First Mitch Marner gets a five-point game, now Nazem Kadri takes his turn. That pairing has been dynamite over the past 10 games scoring 13 and 15 points respectively.
I love these two, but I do believe now is the time to try and sell high in one-year leagues. It’s not a talent thing, it’s a schedule thing.
I’ve mentioned this before, but the Leafs play the fewest games over the standard head-to-head playoff schedule with just eight games over those three weeks. Furthermore, from now until March 25 (the end of standard H2H playoffs) they have the fewest games, with only 16 remaining. Only the St. Louis Blues play as few. If you are pushing for playoff seeding and looking to make noise, these teams will offer you the least in terms of volume.
Of course, star players are worth keeping around even on shorter schedules. A five-point night from a guy can change your week even if he only plays two games that week. I’m not suggesting you go peddling Kadri/Marner for any old player. I’m simply pointing out that their value is really high right now, and could perhaps be leveraged into landing you a similar player with a more favourable schedule in the coming weeks.
Jake Gardiner went down in the first period and did not return. Word is that he had a muscle spasm and was not cleared to return. That doesn’t sound serious, but I suppose we’ll have to stay tuned. In the meantime, with Gardiner out Morgan Rielly put up an assist. Only one of these two has been productive at once. Could a Gardiner injury put the ball back in Rielly’s court?
Herculean effort by Frederik Andersen stopping 54 of 57 shots. The Leafs have leaned heavily on him all season and he has been up to the task. You wonder if this won’t catch up to him at some point? The good news, they’ve got the kind of offense that can overcome poor defense.
Andersen’s 54 saves puts him second on the year for most saves in a game, behind Semyon Varlamov’s 57 against Chicago back in November. In the last 10 years, no goalie has more 50+ save performances than