Barring a late-time slump, the Toronto Maple Leafs will gain the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Division and host possibly the Tampa Bay Lightning or the Boston Bruins in spherical a single.
With the Leafs in a snug situation, they can pay for to be affected individual with celebrity middle Auston Matthews as he offers with an unspecified minimal personal injury.
Talking forward of Tuesday’s residence video game towards the Philadelphia Flyers (a 5-2 Toronto gain), head coach Sheldon Keefe stressed that they are focusing on “the even bigger picture” in their selection to sit Matthews.
“We’re not just resting Auston in this circumstance. He’s obtained an personal injury,” Keefe explained, by means of Sportsnet’s Luke Fox. “It just speaks to the simple fact that we’re seeking bigger photo in this article.”
Toronto shares the fifth-best 2022 Stanley Cup odds at FanDuel with the Carolina Hurricanes at +1100. At Caesars, the Leafs and Calgary Flames share the third-finest odds (+900), guiding only the Colorado Avalanche (+350) and Florida Panthers (+550).
The Caesars Ontario sportsbook released previously this month, and citizens of Canada’s most populated province can guess on groups like the Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, and Toronto Blue Jays.
For what it’s worth, TSN’s Darren Dreger did say that Matthews would be enjoying suitable now if it have been the postseason.
The 24-12 months-outdated has by now established job bests in ambitions (58) and factors (102). Edmonton Oilers ahead Leon Draisaitl has an outside shot of catching Matthews for the ‘Rocket Richard’ Trophy.
But if Matthews does return for the last extend of the time, he need to declare the trophy for a second straight calendar year.
Simmonds-Giordano-Spezza Make Headlines With Crafty Intention
Jason Spezza’s late next-period of time objective in Tuesday’s get about the Flyers has the hockey environment buzzing.
It was a highlight-reel purpose assisted by former All-Stars Wayne Simmonds and Mark Giordano. The 3 well-respected veterans all turned back the clock on this just one perform to put the Leafs up 3-1.
But it is not just the artwork of the objective that has the hockey entire world talking.
As Sportsnet’s Luke Fox pointed out, this target was “the oldest scoring sequence” for the Maple Leafs because the 2003-04 marketing campaign 18 years in the past. Hall of Famer Ron Francis, enjoying his ultimate NHL year, tallied a target with assists from fellow Corridor of Famer Brian Leetch and Calle Johansson.
Spezza will transform 39 a long time of age on June 13. Simmond turns 34 on Aug. 26, and Giordano celebrated his 38th birthday on Oct. 3.
Final calendar year, Spezza put off retirement for (at least) a different 12 months by re-signing with the Leafs on a one particular-yr pact. Simmonds agreed to a two-yr extension, and Giordano was obtained from the Seattle Kraken ahead of the trade deadline.
The Maple Leafs will just about surely have residence advantage in round one particular. We’ll quickly find out if the star-studded Leafs can deliver Spezza, Simmonds, and Giordano their first occupation Stanley Cup championship rings. The clock is ticking.
Jake Muzzin Ought to Return Soon
Standout veteran defenseman Jake Muzzin has skipped the club’s very last a few game titles, but the Maple Leafs ought to get him back again shortly.
Muzzin suffered a concussion in Toronto’s Feb. 21 road video game towards the Montreal Canadiens and skipped about a thirty day period of motion prior to returning versus the Florida Panthers on Apr. 5.
Muzzin would play 3 a lot more online games right after that ahead of getting sidelined all over again. But according to TSN’s Mark Masters, Muzzin is joining Toronto on their a few-recreation road slate that concludes vs. the Washington Capitals on Sunday.
The 33-calendar year-aged has been a mainstay on Toronto’s blue line considering that becoming obtained in a 2019 trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Muzzin’s management and superb defensive engage in have produced him a fantastic fit in the team’s prime-4, supplying enough guidance for star blueliner Morgan Rielly.
A 2014 Stanley Cup winner with the Kings, Muzzin has also supplied the timely offense for the Leafs, with 80 details in 181 normal-season contests. He has three goals and 11 helps in 45 online games this year.
The defense has been a weak point for the Maple Leafs above the past decade. But a wholesome Muzzin, Rielly, Giordano, and T.J. Brodie will give Keefe a single of the very best major-four defensive units in the league.
If Muzzin can get healthful in time for the playoffs, the Maple Leafs will have a much less complicated time winning their very first playoff sequence because 2004.