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Dubas discusses state of team as Leafs prepare for bye week

by Adam Proteau Proteautype /

With the Maple Leafs gearing up for a final game against the Capitals before heading into the All-Star break and a bye week, General Manager Kyle Dubas spoke with the media this morning about a litany of subjects of interest to Leafs Nation.

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Leafs prepare for Capitals by relying on process

by Adam Proteau Proteautype /

The Maple Leafs were back at work at their practice facility yesterday, set on two goals: firstly, to focus on their next opponent - the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals, who'll be in Toronto Wednesday to take on the Buds at Scotiabank Arena - and secondly, to stick with their process despite having some frustrating results in the win/loss columns of late.

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Takeaways - Leafs vs. Coyotes - 1/20/19

After strong start, Leafs fall to Coyotes 4-2

by Adam Proteau /



The Maple Leafs were back home after a two-game road trip to Florida produced a strong win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday and a disappointing defeat to the Florida Panthers Friday. And with the middling Coyotes coming in to Scotiabank Arena, Toronto had a golden opportunity to get back in the win column.

The Buds took a big step toward that goal at the 11:45 mark of the first frame, when blueliner Travis Dermott fired a shot from the blueline that evaded Arizona netminder Darcy Kuemper and went into the net for Dermott's third goal of the season:


Video: ARI@TOR: Dermott fires long-range shot past Kuemper


Dermott's goal was the end result of a solid shift from Toronto's fourth line - and two members of that line, winger William Nylander and centre Frederik Gauthier, got assists on it. The Leafs outshot Arizona 11-6 in the first, but the visitors found a burst of energy toward the end of the frame and made it clear to Leafs players and coaches they wouldn't be steamrolled and an easy win.


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Takeaways - Leafs at Panthers - 1/18/19

Leafs start strong, but Panthers roar back to win 3-1

by Adam Proteau /



Coming off a morale-boosting 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday, the Maple Leafs wanted to put together a modest, two-game win streak by beating the Florida Panthers Friday. The Panthers had dropped three straight games entering Friday's action, and they did themselves no favours early in the first by allowing Toronto defenceman Ron Hainsey to score the game's first goal, just 1:49 into the first period:


Video: TOR@FLA: Hainsey wires home one-timer from blue line


Hainsey's slap shot from the point that found its way through traffic and into the net became a common scoring method for the rest of the period, but in those early moments, Hainsey's goal - his fourth of the season - gave the Leafs a boost against an Atlantic Division rival they'd already played twice this season (and posted a 1-1-0 record in those two tilts). But Florida held the visitors to only four shots in the first period, and they amped up the heat on Leafs netminder Garret Sparks; as a result, Florida tied the game at a goal apiece at 9:02 of the first, then netted the go-ahead marker at 14:59 to take a 2-1 advantage into the second frame.


Toronto came out of the gate looking like they were going to give the Panthers a run for their money, but for the remaining three-quarters of the first, Florida dominated (outshooting the Leafs 13-4 in the period) and earned their lead.


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Takeaways - Leafs at Lightning - 01/17/19

Andersen stands tall as Leafs knock off Lightning 4-2

by Adam Proteau proteautype /



The Maple Leafs wanted to end their two-game losing streak, and to do it against the NHL-best Lightning (and their league-best 19-4-0 home record entering Thursday's tilt), Toronto would need a robust and careful effort. Giving up the game's first goal to the Bolts wouldn't help in that regard, but that's what happened when Tampa forward Brayden Point scored his 30th of the season at 9:48 of the opening period.


But exactly two minutes later, Leafs centre Nazem Kadri tied things up by picking up the rebound off a Kasperi Kapanen shot on Bolts netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy and backhanding the puck into Tampa Bay's net for Kadri's 10th goal of the season and a 1-1 game heading into the second period:


Video: TOR@TBL: Kadri slips backhander past Vasilevskiy


Kapanen was one of Toronto's best players Thursday, utilizing his speed and smarts to generate scoring chances. And Patrick Marleau, who picked up the secondary assist on Kadri's goal, would go on to give the Leafs their first lead of the night midway through the second period.

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Leafs head to Florida focused on improvement

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs /

As the Maple Leafs stepped off the ice after practice Wednesday - and before the team headed out to Florida for games against the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday and the Florida Panthers Friday - both the coaching staff and the players were resolute in finding improvement in their game and ending a two-game losing streak.

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Takeaways - Leafs vs. Avalanche - 1/14/19

Leafs build two-goal lead early, but fall 6-3 to Avs

by Adam Proteau /



Neither the Maple Leafs nor the visiting Colorado Avalanche scored in the first period Monday, but the middle frame featured five goals scored - three of them by the Avs.


The first two, however, were scored by the Leafs. The opening goal of the night was netted by blueliner Igor Ozhiganov, who snapped a shot through traffic and past goaltender Semyon Varlamo at 2:14 of the second:


Video: COL@TOR: Ozhiganov roofs goals from the point


Ozhiganov's goal was his third of the season, and the first of two quick goals by Toronto in the period. Seconds after a disallowed Leafs goal by winger Par Lindholm, the Leafs went up 2-0 at the 3:28 mark on Kasperi Kapanen's 15th goal of the year:


Video: COL@TOR: Johnsson connects with Kapanen for tally


Unfortunately for the Scotiabank Arena crowd, the Leafs' lead wouldn't survive the end of the period. The Avalanche netted three goals in eight minutes of the second frame - including a shorthanded marker by forward Carl Soderberg at 14:29 - and suddenly, the home side was on its heels as the third period began.


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Leafs sign Moore to two-year contract extension

by Staff Writer MapleLeafs /

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Trevor Moore to a two-year contract extension, which carries an average annual value of $775,000 ($750,000 in 2019-20, $800,000 in 2020-21).

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Takeaways - Leafs vs. Bruins - 1/12/19

Leafs battle hard, but fall to Bruins 3-2

by Adam Proteau /



The Maple Leafs have had difficulty generating offence at home of late, and although they dominated the shot counter in the first period against Boston Saturday - outshooting the Bruins 15-9 in the opening frame - it was the visitors who entered the second period with a 1-0 lead (on a goal scored with only 1:39 left in the period).

However, Toronto continued to plug away in the second period, and they netted their first goal against Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask at 7:37 of the second when winger Andreas Johnsson's shot trickled through Rask's legs and into Boston's net:


Video: BOS@TOR: Johnsson banks in goal off defender


Johnsson's goal was his 10th of the season - and less than two minutes after he scored, the Leafs took advantage of their first power play of the night when winger Mitch Marner ripped a shot high and over Rask for his 17th goal of the year:


Video: BOS@TOR: Marner rings in power-play goal off the post


Marner's goal put Toronto ahead, but not for long: five minutes and 17 seconds after the Leafs took the lead, the Bruins tied it on a goal by forward Sean Kuraly; and with only 15 seconds left in the second period, Kuraly made a slick pass to sniper David Pastrnak, who snapped it past Leafs goalie Michael Hutchinson for his 26th goal of the year.


Giving up a late goal in both the first and second frame was the difference between the Leafs entering the third with a lead and Toronto trailing. But because of the lapses in focus and structure, it was the latter situation facing the Buds.


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Coming off win, Leafs feel good heading into test against Bruins

by Adam Proteau Proteautype /

The Maple Leafs had no time to celebrate Thursday's victory over New Jersey - they were back at their west-Toronto practice facility Friday afternoon, readying themselves for a home game Saturday night against the Boston Bruins. Besides being a division rival, the Bruins are, like the Leafs, 7-3-0 in their past 10 games, meaning Toronto will have to play at its peak if they wish to win their second in a row.

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