SHELDON KEEFE Q. Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun: John Tavares described the team as being more connected tonight, things are coming together that way. To what would you attribute that? Sheldon Keefe: I definitely agree. I think what I would attribute it to is just time – more time together, more games, more meetings, more discussions as a group. I think we’ve definitely seen progress in a lot of areas. We leave the game feeling good about the effort the guys put in today. At the same time, I’m fairly confident we’re going to have a number of things to discuss tomorrow and where we can continue to get better. That’s obviously very positive. We’re still not where we can be. It’s going to take us a little more time, keep getting a little bit better every day, but to get another win here today and have a good second period like we did to set us up well is very positive. As I said, there’s going to be a number of things that we can look at and discuss as a group tomorrow that will help us next time. Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: What did you think of Mikko’s debut tonight and what did [seven defencemen and 11 forwards] look like for you tonight? Sheldon Keefe: Mikko, he didn’t play a lot in the second half of the game. I’d have to go back and watch all his shifts just to see the details and stuff inside of it, but from the bench when he was out there I thought he looked good and looked confident. He skated well, moved well, when the puck came to him he didn’t panic so those were all positive signs. I think today’s a good positive step for him. As for our 7-11, I thought it was fine. At times it felt we were maybe a forward short, you’re feeling the effects of not having a guy and then there’s other times you like it. We were able to get Auston extra shifts with a really favourable matchup at different times, whether it’s John or Will or Mitch, those guys are getting extra shifts down there. There’s pros and cons to it and I think I felt both sides of it here tonight. Q. Jonas Siegel, The Athletic: Could you get a sense tonight for how the Kerfoot line can open some things up for some of the other lines? Sheldon Keefe: Yeah, I would say so. That’s the intent behind it is that those guys can give us a really good shift against anybody and give us a chance to rest our top people, yet still have them come over the boards in a favourable position. That’s the way it’s set up. I’ve got to go back and watch it obviously, I think it was Kerfoot-Mikheyev-Simmonds was on the line when we gave up that goal right after we had made it 2-0. That was a tough shift for us there, but as a whole, I think when Kerfoot, Mikheyev and Hyman have been playing together they’ve been giving us real good minutes.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN Q. Chris Johnston, Sportsnet: Can you give us an idea of how you used the Saturday when you didn’t dress for that game and how you felt that went in terms of getting ready for this one? Frederik Andersen: A little new thing we’re trying. I think it was good. I think me and Steve Briere got some good time in, extra time on the ice just to work on a few things that we were talking about the night before. I thought it was good. It’s obviously something new. Got to stay at the hotel for a little bit longer and just come for the game. Q. Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun: I think Tavares used the word connected to describe the team’s play in front of you tonight. Are you seeing that grow a bit here through the first four games? Frederik Andersen: Yeah, that’s probably a good way to put it. I think we were good at keeping them to the outside and then, as they turned the puck over after a shot, I thought we were good at breaking out and pushing it down their end and making them defend a little bit more and get them a little bit tired. I thought that we showed simplifying our game a little bit both defensively and just cycling the puck offensively. I thought the guys played well today. That was fun. MIKKO LEHTONEN Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: How did it feel out there in your first game? Mikko Lehtonen: I think it felt good. I was confident and felt good. Good to get the first one done. Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Was anyone watching you back home? Mikko Lehtonen: Yeah, I think a lot of my friends and family. They were excited to see me play and that was fun. Huge thing for my family, too. Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: Just wondered what was going through your head while you weren’t playing and how you were practicing? Mikko Lehtonen: Of course I think everybody wants to play every night, but I wasn’t in the lineup the first three games. I worked hard and stayed positive. What I can focus on is giving my best every day. That’s the thing. When the coaches say, go play, I will play. I came here to play so it’s fun to play. MITCH MARNER Q. Mark Masters, TSN: What are you appreciating about what John Tavares has brought to the table early in the season? Mitch Marner: His work ethic every day has been great. He’s come ready to play and being very competitive, every puck he’s out there against. I mean that’s what you want out of your leaders. You want them to show and be an example for everyone else and he’s done a great example of everyone else. Q. Mark Masters, TSN: This rivalry seems to be bubbling nicely. I’m not sure what Pionk was trying to do there at the end and then Scheifele was quite upset with you it seemed. What was your perspective on that final sequence? Mitch Marner: Who cares, we won the game. That’s all that matters, that’s all I care about. Q. Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press: You guys were dominant in the second period, what was working so well for your group? Mitch Marner: Speed, breaking out of our zone quickly, finding easy exits. I think we were really communicating and also controlling the puck in the O-zone. I feel like a lot of times when they were exiting they were pretty fatigued so they couldn’t really forecheck our D too much and we were going right back into them. That’s something we’ve talked about wanting to get better at every game. I thought tonight in the second period we really took over and did that well. It’s just something we’ve got to keep doing. JOHN TAVARES Q. Mark Masters, TSN: It seemed like you guys found another gear, especially in that second period. What did you like most about the win tonight? John Tavares: Yeah, I think we’re just starting to build some good habits over the last couple of games and just staying with it. Obviously, we didn’t love giving up the goal at the end of the period, but we faced some adversity here with how well we played in the second and we fought hard to get the two goal lead. Good job in the third still being able to create some opportunities, being aggressive on the forecheck and making them really have to work to get up the ice and then create chances on the penalty kill was great tonight but a lot of good stuff especially with amount of opportunities that they had. Good hard fought win. Q. Mark Masters, TSN: The power play also seemed to have a dominant stretch there obviously with a lot of chances before the goal. What was your sense in the lead up to the goal about the momentum that was building? John Tavares: Well we’re just sticking to what team’s are giving us and we’re just trying to execute the framework that we’re playing off of and the structure that we have and just taking what’s there. And obviously when you create opportunities and you’re able to retrieve pucks and break them down and get them tired, those open looks start to come and being able to draw people in and Willy made a great play, really selling the shot and I had the easy job of just firing it in. Q. Kevin McGran, Toronto Star: You’re off to a terrific start production wise. What do you attribute that to? John Tavares: Well I’m just trying to play my game. I know it’s been part of what’s helped me get to this point in my career, just continuing to find ways to be productive and consistent. The power play’s doing a really good job. Every game 5-on-5 continues to build a little bit better so just trying to build on that and find different ways to create opportunities and produce.
The Warriors found a way to beat the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers Monday and, in doing so, may have discovered something more important for them this season. In Golden State’s 115-113 win over the Lakers at Staples Center, forward Kelly Oubre Jr. thrived in a new role. Used as the primary defender on LeBron…
John Tavares opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs with a power play goal at 5:28 of the second period. Tavares is tied for the NHL lead in goals, and leads the League in power play goals, power play points and points. He has 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 29 career games against the Jets franchise.
Mitch Marner scored Toronto’s second goal of the night at 18:39 of the second period and later scored Toronto’s third goal of the night into an empty net at 19:37 of the third period. Marner has goals (3) and points (3-2-5) in two consecutive games. Tonight’s game is his first multi-goal and second multi-point performance of 2020-21. He has 10 points (4-6-10) in eight career games against the Jets.
William Nylander registered the primary assist on Tavares’ second period goal. Nylander has two goals and two assists in two games on home ice this season. In seven career games against Winnipeg, he has recorded nine points (5-4-9).
Jake Muzzin collected the secondary assist on Tavares’ second period goal. Muzzin’s assist is his first point of the season. He had six goals and 17 assists in 53 games during the 2019-20 season.
Justin Holl recorded the primary assist on Marner’s second period goal. Holl has three assists in four games to begin the season. He has a pair of assists in two games on home ice.
Auston Matthews had the secondary assist on Marner’s second period goal. Matthews has assists (2) and points (1-2-3) in two consecutive games. He has two assists in two games at home this season. In nine career games against the Jets he has recorded 12 points (3 goals, 9 assists).
Alex Kerfoot had the lone assist on Marner’s empty net goal. Kerfoot’s assist is his first assist of 2020-21. He has a goal and an assist through four games this season.
Frederik Andersen stopped 27 of 28 shots to earn his second win of the season.
