Toronto Maple Leafs
Oh, the Maple Leafs in the playoffs. This team is so talented, boasting Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner and more, but come playoff time they always find a way to lose in the first round. Toronto fans hope for a different result this year.
Rangers’ head to head vs Toronto: 2-1-0
October 18 at Toronto: 2-1 Rangers in overtime. This was Igor Shesterkin’s coming out party to the rest of the league, as the Rangers’ goaltender had 40 saves and stole the game from the Leafs. Artemi Panarin eventually scored his first of the season to give the Blueshirts the win in overtime.
November 18 at Toronto: 2-1 Maple Leafs. Toronto was able to pull away in a defensive minded game. Both goalies played well.
January 19 at the Garden: 6-3 Rangers. New York stormed back after falling down 3-1. Ryan Reaves had two goals and New York looked like a team nobody wanted to play.
Deadline acquisitions: D Mark Giordano and F Colin Blackwell from Seattle.
Toronto’s biggest strength: Again, their offense, headlined by Auston Matthews, the league’s leading goal-scorer. The Leafs average 3.82 goals per game, have the best power play in the league in terms of percentage (the Rangers are second). One of the Rangers’ strengths is its power play, and Toronto is the one team that can say it has better.
Toronto’s biggest weakness: Goaltending. The Leafs have struggled for most of the year after Jack Campbell’s hot start. Campbell became mediocre midway through the season, and with his stint on the Injured Reserve they have struggled to find goaltending solutions.