On only 14 shots on goal the Maple Leafs took last night, they made four of them show up on the scoreboard and upped their overall record to 6-1 thanks to a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild at the ACC last night.
They are continuing their best start since 1993 when they opened 10-0.
And you are going to win more often than not when you score on all of your power play opportunities except one.
Scoring nearly two goals on every four shots they took last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs pounded the Minnesota Wild, 4-1.
Minnesota is known as a smothering team, one that opposing teams should hate playing against.
Sparked by four early power plays, Minnesota carried the momentum everywhere except the scoreboard.
The Leafs, on the other hand, scored on their first shot, a tap-in from the crease by Bozak after a tic-tac-toe passing play with Dave Bolland and Cody Franson 4:24 into the game, and on their third shot, a goal by Trevor Smith at 13:51.
Wild starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper was chased from the game after allowing Mason Raymond to score Toronto’s third goal on only its seventh shot.
Last night was Kuemper’s seventh NHL start.
“Honestly I kind of feel sorry for Kuemper,” said Leaf starting goaltender James Reimer. “That’s a tough first start of the year to come into where you’re not getting much chances and then all of a sudden there’s a tic-tac-toe in front and then a breakaway. You can’t get into a rhythm. For him, his game was by far the hardest out of any of us three.”
Minnesota coach Mike Yeo knew it was tough on his goalie.
“To sit there and watch that game, he knows he’s putting more and more pressure on himself,” Yeo said. “And he’s cold. So we’re not pinning this on him by any means. It was a tough situation for a young goalie. He’ll get a chance to bounce back.”
Said Kuemper: “Really everything couldn’t have gone much more poorly for me tonight. I just feel really bad for the guys because they battled so hard tonight and had a heck of a game and probably deserved a better fate.”
Making his first appearance since being pulled Oct. 5 against Ottawa, Reimer was tested early because of penalties.
“You watch any game they play, and you’re lucky if you get 20 shots on them. I wasn’t expecting us to get 40 on net tonight, but what we do so well is even though we don’t get the most amount of shots, we capitalize on our chances and that was the case,” added Reimer.
“Some nights we’re going to get our butt kicked playing like this,” observed Leaf Head Coach Randy Carlyle.
Mason Raymond provided half of the Leafs scoring last night, including a variation of his spin-o-rama shootout goal he scored against Ottawa last weekend.
Minor league call-up Trevor Smith, perhaps filling in for James van Riemsdyk, scored his first goal with the Maple Leafs, on a pass from fellow rookie Morgan Rielly.
Tyler Bozak scored the first Leaf goal and an EN goal for Raymond sealed it off.
James van Riemsdyk was scratched from the Leafs’ lineup because of an upper-body injury that forced him to leave the morning skate early. Smith, who was recalled from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, replaced him in the lineup while Troy Bodie was a healthy scratch. … Defensemen Mathew Dumba (healthy) and Keith Ballard (injured) were scratched by the Wild in favor of Marco Scandella and Nate Prosser. Minnesota can play Dumba up to five more games before deciding whether to keep him around or send him back to the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL.