Offensively strong Maple Leafs crack the 50-point mark

The Toronto Maple Leafs narrowly defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-4 aet at the Enterprise Center on Tuesday night, breaking the 50-point mark in the 2022-23 season. For this record (22-7-6), the Maple Leafs needed just 35 games. So they started the new season strong again. Toronto’s offensive in particular has recently fueled hopes of a successful season.

Nylander’s energy brings victory in the OT

In the 35th game of the season, the Maple Leafs increased their points account to 50 points. Drawn for the overtime winner in St. Louis William Nylander responsible. The Swede countered the puck in his own zone Vladimir Tarasenkostarted a sprint and overcame the Blues goalie with just 57 seconds left on the clock Jordan Binnington with a forehand-backhand movement to 5: 4 (65th).

“That was a great play by Willie in overtime,” said the Maple Leafs captain John Tavares. “It wasn’t the nicest of all ice hockey games. There was a lot of back and forth. We better stay away from the penalty box, but we stuck with it, created chances and generated momentum. Such victories can sometimes be dirty. There were two important points that we are happy to take with us.”

It was Toronto’s first game after a four-day break. The game-changing scene, in which Nylander left Tarasenko standing, was a signal for Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe: “In overtime it was nice to see that our best players still had fresh legs and energy. Willie showed how he conquered the puck and took off,” praised the coach.

Video: TOR 5, STL 4 – F/OT

Strong scoring trio ensures a good start to the season

Nylander extended his goal streak to four games. During this period, the forward scored four goals and scored seven points (4-3-7). With his winning goal, Nylander also became Toronto’s third player to break the 40-point mark (21-19-40). Before him it already did Auston Matthewswho broke the sound barrier with the assist to make it 1-0 (17-23-40) and Mitchell Marnerwho had already accomplished this feat before Christmas, but was able to increase his points tally to 41 (13-28-41) with an assist to make it 2-1.

The trio of Marner, Matthews and Nylander are instrumental in the Maple Leafs’ strong start. Toronto (22-7-6) is among the top three teams in the entire NHL. Only the Boston Bruins (27-4-3) and Carolina Hurricanes (23-6-6) have scored more points so far.

The Original Six team from Ontario got off to a strong start last year and, after 35 games, was in the top 6 in the league with 49 points. However, this was no guarantee for a long run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs: The Canadians were eliminated in the first round (3:4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning).

Successful restart after the Christmas break

Now the Maple Leafs want to do better, but first think from game to game and are happy about a successful restart after the Christmas holidays.

“It’s an unwritten law that you can’t be too critical of games after the break. Especially not when you win two points,” said Keefe. “A lot happened when it was 5-4. It was a little chaotic.”

“It’s never easy after the Christmas break,” confirmed the striker Jarnkrok Street. “We have to clean up a few things but in the end we took the two points and that’s what counts. We’ll be better in the next game.”

“We haven’t been on the ice for four days. It was difficult to see the puck, the reaction wasn’t that good, the legs didn’t move that well,” said the goalkeeper Ilya Samsonov his impressions. “In the end I was tired, as were many other players. It was a difficult game for me, with a good ending. It was a nice start for our road trip.”

This leads Toronto to the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche before the “return” with the Blues on January 3rd in the new year.

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