Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs

 | 28-13-5
  • Goals For
    149 GF
  • Goals Against
    126 GA
  • Power Play %
    22.3 PP%
  • Penalty Kill %
    75.6 PK%
  • Penalty Mins
    319 PIM
  • The Canadian Press

    Matthews and Toronto take on Winnipeg

    Toronto Maple Leafs (28-13-5, first in the North Division) vs. Winnipeg Jets (27-15-3, second in the North Division) Winnipeg, Manitoba; Thursday, 7 p.m. EDT FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Jets +104, Maple Leafs -125; over/under is 0 BOTTOM LINE: Auston Matthews leads Toronto into a matchup against Winnipeg. He's fourth in the league with 55 points, scoring 33 goals and recording 22 assists. The Jets are 27-15-3 in division play. Winnipeg is 10th in the league averaging 3.2 goals per game, led by Kyle Connor with 21. The Maple Leafs are 28-13-5 against North Division teams. Toronto has scored 149 goals and is seventh in the NHL averaging 3.2 goals per game. Matthews leads the team with 33. In their last meeting on April 15, Winnipeg won 5-2. Connor scored a team-high two goals for the Jets in the victory. TOP PERFORMERS: Connor leads the Jets with 21 goals and has 43 points. Nikolaj Ehlers has 12 points over the last 10 games for Winnipeg. Mitchell Marner leads the Maple Leafs with 41 total assists and has 55 points. John Tavares has 14 points over the last 10 games for Toronto. LAST 10 GAMES: Jets: 6-3-1, averaging three goals, 5.1 assists, 4.3 penalties and 9.2 penalty minutes while giving up 2.1 goals per game with a .926 save percentage. Maple Leafs: 5-3-2, averaging three goals, 5.6 assists, 1.9 penalties and 4.1 penalty minutes while allowing 3.1 goals per game with an .892 save percentage. INJURIES: Jets: Blake Wheeler: out (undisclosed). Maple Leafs: Nick Foligno: day to day (upper body), Ilya Mikheyev: day to day (undisclosed), Zach Hyman: out (knee). ___ The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar. The Associated Press

  • Dent in the pipeline: NHL draft-eligible players take a hit
    The Canadian Press

