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Leafs feeling confident as they prepare for road battle with Canadiens

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

A little more than a half-day after an impressive 1- 0 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils, the Maple Leafs were a confident group as they assembled for practice Friday and while the phenomenal performance of goaltender Frederik Andersen is one of a few key reasons for Toronto's success and their five-game win streak, there are other factors at play.

For one thing, the Leafs players in front of Andersen are playing a better game on the defensive end and as head coach Mike Babcock said, they're still a ways away from being at their collective peak.

"I think we've still given up shots, but we've given up way less high-quality scoring chances, especially early," Babcock said Friday. "So that's been positive…In saying all that, though, we've got a long way to go. We're not playing at the top of our game; we'd like to play better, and spend more time in the O zone, break out more efficiently."

The Leafs were without the services of centre Auston Matthews for the fourth consecutive game in Thursday's victory over New Jersey, but Toronto continued to improve its structure in its own zone, and they were opportunistic on offence when chances presented themselves. Winger William Nylander scored the only goal of the night when he beat Devils goalie Cory Schneider with 2.2 seconds left in overtime, but the Buds had better offensive opportunities throughout the game and only a strong showing by Schneider stopped Toronto from winning in regulation.

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Maple Leafs Agree to Terms With Josh Leivo on One-Year Extension

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has agreed to terms with forward Josh Leivo.

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs / MapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has agreed to terms with forward Josh Leivo on a one-year extension worth $925,000.

Leivo, 24, has recorded one assist in five games for the Maple Leafs this season. The Innisfil, Ontario, native has collected 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists) in 46 career NHL games, all of which have been played with the Maple Leafs.

Prior to joining the Maple Leafs, Leivo recorded 124 points (51 goals, 73 assists) in 171 regular season games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) and was named an AHL All-Star in 2015-16. In 35 career Calder Cup playoff games in the AHL, Leivo has registered eight goals and 19 assists.

Leivo was selected by the Maple Leafs in the third round (86th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Devils - 11/16/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 1-0 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils Thursday at Air Canada Centre:

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

1. Leafs, Devils employ high-speed attack against each other in opening frame, but Andersen, Schneider keep game scoreless. The Leafs were seeking to avenge a 6-3 loss to New Jersey at the ACC Oct. 11, and they came out of the dressing room Thursday focused and well-structured, particularly in their own zone. Toronto outshot the Devils 12-10 in the first 20 minutes of action and nearly scored on a few occasions, but netminder Cory Schneider made some outstanding stops; and at the other end, Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen made a few terrific saves to keep the score knotted at 0-0 heading into the second period.
 

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Leafs use layoff to recharge, prepare for gutsy Devils

After an unusually long break in the schedule, the Leafs return to action Thursday night.

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

After an unusually long break in the schedule, the Leafs return to action Thursday night when the New Jersey Devils visit Air Canada Centre for the second time this season. Toronto's four-day layoff between games - combined with the possible return of centre Auston Matthews to the lineup - has everyone in the organization raring to go.

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Leafs Loan Gauthier to Marlies, Recall Nikita Soshnikov

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs / MapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has loaned forward Frederik Gauthier to the Toronto Marlies (AHL), while forward Nikita Soshnikov has been recalled from the Marlies.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs at Bruins -11/11/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins Saturday at TD Garden:

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

1. Marner, van Riemsdyk continue points surge as Leafs score twice in first, take lead into intermission. In building their current three-game win streak, the Leafs have demonstrated their depth on offence - particularly, given the absence of centre Auston Matthews in both of the past two games as well as Saturday's showdown against the Bruins - and once again, Toronto's players showed they could produce offence in a hurry, staking out the Buds to a two-goal lead by the 14:16 mark of the first period. And the players who contributed to those goals all have been productive of late.

Winger Mitch Marner - who had a pair of assists Friday in Toronto's 3-2 overtime win over Boston at Air Canada Centre - netted his second goal of the season at 8:52 of the opening frame. Marner registered the shootout winner in the Leafs' 4-3 victory over Las Vegas Monday, and has six points in five games (including Saturday). Toronto added to its lead on the power play at 14:16 of the period, when winger James van Riemsdyk deftly deflected centre Nazem Kadri's shot past Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and into the net.

van Riemsdyk's goal was his ninth of the year, his fourth in as many games, and his third in his past two. Kadri's assist gave him five points in four games, and blueliner Morgan Rielly, who got the secondary assist on the goal, extended his point streak to four games. The Bruins got on the scoreboard 1:02 after van Riemsdyk's goal when centre Frank Vatrano tipped a shot past Leafs netminder Curtis McElhinney, but Toronto took a 2-1 lead into the second period thanks to the continued hot streak of a quartet of contributors. 

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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Wild -11/08/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild Wednesday at Air Canada Centre:

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

Kadri's fortuitous goal

MIN@TOR: Kadri puts Leafs on board with fluky goal

Devan Dubnyk inadvertently directs the puck into his own net with his skate, as Nazem Kadri is credited with the goal for the Maple Leafs

  • 01:09 •

1. Leafs open scoring on Kadri's third goal in two games, but Wild tie it with less than two minutes in first period. The Leafs and Wild squared off in Toronto's second of a three-game home stand Wednesday, and the Buds were playing without the services of sophomore centre Auston Matthews, who missed his first career NHL regular-season game with an upper-body injury. But the Leafs took the first lead of the night at 12:56 of the first period when centre Nazem Kadri netted his ninth goal of the year.

Kadri had a pair of goals in Toronto's 4-3 shootout victory over Las Vegas Monday, and his goal on Wild netminder Devan Dubnyk put him nearly one-third of the way toward the career-best goals total of 32 he registered in 2016-17. However, the Wild (who outshot the Buds 9-6 in the opening frame) managed to even the score with 1:45 left before the first intermission. Minnesota has struggled to reproduce their stellar 2016-17 campaign, posting a 5-6-2 record entering Wednesday's action. But they're still a speedy, veteran club that can take advantage of any opponent's slip-up, and getting on the scoreboard before the end of the first was an important step in establishing momentum the rest of regulation time.

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Leafs aim to build on win over Knights

by Adam Proteau Proteautype / MapleLeafs.com

The Maple Leafs snapped a two-game losing streak with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Las Vegas Golden Knights Monday at Air Canada Centre. They're happy to get the two standings points and be back on the winning track, but don't take that to mean they're pleased with where their collective game is at right now.

Indeed, in his typically straightforward fashion, head coach Mike Babcock made it clear there's a good ways to go before his team is playing at its peak.

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Maple Leafs Loan Kapanen to Marlies, Recall Gauthier

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has loaned forward Kasperi Kapanen to the Toronto Marlies (AHL), while forward Frederik Gauthier has been recalled from the Marlies.

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs / MapleLeafs.com

Kapanen, 21, skated in three games with the Maple Leafs following his recall on Oct. 28 and recorded seven shots on goal. Prior to his recall to the Maple Leafs, he recorded three goals in six games with the Toronto Marlies. Kapanen appeared in eight regular season games with the Maple Leafs in 2016-17 and registered a goal. He also had a pair of goals in six Stanley Cup playoff games with the club. Kapanen was acquired by the Maple Leafs in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 1, 2015.

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Five Takeaways - Leafs vs. Golden Knights -11/06/17

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' 4-3 shootout win over the Las Vegas Golden Knights Monday at Air Canada Centre:

by Adam Proteau / MapleLeafs.com

Kadri's PPG opens the scoring

VGK@TOR: Kadri buries power-play goal off rebound

Nazem Kadri collects a rebound in front of the net and knocks it home to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead on the power play in the 1st period

  • 01:03 •

1. Leafs' offence powers up early - including two from Kadri - to stake out 3-1 lead. Toronto was aiming to halt a two-game losing streak Monday, and centre Nazem Kadri gave them a solid start toward that goal by scoring the first and final goal of the first period as the Buds took a 3-1 lead into the second frame.

Kadri's first marker - his seventh of the year - came on the power play at 4:14 of the first. Las Vegas rapidly answered back when defenseman Erik Haula's shot ricocheted off winger James Neal's skate and past goalie Frederik Andersen to even the score at the 4:52 mark. But the Leafs' offence went into high gear some four-and-a-half minutes later: centre Auston Matthews carried the puck into the Golden Knights' offensive zone and made a terrific spinning play before shooting at netminder Maxime Lagace, and winger James van Riemsdyk knocked in the rebound for his sixth of the season at 9:31.

Five-and-a-half minutes after that, Kadri notched his second of the night after a terrific cross-ice, pinpoint pass from forward Patrick Marleau, and Toronto led by a pair heading into the first intermission. It was a solid period on offence, and although the Leafs gave Vegas a few too many scoring opportunities and were outshot by the Golden Knights 10-9, their confidence was clearly at a great level to start the evening.

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