FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED
Terry Koshan’s takeaways from last night’s game vs. Vancouver
1 Mathews on track
For the fifth time this season, Auston Matthews recorded at least three points in a game with one goal and two assists. A player of Matthews’ calibre doesn’t slump often, but he ended a five-game goal drought when he scored on a wraparound in the second period.
2 Strong, still
A few Leafs who didn’t wind up on the scoresheet were effective nonetheless. Kasperi Kapanen had five shots on goal, while William Nylander had six shot attempts and Nazem Kadri five. Each line for the Leafs had created chances in the offensive zone.
3 Reilly all over
Morgan Rielly, who should have been named to the all-star game, had an assist on the opening goal, giving him 32 assists and 45 points on the season. Rielly was a force for much of the night, tying a career high with six shots on goal. In total, he had eight shot attempts.
4 Face up to it
One factor that helped the Leafs was their diligence in the faceoff circle, highlighted by Kadri and John Tavares. The latter won 12 of his 16 draws, or 75%. Kadri was nearly as good, winning 11 of 17 for a 65% winning clip. Vancouver’s Markus Granlund won just one of eight, and Bo Horvat 10 of 26.
5 Tale of two defences
A couple of Leafs defencemen — Rielly and Jake Gardiner — helped lead the way and both were plus-3, as was each member of the Matthews line. At the other end? Some ugliness for Canucks defenceman Erik Gudbranson, who was on the ice for all five Toronto goals and finished minus-5.