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Leaf notes: Do not get carried away with win over Jets, rematch looms Specific Occasions

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Although the ultimate consequence was two factors towards a division chief in certainly one of their worst video games in a wonky season, the Maple Leafs don’t warrant a forgive-and-forget hug.

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However in a yr already marred by so many late-night collapses, Wednesday’s 1-0 additional time win within the first of two versus Winnipeg was a sign the hockey gods haven’t completely turned their backs on Bay St.

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“I don’t know if we deserved that win,” mused alternate captain Morgan Rielly, with the hindsight of his 815 NHL video games. “However I wish to suppose all of it comes out within the wash. We didn’t have our greatest, so to hold round (one thing the Leafs are fairly responsible of letting weaker groups do), battle for the additional level (killing two penalties, one which carried to additional time) in a bizarre method feels nice.”

Coach Sheldon Keefe now has consecutive wins for the primary time since early within the month and 6 of a doable eight factors in lower than per week that included a protracted Western journey. However he couldn’t sugar coat Wednesday’s begin, badly out-shot and a 3-to-1 ratio of giveaways.

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“We couldn’t execute passes, didn’t have plenty of life, not plenty of vitality, not plenty of legs. To me it seemed like a crew that was nonetheless on the airplane from the West Coast.

“I believe that entire factor (anticipating a foul jet-lagged first residence sport) is somewhat over-blown, however generally it catches as much as you. Credit score (the Jets), they forechecked nicely, good sticks, they have been on high of us.”

The Leafs have Thursday off, then get in a observe earlier than their rematch in Manitoba. It’s their final sport previous to the all-star break, seven days off together with their built-in bye week.

SAM-SATIONAL

Did we point out Ilya Samsonov?

He departed Scotiabank Enviornment on Wednesday with a 32-save bagel and the gang chanting his title.

It was his first win at residence since one other shutout, beating Nashville 4-0 on Dec. 9. However between have been 4 losses, three in additional time, a extreme beating on social media and speak reveals which forged doubt on his NHL future. He has responded to a compelled reset away from the crew and clearing waivers by stopping 68 of 72 pictures together with an empty-net purpose loss to Detroit. His six Leaf shutouts strikes him into the highest 20 of franchise historical past.

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“I’ve been in these moments as nicely,” stated winger Mitch Marner of the scrutiny that goes with any Leaf star’s underwhelming stretch of hockey on this market. “Everyone seems to be towards you, actually, coming at you in any respect completely different angles and pondering you’re not ok.

“For him to play by means of that and win us the final couple of video games simply reveals how mentally sturdy he’s. We’ve tried to speak to him a bit, we all know he’s a hell of a goalie. Everybody goes by means of spells the place stuff shouldn’t be going your method. You hear all of the noise exterior and it impacts you extra. I talked to individuals (resembling throughout his personal  November stretch of three factors in eight video games), you must specific your feelings. Maintain onto stuff by your self, it will get in your thoughts, places you in a darkish spot.

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“We’re fortunate sufficient to have individuals round who take care of us and need to hear how we’re feeling. That’s why we’ve got family members (Samsonov citing his spouse, child son and oldsters for being his rock). It’s a must to speak your method out of it, know that you simply’re an awesome particular person, an awesome participant and also you’re (within the NHL) for a purpose.

“We’re all attempting to be there for him and play higher in entrance of him as nicely.”

‘FRIENDLY’ MANITOBA

Whereas transplanted Jets’ followers in Toronto made themselves heard with a “True North” cheer throughout O Canada and far of the sport, count on the Canada Life Centre to have a robust Leafs’ vibe on Saturday night time of their solely go to .

Alberta-born ahead Noah Gregor had heard of the large assist his new crew will get in Western Canada however didn’t actually stay it till enjoying in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver final week.

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“I’d been instructed by family and friends who’d gone to Leaf video games in Edmonton,” Gregor stated. “That was fairly loopy, and we had an thrilling sport, too, so it was particularly loud, and in Vancouver as nicely.

“We’re certainly one of Canada’s unique groups and other people disperse I assume, however it’s cool to see. It’ll be thrilling in Winnipeg, that rink is at all times bumping and it’s enjoyable to go in as a highway crew, particularly this yr after they’re enjoying so nicely.”

LOOSE LEAFS

Auston Matthews handed William Nylander in additional time objectives on Wednesday together with his 11th, now sitting three again of franchise chief Mats Sundin … Matthews’ subsequent level might be his 600th, after Marner hit that milestone a couple of video games in the past … Wednesday was the primary 1-0 additional time consequence the Leafs have been a part of in practically 4 calendar years … Talking of Edmonton, Blissful 63rd birthday on Friday to Wayne Gretzky.

lhornby@postmedia.com

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