Maple Leafs’ core scoring, but some help is needed … Tavares iffy for Philly

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Lengthy after Maple Leafs observe ended on Tuesday, Nick Ritchie and David Kampf stayed on the ice, firing puck after puck on internet.


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One-timers, capturing off each legs — the Leafs forwards put the rubber by way of an intensive exercise.

A number of of their Leafs teammates would have appeared good in becoming a member of them.

Ritchie hasn’t scored and Kampf has one aim, placing daring face on a difficulty that hasn’t been a giant downside for the Leafs however might turn into one.

There hasn’t been a lot, if any, secondary scoring to talk of prior to now few weeks.

The core 4 of captain John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander has scored the previous 14 Toronto objectives and 17 of the previous 21.

Groups that win in the long run get scoring from many alternative sources.

“We have to get contributions from these guys, for positive,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned after observe, referring to only about anybody not within the high 4. “There was a time after we had been getting contributions from these traces. We’d prefer it to match up the place everyone’s rolling on the identical time, nevertheless it doesn’t at all times work that manner.


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“Between the remainder of the forwards, and our defence, we wish to get contributions from all through the lineup.”

The Leafs have scored 33 objectives by way of 13 video games, compiling a file of 7-5-1 earlier than travelling to Philadelphia to tackle the Flyers on Wednesday evening. Tavares, Matthews, Marner and Nylander have offered 20 objectives.

Michael Bunting, getting a wholesome look with Matthews and Nylander, has one aim in his previous 9 video games. Alex Kerfoot, who’s miscast as a top-six winger, has one aim in his previous 10. Jason Spezza has gone seven video games and not using a aim, Wayne Simmonds has none in his previous 10 regardless of getting some nice possibilities, and Ondrej Kase and Pierre Engvall have one aim every.

Keefe was requested about Ritchie, who couldn’t make it work on the highest line to begin and has not been a scoring risk on the fourth line.


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This isn’t what the Leafs figured they had been getting after they signed Ritchie to a two-year, $5-million US contract after the large winger was not certified by the Boston Bruins. Ritchie scored a career-high 15 objectives final season, however has simply 14 pictures on aim by way of 13 video games, and 5 of these got here in a single recreation. 

“After I speak to him, he’s not down or annoyed,” Keefe mentioned. “On the identical time, we wish to be certain that we keep on high of him with the urgency of the scenario — not a lot the truth that he hasn’t scored, however shift to shift, bringing urgency and consistency in his play. He has executed a whole lot of actually good issues which have gone unnoticed and he hasn’t received rewarded for it.

“We anticipate much more and we have to get much more out of him. A part of that’s on him. A part of that’s on us to assist him.”


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Ritchie doesn’t need to be informed he has contributed only one help. Nonetheless, there’s the sense for some observers that the Leafs are unlikely to get a ton extra out of him.

“It’s not simple,” Ritchie mentioned of making an attempt to remain optimistic. “You wish to rating as many as you may.

“I’ve been doing my finest to get on the market early (earlier than observe) and keep a little bit bit late to work on that stuff to come back out of it.”

In the meantime, the Leafs have only one aim, by Jake Muzzin, from their defence corps. That’s tied for second-fewest within the NHL. Toronto has 19 factors from defencemen, twenty fifth within the league.

“That’s one thing that we’ve checked out, is how can we extra constantly get our defence concerned,” Keefe mentioned. “Now we have some guys which have the aptitude of scoring after they get alternatives and it hasn’t gone in but. Now we have to remain in search of methods to have interaction our defence.”


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The Leafs’ massive weapons are paid to supply, and so they have been doing that. Some assist from their associates is likely to be appreciated.


There’s a risk the Maple Leafs will likely be with out their captain for Wednesday’s date with the Flyers in Philadelphia.

Neither centre John Tavares nor winger Ondrej Kase practised on Tuesday.

“Each guys had been banged up (on Monday within the loss in opposition to Los Angeles),” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned. “Each are day after day.”

Each gamers travelled with the crew. Sport-time selections on Wednesday evening in Philly, then?

“I might anticipate for each of them that would be the case,” Keefe mentioned.

Tavares has been sizzling, recording 10 factors (six objectives and 4 assists) in his previous six video games and is tied with Mitch Marner for the Leafs’ scoring lead with 13 factors.

Kase has a aim and an help in 13 video games.

With the 2 veterans out, Joey Anderson and Kirill Semyonov, recalled on Sunday from the Toronto Marlies, moved into line rushes on Tuesday.

Keefe stored the road of Auston Matthews between Michael Bunting and William Nylander intact, and he had Alex Kerfoot centring Nick Ritchie and Mitch Marner. David Kampf centred Pierre Engvall and Anderson on the third line, whereas Semyonov was on the left wing on the fourth line with centre Jason Spezza and Wayne Simmonds.



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