play in a playoff lineup, but his line never scored, so it’s hard to argue he was a big difference maker.

Connor Dewar

His line didn’t do anything special, but it was largely as advertised. He was responsible defensively, controlled well and was also a bit of a pest. His grade would be better if he converted after his breakout in Game 7.

Calle Jarnkrok

Järnkrok was as advertised. He works hard, wins a lot of battles and is on the ice for a lot of defensive zone encounters. He’s a decent defensive forward, but he wasn’t around for a Leafs goal at five-on-five, and that’s partly because he’s not a great puck carrier or playmaker.

Timothy Liljegren

Liljegren didn’t really stand out in this series, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. However, given the number of defensive backs on this team, it would have been nice to see him step up offensively.

c

Johannes Tavares

He made a huge play to set up Knies for the overtime winner in Game 5 and scored a key power-play goal in Game 2. The Bruins failed to generate much of anything during his minutes, but other than that of the assist on the overtime winner, he didn’t generate much offense at even strength.

Mitch Marner

He only had 3 points in the series, but one was a goal on the highlight reel and one was an assist on the highlight reel. He was also the team’s best defensive forward, and the Bruins struggled to create much of anything during his minutes. He was decent but not dominant at five-on-five, but given what he gets, he should be able to score a goal or two on the power play. His two best setups in Game 7 were for Joel Edmundson.

Tyler Bertuzzi

His line was excellent in Game 5, but he failed to generate much offensively in this series. None of his first three points were all that impressive, but he did get a key secondary assist on Toronto’s opening goal in Game 7.

Joel Edmundson

Edmundson’s minutes were boring and he was a bit of an odd fit on a team that already had Lyubushkin and Benoit. His pair often plays sheltered minutes, and he doesn’t exactly have the offensive skills to benefit from playing against bottom-six forwards. He was brought in to help the team’s penalty kill, but Boston’s power play didn’t get the memo.

C-

David Kampf

Kämpf struggled in the first five games, but was quite effective in Game 6. Given his usage and linemates, it’s hard to blame him for failing to create many scoring opportunities, but he does deserve some of the the criticism due to the team’s struggle on the penalty kick. kill.

D

Ryan Reaves

The Leafs were outplayed in Reaves’ minutes and he was removed from the lineup after Game 5. He hasn’t scored in 71 consecutive playoff games, and while that’s not his role, his lack of offense hasn’t exactly helped a team that has consistently struggled to score in the playoffs.

TJ Brodie

Brodie played 17:10 in Game 4 and gave up two goals. Sheldon Keefe didn’t put him back in the lineup.

MIA

Noah Gregor

He played 8:21 in Game 6, earning a spot in the Game 7 lineup. However, he didn’t play enough to warrant a grade.

Game score for game 7

Final grade for the series: C+

As in previous years, the Leafs played close and low-scoring games, but never looked like a dominant offensive team. The close games are often decided by one bounce, call or serve, and the outcome feels like a coin flip. While this type of series shouldn’t have happened against the Montreal Canadiens or the Columbus Blue Jackets, it wasn’t the worst strategy this time around considering all the injuries. There are many more valid excuses this year, but we are left with a familiar story.

The Leafs’ special teams were terrible. They played extremely well defensively after Game 4, but they struggled to score and it felt like they were trying to win every game 1-0. The final score is respectable, as the Leafs played a skeletal lineup that battled through plenty of adversity, and this series ultimately ended in one final game. However, if you were to grade this team in the long run, you could only give them an F.

The franchise may be cursed.

What’s next for the Leafs?

On to the golf course.

(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)