Leafs stars set tone for final stretch

Auston Matthews and Michael Bunting led a late-game charge to help the Maple Leafs end their five-game road trip with a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Mitch Marner, William Nylander and goaltender Ilya Samsonov also starred as Toronto returned to winning ways ahead of the final stretch of regular season games.

Video Transcript

OMAR: I need the Leafs to turn it up a little bit. I believe that you probably have had the same idea. Since the trade deadline, again, there's been a lot of movement, new players, everything is trying to gel together, and I've been waiting for that moment for the Leafs to turn it up a little bit.

And one of the main things that's been a little bit concerning is the lack of goal production. You've had one-goal games, two-goal games, where, again, the Leafs don't really look as dynamic. Now, what I'm hoping for is that, you know, this game against the New Jersey Devils, who are an elite team-- they added Timo Meier, and the Leafs ended up winning, and the way in which they won was, again, that their best players were their best players.

And I want that to be the standard as the season continues. I know there's some people who have been saying, you know what, they're just waiting for the playoffs. They're holding back. There's nothing really-- really to play for right now. And if that's the narrative, and if that's what the Leafs are thinking, I think that should change.

I want them to go into the playoffs as hot as possible. And I think at games like this, where you have Matthews scoring, where you have Nylander making disgusting passes, when you have Mitch Marner showing that he's one of the best penalty killers in the league, I think that's amazing. You know, so when you have Ilya Samsonov coming in and having a strong performance after a game where Matt Murray played well-- yes, the team let him down, but I still think he played well.

So can we continue to turn things up? Can we continue to build up on these individual performances where you have your best players be your best players and where you have the bottom six and other players in the lineup contribute? That's what I want. That's what I want the standard to be. And if you're a Leafs fan hoping for the best, you should probably want the same thing as well.