Maple Leafs struggle to win in regulation time despite recent success

Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been on a roll lately, winning four consecutive games and climbing to the fourth spot in the Atlantic Division. However, a closer look at their record reveals a concerning trend: they have only won five games in 60 minutes this season, the lowest among all NHL teams.

Maple Leafs

Why are the Maple Leafs unable to close out games in regulation?

One of the reasons why the Maple Leafs have been relying on overtime and shootout wins is their inconsistent defensive play. They have allowed the third-most goals against in the league (77), and have often blown leads in the third period. For example, in their last game against the Calgary Flames, they squandered a 4-2 advantage and needed a shootout to secure a 5-4 victory.

Another factor is their lack of scoring depth beyond their top line. While William Nylander has been the Maple Leafs’ best player this season, scoring nine goals and 21 points in 14 games, the rest of the forwards have been less productive. The second line of John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and Zach Hyman has combined for only 11 goals, while the bottom six has contributed just nine goals. The Maple Leafs need more balanced scoring to put away their opponents in regulation time.

How have the Maple Leafs managed to win despite their flaws?

The Maple Leafs have been able to overcome their shortcomings with some stellar individual performances and timely goals. Nylander has been carrying the offense with his skill and confidence, scoring in various ways and extending his point streak to a team-record 14 games. He has also been clutch in overtime and shootouts, scoring three game-winning goals.

The Maple Leafs have also benefited from the emergence of some young players who have stepped up in the absence of injured veterans. Nick Robertson, who was called up from the Toronto Marlies, has impressed with his speed and creativity, scoring one goal and three points in three games. Calle Jarnkrok, who was acquired from the Nashville Predators in the offseason, has been a versatile and reliable forward, scoring four goals and eight points in 14 games. He also scored the overtime winner against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 6.

What must the Maple Leafs do to improve their record in regulation time?

The Maple Leafs have shown that they can compete with any team in the league, but they also need to improve their consistency and discipline. They need to tighten their defensive zone coverage, limit their turnovers, and avoid taking unnecessary penalties. They also need more production from their secondary scorers, especially Tavares and Marner, who have been underperforming this season.

The Maple Leafs have a tough schedule ahead, facing the Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins on a back-to-back road trip this weekend. They will need to play a more complete and solid game to win in regulation time and avoid giving away points to their rivals.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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