Toronto Maple Leafs Intrasquad Game Notes & Highlights: Team White 6 vs. Team Blue 3


For the most part, this Team Blue vs Team White intrasquad game had a pretty good pace, although unsurprisingly it got progressively slower as the game entered its final stages.

The White team won both the regulation match – by a score of 6-3 – and the OT period thanks to a 3v3 goal from Ilya Mikheyev. The two teams split the two shootout competitions, with Mikko Lehtonen winning the first for Team White and Morgan Rielly winning the second for Team Blue.

William Nylander led the way with a pair of goals for the White team, while Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews blocked with one goal apiece in a losing effort for the Blue team.



Take this scrum drill for what it is, but a few quick notes below:

Alex Barabanov displayed a good engine throughout the game for the blue team, cranking up the pace and constantly chasing puck carriers. He also broke through for a breakaway he couldn’t convert. That line – with Barabanov alongside two heavier footed players at Spezza and Simmonds – will need someone to help pick up the pace, so that’s an encouraging sign, at least when it comes to those scrums.

– After the discussion on Mitch Marner play in the middle of the power play between the two Auston Matthews and Joe Thornton, it was Thornton in the role of bumper between Marner and Matthews in that game. Those who were concerned about too many playmakers and not enough shooters on this unit weren’t relieved by this streak:

Jokes aside, Marner left a number of shots on the first power play opportunity for Team Blue, a few of which missed the net. It was hard to tell if his shot had a bit more firmness than last year – maybe it just felt like that with a few strong shots on the back wall – but for those who ask Marner to shoot more that season (including the Leafs’ personal training), he seemed more wasted happy in the fray.

I’m going to need to see more of this unit before convincing myself to move both Tavares and Nylander from the upper group.

– In 5v5, the top row had good streaks. Thornton’s intelligence, strength and presence down – extending plays on the cycle, rolling, getting in front of the net – while Matthews and Marner buzzing were visible at different times of the night. Jumbo followed well most of the time. Again, we’ll wait for real things to begin before making any real judgments.

– While Marner and Matthews were there too, William Nylander could have been the Leafs’ best forward – skate really well, generate turnovers, turn them into offense – and he scored two goals, one on a bad one-timer on the power play on a Mikko Lehtonen stream.

– Speaking of Mikko Lehtonen, it was not a perfect game in all areas of the ice, but his attacking prowess was evident in this scrum, as he was heavily involved in the offensive part and eager to bring the pucks to the net, including one for the Nylander’s first goal. on a point in front. We should see the coaching staff involve Lehtonen in an offensive way with softer games and an unparalleled lower offensive zone deployment early in the regular season, on top of the PP2 time, as he adjusts to the league.

Jack Campbell had the best goalie performance of the three goalkeepers, especially in the first half where he was very lively and ruled out a number of good scoring chances and second chances for the blue team.

– The technical staff have emphasized the practice of penalties knowing their weakness in this area last season and the importance of extra points in division clashes. But it wasn’t exactly a show of shooting prowess tonight – while the goalkeepers were sharp, there were plenty of bumps, failed backhand attempts and not enough to pick a spot and let it rip. The two converted attempts out of 13 were two good low and hard blows from a pair of defenders to Lehtonen and Rielly:

1st shooting:

Tavares – missed on a backhand backhand
Matthews – stopped on a five hole attempt
Vesey – stopped on a backhand attempt, glove saved by Andersen
Marner – stopped on low glove side attempt (Campbell)
Nylander – missed, lost control after first cheating on Andersen
Spezza – missed, lost puck control early
Lehtonen – scored on a low blocker side shot in front of Andersen
Barabanov – arrested on his backhand

2nd shooting:

Mikheyev – missed during a backhand attempt
Spezza – wide miss to the right
Robertson – missed handle, lost on the backhand
Hyman – stopped on blocker’s side shot
Matthews – stopped on a five hole attempt

– Harsh words from Sheldon Keefe on Pierre Engvall, especially after a scrum: “I expect him to be better, to be honest. “While he scored late on a good play in the neutral zone by Zach Hyman to send it alone, Engvall returned a puck into the defensive zone and passed it to Marner for Matthews’ goal in the third period. It doesn’t look like the coaching staff would have a ton of confidence to move forward with this line though Alex Kerfoot cannot continue Wednesday – which may require rethinking lines, depending on Kerfoot’s status. Travis Boyd, who has had a few good times in this game, is another option for center coverage here, but the depth in the middle after the big two remains a question mark and also relates to where Thornton is best. used.

– This Rourke Chartier comrade is a beautiful play for the Marlies; his pace and pursuit of the puck clearly stood out (note: he played 13 games with the Sharks last season).

– For me, Ramus Sandin is ready for regular NHL minutes. We saw some nice examples of his breakout against the foredeck, and a nice crosscheck along the ends against a big boy from Justin Brazeau. The Leafs will have two defensemen worthy of an NHL top six who will not play Wednesday night due to the numbers game on the blue line.

– Quiet play on his part overall, but they’ll also have a player with this kind of shot in the press box to start:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here