    Dent in the pipeline: NHL draft-eligible players take a hit

    A few years from now, Brandt Clarke might be able to brag he took the Auston Matthews path to the NHL by playing in Europe during his draft year. “He kind of went over voluntarily,” Clarke said. “I went over out of desperation.” Clarke and other 2021 draft-eligible prospects didn't have much of a choice but to divert to a different path this season when their leagues couldn't stage a season because of the pandemic. He was supposed to play for Barrie in the Ontario Hockey League, which on Tuesday abandoned plans to play this season, a move that plunged countless young players into uncertainty during a year that has put a dent in hockey's developmental pipeline. “There’s a lot of my friends in my age group that didn’t play this season, and, yeah, that sucks,” Clarke said. “Some of them have grown a lot as players and could have taken huge steps in their draft years and whatnot, and it’s hard to base your draft off a 16-year-old season, and now that’s what a lot of them are getting based off of.” While players in the U.S. college system and Europe got through mostly full seasons and the Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League got back on the ice, Ontario could never make something work. While OHL Commissioner David Branch believes his league is the best in the world at producing professional players, provincial restrictions forced many to go in another direction. Clarke, a 6-foot-1 defenceman expected to go in the top five, played 26 games in Slovakia. Francesco Pinelli joined the Alps Hockey League in Central Europe. They and fellow projected first-round pick Corson Ceulemans will get to play in front of scouts at the Under-18 world championships later this month in Texas, but that showcase will leave many draft-eligible players behind. “That’s just the cream of the crop,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “There’s going to be some players that, had they had the chance to show us this year what their development might be, they probably could have gotten into the top and now people are going to be relying on their underage reports and knowledge that you had before.” Players know that. GMs and scouting directors know it, too. And the U18s are just one chance to see (some) players before a draft in which more than 200 will be selected. “You’re going to have a year of missed opportunity to view, to see where they’re at and how they’ve progressed, and you’re going to make your evaluations based on a year earlier,” Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said. “We’ve been trying to do as many things as we can video-wise, so there’s probably a sense of frustration — probably a sense of frustration on the players that they don’t get to show where they’re at.” Ceulemans is thankful for his 11 games with Brooks of the Alberta Junior Hockey League this season, which got underway before a three-month pause and resumption. During the break in the action, the 17-year-old defenceman shot pucks in his garage, worked out when possible and attempted not to check in too much on his draft stock. “It’s hard not to look,” he said. “But just not reading too much into it because it’s just such a weird year and not everybody’s had a chance to play.” Players in the U.S. college ranks — including projected No. 1 pick Owen Power from Michigan — in Europe and in other Canadian junior leagues got more of a chance than those in Ontario. As recently as mid-March there was a hope of the OHL getting in 20-plus games, but that never materialized because of provincial health regulations that differed from the rest of Canada and the world. "I’m not sure we can necessarily justify that to our players," Branch said. “Ontario is the toughest jurisdiction of all. Quebec and the Western Leagues’ local health authorities supported their return to play, and they were able to do. That was not to be the case in Ontario.” NHL scouts will check the video and do their best to figure out how some players would have progressed this season. Most teams felt fortunate to be able to find places for their top prospects to play, whether in Europe or the American Hockey League. But that doesn't make this year's draft any easier. “It’s much like last year’s draft: you don't have a combine, you don't have a lot of different things and it’s different, but this whole world is different,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson said. “The whole hockey world, the business of our society is different and you can’t worry about those things you can’t control. You’ve got to just say: ‘OK, I’m not going to make excuses. I’ve got to go find an answer and a solution to it.'” That's how Clarke, Ceulemans, Mason McTavish and other top prospects are coping. In a sport that preaches controlling only what you can, they're trying. “Roll with the punches,” Clarke said. “I wish I could have played in Barrie and been with my friends and been with my Barrie Colts team, but I’m still really happy I got to play hockey this year and in a cool environment. ... I think I made the best out of my situation.” With that in mind, professional executives aren't wasting any time feeling sorry for themselves because they couldn't scout players in person or get the full picture of what they can do on the ice like normal. “I’m mostly thinking of those kids, that it’s their draft year, they haven’t gotten a chance to put their best foot forward," Stanley Cup-winning Lightning GM Julien BriseBoise said. "They haven’t got a chance to showcase themselves at such an important juncture in their career. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t making or breaking their career, but I know it means a lot to those kids from an emotional standpoint, so I mostly feel for them.” PRICE IS OUT Goaltender Carey Price is probably the Canadiens' best bet to carry them far in the playoffs. But he'll be out for at least the next week because of concussion protocol after a collision with Edmonton's Alex Chiasson on Monday night. With Price out, Montreal will lean on Jake Allen between the pipes to try to hold on to what's so far a strong hold on fourth place in the North Division. GAME OF THE WEEK First place in the East Division will be at stake when the Washington Capitals visit the New York Islanders for games Thursday and Saturday on Long Island — and they meet again in the District of Columbia on Tuesday. LEADERS (Through Monday) Goals: Auston Matthews (Toronto), 33; Assists: Connor McDavid (Edmonton), 50; Points: McDavid, 74; Ice time: Drew Doughty (Los Angeles), 26:56; Wins: Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay), 27; Goals-against average: Petr Mrazek (Carolina), 1.66; Save percentage: Filip Gustavsson (Ottawa), .946. ___ Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at ___ More AP NHL: and Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press

  • Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3
    The Canadian Press

    Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

    VANCOUVER — There's a renewed sense of confidence in the Vancouver Canucks locker room these days. Not only has the group overcome a massive COVID-19 outbreak, but, upon their return, the Canucks have collected back-to-back wins over the North Division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs. "It's just a testament to who we have in the locker room," defenceman Quinn Hughes said Tuesday after Vancouver doubled up Toronto 6-3. "I'm just really proud of the guys right now and hopefully we can keep stringing it together. We're not satisfied yet and (Toronto has) a really good team so to beat them twice is pretty good." The Canucks (18-18-3) mounted third-period comebacks in both wins over the Leafs. Tuesday saw Toronto's captain John Tavares score in both the first and second period, and Vancouver go down 3-2 early in the third thanks to a short-handed goal from Adam Brooks. Coach Travis Green was impressed with how his side stuck with their game despite the adversity. "That's a pretty offensive team over there and obviously coming out getting the lead back in the second, I like how our team didn't go into the tank when we gave up the short-handed goal," he said. "We talked about keeping that energy level high and keep pushing and the guys responded great." Swedish rookie Nils Hoglander evened the score 6:43 into the third, streaking into the Leafs zone and rifling a shot past Toronto netminder David Rittich from the top of the right face-off circle for his ninth goal of the year. Then Tanner Pearson put the Canucks up with a power-play goal 9:48 into the frame, then built a cushion by capitalizing on some sloppy Leafs play. The 28-year-old left-winger jumped on a turnover on the red line and bolted into Toronto's end alone, firing a wrist shot past Rittich for his second goal of the night with just over seven minutes left to play. Toronto had an excellent opportunity to claw back a goal with less than two minutes to go when Vancouver defenceman Tyler Myers was called for slashing. The Leafs pulled Rittich for an extra attacker but couldn't capitalize. Instead, Brandon Sutter buried the empty-net strike with 36 seconds left on the clock. It was his second goal of the night. Hughes also scored and registered a pair of assists, and forward J.T. Miller chalked up a pair of helpers. Tuesday marked Vancouver's second game back from a the NHL's worst COVID-19 outbreak this season. Twenty-one players and four-coaching staff have tested positive for the virus since March 30, including Hughes. The 21-year-old defenceman said he and his teammates are all working their way back to full health. "Frankly my legs felt pretty good and I think we're all just excited to play again," Hughes said. "That's part of it, you know having 18 or 19 days off from a game, I think it's kind of like a reset button. I felt good tonight, I think a lot of the other guys felt you know better and we'll just keep feeling better as time progresses here." Goalie Braden Holtby was key to both of the Canucks' victories over the Leafs, posting 37-save performances on both Sunday and Tuesday. "We just tried to go out there and work as hard as we can and grind as a unit," he said of the wins. "I think in order for us to have a chance we just have to approach every game as a must win, and I think these last two we've fortunately been on the right end of things but there's going to still be work to do and improvement to be made in order for us to make a real push." Vancouver now holds a 4-3 edge in the season series with Toronto (28-13-5) with two games to go. Tuesday's result extended the Leafs' losing skid to five games, but coach Sheldon Keefe said his team needs to remain confident going forward. “We can’t let the results that we’ve had here as of late disrupt what we’re trying to do as a team. Because there’s a lot of really positive things. And sometimes the puck goes in the net more than it should," he said. It was a tough night in net for Rittich, who stopped 23-of-28 shots. “I’m taking full responsibility for this game," Rittich said. "I think the players did a great job. They got three goals for me and I just didn’t respond. I’ve just got to get better.” The Canucks will continue their homestand Thursday when they host the Ottawa Senators. The Leafs will be in Winnipeg to face the Jets the same night. NOTES: Leafs right-winger William Nylander was nearly a healthy scratch after missing a team meeting. He responded with a pair of assists. … Toronto's Zack Bogosian went crashing into the end boards midway through the second period. Keefe said he expects the defenceman to "miss some time." … Canucks defencemen Nate Schmidt and Olli Juolevi, and left-winger Jake Virtanen returned to the lineup after being placed on the NHL's COVID-19 list during Vancouver's outbreak. Goalie Thatcher Demko also returned, acting as Holtby's backup. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2021. Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press