The Toronto Maple Leafs won 5-4 in overtime against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. The Leafs snapped their two game losing streak and also got goaltender Jack Campbell a win in his Maple Leafs’ debut. With the victory, Toronto passes Florida in the standings to take over 3rd place in the Atlantic division.

Matthews’ Maturity

Auston Matthews has really taken a step in the right direction this season as many fans are witnessing his maturity and growth as a centerman. Since his NHL debut, Matthews has always had a knack for scoring, but often times was non-existent in the defensive zone and lacked intensity and physicality.

Since Keefe took over the coaching duties in Toronto, Matthews has seriously upped his game and become a two-way player that can fill the opponents net while defending his own net.

Friday night was a great example of his complete game as he ended up putting up four points all while doing a phenomenal job lifting sticks and breaking up plays in his own zone. This was Matthews’ 2nd four point night of the season as he picked up a goal and 3 assists against the Ducks.

The goal Matthews scored on Friday night was his 40th goal of the season which matched his career-high set in his rookie season during the 2016-2017 campaign. He is now tied with Alexander Ovechkin for the league lead in goals this season.

Captain Puts Team On Back

John Tavares was flying on Friday night and played arguably his best game of the season. The 29-year-old centre tied his season high with 2 goals and also tied his season high with 3 points against the Ducks. This was Tavares’ 3rd multi-goal game of the season and 5th 3 point game of the season.

The Captain is having a bit of a down year for his standards but is still on pace to put up 34 goals and 73 points this season.

Mitch Being Mitch

Mitch Marner has really solidified himself as arguably the best playmaker in the NHL today. The 22-year-old winger tied his season high with 3 assists against the Ducks. His assist on John Tavares’ game-winning goal in overtime was Marner’s 200th of his career. The young playmaker now has the most points in the NHL since December 7th with 39.

The Leafs are right back in action on Saturday night as they head to Montreal to take on the red hot Canadiens. This will be quite the challenge for the Leafs as they will be on the 2nd half of a back-to-back, travelling to a different city and taking on a rested team with a record of 8-3-0 in their last 11 games. With roughly 2/3rds of the season in the books, Toronto finds themselves barely hanging onto a playoff spot.

The Leafs need to find a way to win on Saturday night despite their backs being against the wall and the odds stacked against them.