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Trends from last year continue. While overall the team is looking better, there are two alarming trends that need to be fixed. First is the slow starts to get their bearings which luckily that could be due to opening season jitters. The season reared it's head yesterday, third period give ups to let the team win when they should not. That being said a 2 0 1 record I am happy with. Now let's look individual players.

Austen Matthews has looked the epitome of what we expected, strong with the puck and growing better and better without the puck. No captaincy no problem for this lad as he looks to lead this team regardless.

William Nylander is back atleast to start. He has shown creativity, finesse and overall strong play. Let's hope it continues.

Andreas Johnsson is playing like Hyman did 3 years ago, helping the line just no points.

Mitch Marner so far worth the price tag and John Tavares is looking good with Marner and seems like a good choice for captain.

Kasperi Kapanen has looked weak. I am not sure if its due to pressure of being off wing, but his one majorly bad blunder aside he has hurt this line SAT wise as well. It might be an idea to move Mikheyev up to the line as he has looked dynamite so far. At the same time he has worked so well with Moore and Kerfoot you almost don't want to change that line up. Once Hyman returns, it would not surprise me if Kapanen is either relegated fourth line or traded.

Frederick Gauthier is the Goat but a better Goat. For a fourth line center he is showing up like he wants the job and doesnt want Babcock to do his usual and ask for a new fourth line center. He has looked good.

Jason Spezza only played one game but he looked way more engaged and like he wanted to be here much better than his preseason. He keeps this up he will be a mainstay.

Dmytro Timashov, Petan and Shore look like they will continue as they are switching around as they have done their job but have not excelled either.

Morgan Reilly has started where he left off which is great to see.

Cody Ceci stats wise is much better than I thought, but it's early and could very well be due to playing with Reilly. Interestingly his SAT is better than Reilly at the moment, but Reilly has way more minutes.

Tyson Barrie has shown why the leafs are better with him than gardiner. Slightly less mistake prone but the best benefit is he plays the right side. It gives the Leafs a different attack from the blueline instead of always the left.

Muzzin has looked like Muzzin a strong stay at home defender that does his role. No complaints.

Sandin while being spoon fed minutes has not looked out of place. He has yet to excel but he is showing he belongs which is good.

Justin Holl was a weak spot hurting Sandin with the defense pair. Marincin still not much better but better nonetheless than Holl.

Individually the players look better than last year so if this continues and once Hyman and Dermott are back this team has the looks to be very dominant.
Filed Under:   toronto maple leafs   early play  
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