Wednesday, June 19, 2024
HomeUncategorizedLeafs aim to tighten up defensively against Wild

Leafs aim to tighten up defensively against Wild

(Photograph credit score: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports activities)

Regardless of successful their season opener in a shootout, the Toronto Maple Leafs know they should enhance Saturday evening towards the visiting Minnesota Wild.

The Maple Leafs wanted two late targets within the third interval from Auston Matthews earlier than defeating the visiting Montreal Canadiens 6-5 Wednesday ina shootout. The tying aim gave Matthews a hat trick.

Toronto additionally killed a penalty in extra time.

“I need to neglect about this sport and simply hold shifting ahead,” stated Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov, who made 19 saves. “Not a enjoyable sport for the goalies, particularly for Toronto goalies.”

“I imply, powerful sport for him,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe stated. “Not numerous motion. Large gaps between photographs, particularly within the second and third intervals. He had numerous actually harmful photographs and harmful seems. You get two factors, you progress on from it. He stood his floor once we had been short-handed in extra time and (was) excellent within the shootout. So let’s construct upon that.”

Trailing 5-3, the Leafs eliminated Samsonov for an additional attacker with greater than 4 minutes left within the third interval.

“I had numerous confidence in our 6-on-5,” Keefe stated. “That is an space the place (assistant coach) Man Boucher has performed a terrific job of getting ready the fellows. We spent most likely extra time on our 6-on-5 by way of preseason than we ever have in practices, and that is a credit score to him for prioritizing that. And I appreciated it in preseason once we’ve had to make use of it as effectively.”

Total, Toronto had an uneven efficiency.

The Wild are coming off a cleaner season opener, a 2-0 victory over the Florida Panthers at Saint Paul, Minn., Thursday evening.

Brock Faber scored his first NHL aim and goaltender Filip Gustavsson stopped all 41 photographs for the Wild.

The Wild, enjoying with out defenseman and captain Jared Spurgeon (higher physique damage), blocked 26 photographs.

“It is not going to be like that each evening, that is for positive,” Gustavsson stated. “It is on the restrict a number of instances. It’s extremely near (being) that the puck goes by me. However generally you are fortunate, and also you create your individual luck.”

“It provides you numerous confidence as a defenseman once you see your goalie enjoying the way in which he was,” Faber stated. “It makes our job very straightforward. Clearly, we hope to help him just a little extra.”

Joel Eriksson Ek had a aim and an help for Minnesota.

“They are a laborious staff to play towards,” Wild coach Dean Evason stated of the Panthers. “They play laborious, they play quick. They have actually good sticks. Fortuitously, our defensive zone was good. Our penalty kill was good. Our goaltender was nice.”

Wild left winger Marcus Johansson (upper-body damage) left after enjoying 12:03 on Thursday. He cleared all of the checks nevertheless it’s not identified if he’ll play towards Toronto.

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