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January 15, 2019 2:46 AM Leafs turn in stinker against the previously struggling Avalanche

And then the Avalanche played downhill. Gabriel Landeskog on a deflection at the 6:33 mark; a Nathan MacKinnon breakaway that was stopped a minute later; Mikko Rantanen stripping Nazem Kadri to end a two-turnover Toronto shift with a goal. Carl Soderberg then outbattled Jake Gardiner for a puck that had been knocked loose on a Toronto power play and scored 669

December 30, 2018 2:55 AM Game Centre: Listless Maple Leafs schooled by Islanders in rout

They were at 42 points exactly a year ago with him; they were at exactly 42 points this year, without him, before picking up two here. Slick soph Barzal has picked up much of the slack, leading the squad in points yet putting up only seven goals. Until he got to Toronto: Goal No. 8, No. 9, No. 10. Deflection through the pegs put Islanders up 2-0, redirection 164

December 21, 2018 3:12 AM Leafs Centre: Auston Matthews takes centre stage in romp over Panthers

That was the combination on Thursday night’s first goal — a power-play marker — and a harbinger of more to come in a 6-1 win by the Maple Leafs over the Florida Panthers. It was the start of a two-goal, two assist night for Matthews, a one-goal, two-assist night for Marner, a four-assist night for Morgan Rielly, a two-goal night for John Tavares, a one-goal 137

December 4, 2018 4:05 AM Tuesday NHL preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres

Sabres forward Jeff Skinner ranked second in the NHL with 20 goals entering Monday’s games. He’s the second Sabre player ever to score 20 before December, joining Rick Martin, and has 15 in his last 15 games. Leafs centre Nazem Kadri and his linemates should draw the tough shutdown assignment on Skinner’s unit. The Sabres went 11-3-1 (.767) in November 138

November 28, 2018 5:18 PM Maple Leafs will have Auston Matthews in lineup against Sharks

They’re 17-8-0 on the season and sit third in the Eastern Conference, two points behind the NHL-leading Buffalo Sabres and one point back of the Tampa Bay Lightning entering Wednesday’s action. Toronto went 9-5 while Matthews was sidelined. “We hope to get Willy back,” Matthews said of Nylander. “We hope it (contract) gets resolved. As players, we really 132

October 30, 2018 12:08 AM A month without Matthews hurts Leafs in many ways

On the surface, Auston Matthews looks like the laboratory-built vision of the ideal hockey player. A strapping six-foot-three and 220-some pounds, he skates like a dream, shoots like a laser, plays keepaway like it’s glued to his stick. Certainly he’s put up the numbers to justify the fawning. With 84 goals in 155 games as a Maple Leaf, nobody’s scored 234

October 29, 2018 12:28 PM Auston Matthews to miss four weeks with shoulder injury

Matthews played the full 82-game season in his rookie year, but missed 20 games last year due to a few ailments, including 10 between Feb. 22 and March 22 with a sore right shoulder. Matthews was the team’s leading scorer with 10 goals and six assists, though he has gone five games without a goal and four without a point. The Leafs play the Calgary Flames 110

October 28, 2018 12:04 AM Leafs’ Gardiner hits milestone at top speed

He’s gone from a high-end defence prospect — with a penchant for giveaways that irked his coaches — to a more complete player who, on Saturday night, played his 500th NHL game. “It goes by pretty fast. It’s been a fun 500. Hopefully (I can) play a lot more,” the Maple Leafs defenceman said before taking on the Winnipeg Jets at Scotiabank Arena. At 500 games 132

October 15, 2018 9:34 PM Kings’ Doughty calls Leafs the real deal — but never wanted to play here

The Leafs’ primary measuring stick — after the score, of course — is high-end chances for and against, tracked by the research and development team led by Darryl Metcalf. The stats are largely proprietary and not available publicly unless they feel like sharing. After Saturday night’s 4-2 win in Washington, though, coach Mike Babcock said the Leafs had 12 high-end 165

September 27, 2018 4:57 AM Leafs’ power play is lethal ... and other takeaways from win over Canadiens

The Maple Leafs showed off their lethal power play for the first time Wednesday night in Montreal and, well, let’s just say the hype was justified. Two power-play goals and a four-point effort from Mitch Marner proved too much for an energetic Canadiens side, which fell 5-3 at the Bell Centre. And the success on special teams wasn’t limited to the man advantage 123