Maple Leafs report cards: Mitch Marner shines, Luke Schenn returns in win over Flames

A brand new-look Toronto workforce made its official debut Thursday evening, with all six current acquisitions getting in the lineup.

It wasn’t at all times fairly. Actually, the primary interval was fairly sloppy. However integrating six new gamers into the lineup — with Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson making their debuts — isn’t simple. The workforce bought higher as the sport went on with a robust third interval to shut out a 2-1 win over Calgary on the second evening of a back-to-back. If nothing else, the sport was significantly better than the poor exhibiting in Edmonton on Wednesday evening.

May there be extra adjustments to come back on deadline day Friday? We’ll discover out quickly sufficient. Till then, let’s hand out grades.

First Star

Mitch Marner


Sport rating didn’t favour Marner — or his linemates tonight — doubtless as a result of quantity of probabilities Calgary bought in opposition to them whereas at five-on-five (shot makes an attempt had been 16-10 in favour of Calgary). Nonetheless, Marner was dancing round loads tonight, and scored the Leafs’ opening purpose in the second, in spectacular vogue — as Marner does.

Mitch Marner weaves by way of everybody to attain this 👀

— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) March 3, 2023

This was a kind of nights the place the puck appeared to at all times be on Marner’s stick, and he was virtually at all times doing one thing with it. He had eight pictures on purpose and 7 particular person shot makes an attempt.

Mitch is all magic and buzz proper now

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

Marner was driving play in transition:

Matthews and Marner crisscrossing on the entry

would’ve been a nasty play

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

And making some nice performs in the offensive zone:

Matthews catches the sauce move from behind him and fires


— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

Oh, and he got here up with a crucial defensive play in the third interval:

good steal from Marner

Huberdeau had a transparent path to Woll

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

I’m going with the attention take a look at on this one, tonight.

Second Star

Luke Schenn

I used to be going to offer Luke Schenn the primary star simply because it’s wild to see him again in Toronto, however Marner was too good to do this. Nonetheless, I’ve no situation giving him a second star. Generally we will have enjoyable in these report playing cards, and appreciating Schenn placing on a No. 2 Leafs jersey after 10 years out of the group is enjoyable! Even Marner was doing it.

“Watching him after I was rising up (and) he was simply blowing guys up,” he stated pregame. “Not a lot has modified so it’s good to have him on our facet.”

Schenn kindly requested him to maneuver

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

Schenn regarded good, albeit in restricted minutes (10:42), in his first recreation again since April 7, 2012. In that point although, he blocked two pictures and tied for the workforce lead in hits (4). Schenn brings a bodily aspect to the blue line that the Leafs had been lacking. I’ll admit, the second star is a little bit of the nostalgia issue profitable over, but it surely’s additionally enjoyable to consider Schenn crushing folks in the playoffs. 

Schenn finishes his test on Kadri

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

Additionally, he bought the belt, so no one can yell at me about this.

He’s bought The PasSchenn ™️

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) March 3, 2023

Third Star 

Joseph Woll

All Toronto wanted Woll to do tonight was give them an opportunity to win. I do know that sounds actually corny, but it surely’s true, and he did simply that.

I don’t blame him for the Blake Coleman purpose in opposition to, loads of goalies would haven’t any likelihood on a transparent breakaway like that. In any other case he was sharp, and statistically good making 25 saves on 26 pictures.

One factor I actually preferred about Woll’s recreation tonight, was that he did effectively to freeze pucks below strain and never give the Flames too many second-chance alternatives. I recall that being a little bit of a problem in a earlier recreation he performed this yr, and he cleaned that space up tonight.

Participant reviews


Calle Jarnkrok

Jarnkrok gave the leafs the go-ahead purpose with a pleasant play in tight to beat his childhood pal, Jacob Markstrom, in the third interval. The fingers, to drag the puck again and tuck it in with strain behind him from Nikita Zadorov, had been spectacular. That will get him a stable grade in my books.



— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023


John Tavares 

Tavares didn’t get a degree in this recreation, however he was nonetheless impactful in all three zones, and the faceoff circle with an 81 % effectivity. And with the Leafs’ captain on the ice in all conditions, the Flames solely had 10 shot makes an attempt. Solely 5 of these makes an attempt made it to the online.

Mark Giordano 

Giordano was wanting younger and recent in opposition to his former workforce, notably when he danced round Milan Lucic in the primary interval for a stable scoring likelihood. I do know it’s Lucic, however Giordano is 39 years outdated!

Giordano is feeling it

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

With a lot of new faces in the lineup, and a few shuffling of the D pairs with seven guys in the lineup tonight, Giordano supplied a steadying presence when he was on the ice.

Jake McCabe and TJ Brodie

There’s been plenty of speak about Jake McCabe and TJ Brodie being the brand new Leafs shutdown pair and whereas that’s true — they actually didn’t enable many harmful probabilities in opposition to, and weren’t on the ice for a purpose in opposition to — let’s not overlook that McCabe brings some respectable offence to the desk too. He has a stable launch and put that on show with a number of good offensive appears in this recreation. We all know that it helps to experience shotgun with Brodie as a result of you already know he’ll be there for you when you determine to leap into the play, and I ponder how a lot offence that may unlock for McCabe. It’s early however there’s purpose to be optimistic about with this duo.


