Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs: Takeaways from the Team's Games Ahead of Their Home Opener

The Leafs will be relying a lot this season on James Reimer, as well as Jonathan Bernier.
The Leafs will be relying a lot this season on James Reimer, as well as Jonathan Bernier.Francois Lacasse/Getty Images
Jon ReidCorrespondent IIOctober 5, 2013

The Toronto Maple Leafs may only be two games into a long 82-game haul, but there are already a few observations to be gleaned from their early play.

Winning two games on back-to-back nights, both of which were on the road on their opponents' opening night, is something to be proud of.

Yet it wasn't all good news.

Here are a few takeaways from the Leafs' early-season play before they open the home portion of their schedule against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.

 

Toronto's Goaltending Situation Appears to be as Advertised

Coming into the 2013-14 season, the Leafs were lauded for putting together an incredible tandem in net.

Two games later, and both netminders have shown that they're both serious about nabbing the starting gig.

Whether either goalie will be handed the reins remains to be seen. At this point, head coach Randy Carlyle may be satisfied playing these two young guns in a platoon role.

It would give both goaltenders the opportunity to play plenty of games while keeping them both rested for a potential postseason run.

With both starters having been named one of the three stars in their respective contests, Leafs fans should be excited about the remainder of this season with these two guys in net.

 

The Leafs' Shots Against Problems May Still Linger

Dion Phaneuf must be better with the puck in his own end.
Dion Phaneuf must be better with the puck in his own end.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Perhaps this team will be an improved squad with regards to puck possession this season, but nothing it did in the first two games of the season would back that up.

Toronto gave up 37 shots to the Montreal Canadiens, and then 32 to the Philadelphia Flyers. In Philly, however, the final tally may not demonstrate just how bad the team was for much of the contest.

Throughout the first two periods, the team looked rather lethargic. By the end of the night, it had committed eight minor penalties (though one was offset by the Flyers).

Toronto still needs to find a way to move the puck out of its own zone without turning the puck over or simply dumping it out and giving it back to the opposition.

The silver lining from the two games with regards to shot totals? At least the Leafs weren't outshot on both nights.

 

This Team Can Beat You with Just About Any Line

Phil Kessel headlines a dynamic group of Leafs forwards.
Phil Kessel headlines a dynamic group of Leafs forwards.Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The one thing the Leafs have had in recent years is offensive depth.

Despite the departures of Clarke MacArthur and Mikhail Grabovski, that doesn't appear to have changed.

The Buds may not have anyone with more than two points through two games, but six players have registered two points and another five have found their way onto the scoresheet.

With David Clarkson still on suspension, the Leafs are without one of their goal scorers as well.

It's conceivable that this club could have five or six players tally at least 20 goals this season. With fairly lackluster shot differentials and possession abilities, that kind of offensive firepower will be needed to lift the Leafs back to the postseason.

 

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