William Nylander 

Nylander had a number of moments the place he gave the impression to be coasting and bought beat by somebody on the Flames, like the primary interval energy play when Mikael Backlund blew by him for a short-handed likelihood. However, he additionally had moments the place he was unimaginable to knock off the puck, like in the primary when he drew a penalty on Rasmus Andersson.

Nylander is excessive sticked by Andersson then brushes him off

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

And, he compelled the turnover that led to what can be the game-winning purpose from Jarnkrok.

Nylander forces the turnover, Rielly takes off with the puck

Jarnkrok will get the go-ahead purpose

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

Name it a little bit of a blended bag, however general a significantly better evening from Nylander.


Auston Matthews

Matthews wanted a bounce again after the sport in Edmonton final evening, and I assumed he did simply that. He was skating onerous, creating in transition and was attending to open spots in the offensive zone. His eight pictures on purpose was tied for the workforce lead with Marner, and his 10 particular person unblocked shot makes an attempt had been essentially the most by a single participant in the sport at five-on-five.

Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews mixed for 16 pictures and 21 shot makes an attempt in opposition to the Flames.

— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) March 3, 2023

Matthews goes for the wraparound

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

I do know folks wish to see Matthews producing extra on a constant foundation, however when the workforce is profitable, and sitting fourth in the NHL standings — to not point out he’s nonetheless producing greater than a degree per recreation — it’s onerous for me to be overly crucial.


Ryan O’Reilly 

This was a little bit of an odd recreation to judge O’Reilly as a result of his linemates modified so regularly as a result of 11 and 7 configuration. And that’s to not say that he performed poorly tonight both. He didn’t. However my largest takeaway is that I’m nonetheless torn on the place he suits finest.

O’Reilly does so many good little issues to realize and preserve possession that he would work effectively between Tavares and Marner — who can put the puck in the online — or because the centrepiece of a killer matchup line. I suppose his finest match relies upon if the Leafs need him producing in a top-six function, or liberating up the highest six to go to work whereas he shuts down different groups’ prime strains. Sheldon Keefe has time to determine that out, no less than.

Noel Acciari and Sam Lafferty 

They didn’t play loads (below 11 minutes every), however I loved Acciari and Lafferty. They banged round — Acciari had 5 hits — and related for good passing on the Flames’ doorstep late in the sport. Lafferty, by the best way, made the stretch move to spring Nylander for his second interval breakaway, too.

The Leafs are nonetheless taking part in with their lineup and dealing to combine new faces, however I’m intrigued about what these two will add to the underside of the lineup in the stretch run and into the playoffs.

David Kämpf

Kämpf did his job tonight. The spotlight? He was in on the forecheck that caved in — and drained out — Calgary’s fourth line in the second interval that led to Marner’s purpose. Kämpf particularly did effectively to win the battle on the wall, preserve possession of the puck, get it to the highest line and get off the ice. It’s nothing flashy, but it surely led to Marner dancing round a gassed group of skaters, and the Leafs’ first purpose of the sport.


Justin Holl

Holl made some dangerous performs in his personal zone tonight. However he additionally saved a purpose at a crucial time in the sport.

Holl robbed Kadri

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023


I’ll let everybody choose sides in the feedback.

Morgan Rielly

Rielly wasn’t precisely nice in his personal zone tonight, however he had the first help on the game-winning purpose. Critics would possibly say that’s a typical Rielly recreation. Total he was tremendous.


Alex Kerfoot

Kerfoot was shifting his ft, and regarded good in transition, however he can’t purchase himself a purpose generally. He had a large open web in the second interval, with the puck proper in entrance of him, however Noah Hanifin flipped it away earlier than he may get his stick on it.

Alexander Kerfoot is cursed

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

He made a pleasant play in the third interval to Marner as effectively, which Markstrom saved, however general Kerfoot graded out fairly poorly by most metrics.

Michael Bunting

This was a reasonably quiet evening for Bunting. He established his presence on the doorstep on the Marner purpose in the second interval, and was lively in the trenches, however he performed extra of a passenger function tonight.

Erik Gustafsson 

Not an incredible debut for Gustafsson. He mishandled the puck and failed to carry the road whereas working the second power-play unit early in the primary interval with Coleman coming proper at him. Coleman, who was excellent for Calgary tonight I would add, scored on a short-handed breakaway consequently.

unlucky begin for Gustafsson

— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) March 3, 2023

It was his first recreation post-trade, so I’m not overly involved.

Sport Rating

Closing grade: B+

Contemplating this was the second evening of a back-to-back in opposition to a stable defensively-structured Flames workforce, a 2-1 street win might be pretty much as good as we had been going to get tonight. The sport was sloppy early, however the workforce made changes and improved all through, with a robust third interval end. And whereas there are nonetheless some kinks to work out in this lineup, like who performs the place, who sits and who will get in the lineup, there was loads to love in this recreation. The duo of Brodie and McCabe regarded wonderful, and Woll was regular, which might be necessary if Matt Murray doesn’t return quickly.

What’s subsequent for the Leafs?

Toronto heads to Vancouver on Saturday evening for a Luke Schenn homecoming on Hockey Evening in Canada at 7 p.m.

(Picture: Sergei Belski / USA Immediately)

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button