• The Toronto Raptors continue a five-game homestand (Jan. 14-22) Monday night when they host the Dallas Mavericks at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Toronto is 8-2 over the last 10 meetings with Dallas, which includes five straight victories at home. The Raptors and Mavericks split the season-series last year with each team winning at home. • The last time Toronto and Dallas met was Dec. 22, 2019 at a sold-out Scotiabank Arena, where the Raptors rallied for a franchise-record 30-point comeback victory. The Mavericks led 85-55 at the 2:32 mark of the third quarter and 86-63 entering the fourth before the Raptors stormed back led by Kyle Lowry’s 20 fourth quarter points. Chris Boucher also contributed 12 points during the fourth quarter comeback. • Toronto has won consecutive games for the first time this season after defeating Charlotte 116-113 on Saturday night. It was also the Raptors’ fourth consecutive game decided by three points or fewer. This has happened twice before in franchise history – Mar. 24-31, 2002 and Dec. 19-27, 1997. The Raptors have never played five straight games decided by three points or less. • In back-to-back games against Charlotte (Jan. 14-16), the Raptors attempted 99 3-pointers, including a season-high tying 50 attempts Thursday night. It marked the second time this season the Raptors have attempted 50 or more 3-pointers in a game (last: Dec. 31 vs. New York) and fourth time overall in franchise history. Toronto also had two games last season with 50+ 3-point attempts. Since 2015-16, the Raptors are one of nine franchises that have recorded 50+ 3-pointers in a game multiple times – Houston (62), Dallas (11), Brooklyn (9), Milwaukee (8), Atlanta (4), Toronto (4), Boston (3), Oklahoma City (2). • Norman Powell scored a season-high 24 points and matched a career-best with six three-pointers Jan. 16 vs. Charlotte. Powell has now made six threes in a game four times during his career – the first time was Nov. 16, 2019 at Dallas. Toronto finished with 21 threes Saturday against the Hornets – one shy of the franchise record. The Raptors are averaging 19.5 three-pointers in their three wins this season, compared to 14.9 in eight losses. • Chris Boucher has scored 15+ points off the bench seven times this season – matching his total from last year. He has contributed at least 15 points in each of the last five games (Jan. 8-16), including a career-high 25 points Jan. 14 vs. Charlotte. Boucher is averaging a team-high 20.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.2 blocks over the past five games (Jan. 8-16) with two double-doubles. Boucher is one of seven undrafted players on Toronto’s roster. • Kyle Lowry became the first player in franchise history to record 4,000 career assists Jan. 14 vs. Charlotte. Lowry is currently the longest serving player on the Raptors roster (nine seasons). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is 45 points away from joining Stephen Curry (Golden State) and Damian Lillard (Portland) as the only active players to recorded 10,000 points and 4,000 assists with their current team. • Fred VanVleet has made at least one 3-pointer in a franchise record 44 consecutive games (Dec. 20, 2019 -Jan. 16, 2021), passing the previous record of 38 games set by C.J. Miles (Dec. 10, 2017 – Mar. 15, 2018). VanVleet leads the Raptors 43 three-pointers this season, making at least two threes in every gam
Jason Spezza (50), Joe Thornton (43), John Tavares (28)
Jason Spezza (15), Joe Thornton (12), John Tavares (9)
Jason Spezza (36), Joe Thornton (32), John Tavares (21)
Jason Spezza (51), Joe Thornton (44), John Tavares (30)
Joe Thornton (41), John Tavares (25), Jason Spezza (20)
MAPLE LEAFS – JETS TEAM STATS
GOALS FOR (Rank):
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):
5/13 [38.5%] (4th)
1/4 [25.0%] (t-12th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):
10/13 [76.9%] (15th)
2/3 [66.7%] (t-24th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):
FACEOFF % (Rank):
MAPLE LEAFS – JETS NOTES
First Matchup between Clubs:
Oct. 27, 1999 (Toronto 4, Atlanta 0)
34-19-1-9 (63 Games)
All-Time Record at Home:
17-9-1-4 (31 Games)
All-Time Record on the Road:
17-10-0-5 (32 Games)
Last Win vs. Opponent at Home:
Oct. 27, 2018 (Toronto 3, Winnipeg 2)
MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS
2 (Nylander, Tavares)
3 (Marner, Tavares)
POWER PLAY POINTS
100% (Marner, Mikheyev)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %
5 (Holl, Muzzin)
2 (Four players tied)
5 (Holl, Tavares)
TOI PER GAME
PP TOI PER GAME
SH TOI PER GAME
MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES
– Has a 9-0-2 record with a 2.84 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 12 career games against Winnipeg.
– Averaging 17:05 in even-strength ice time through three games, which ranks second among Toronto defencemen.- Recorded his first point as a Maple Leaf with an assist on January 16 at Ottawa.
– Earned his first win of the season on January 16 at Ottawa after making 17 saves on 19 shots.
– Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 62.7% which ranks fourth among NHL defencemen who have started less than 50% (45.4%) of their shifts in the offensive zone.
– Leads Maple Leafs forwards in shorthanded ice time per game (3:09).
– Leads the Maple Leafs in penalties drawn (3) through three games.- One of two Maple Leafs who haven’t been on the ice for an even-strength goal against (Ilya Mikheyev).
– Ranks second among NHL forwards in time on ice per game (24:18).- Tied for second among NHL skaters in assists (3).
– Averaging 23:19 in time on ice per game, which ranks fourth among NHL forwards.- Ranks second among Maple Leafs in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (64.9%).- Averaging 25.11 shot attempts per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time, which ranks sixth among NHL forwards who have appeared in multiple games.
– Ranks second among Maple Leafs forwards in shorthanded ice time per game (2:52).- One of two Maple Leafs who haven’t been on the ice for an even-strength goal against (Alex Kerfoot).
– Ranks third among NHL skaters in shorthanded ice time per game (5:11).- Ranks sixth among NHL defencemen in shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time (20.25).
– Averaging the highest points per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 (3.26) among Toronto skaters.- Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 58.2%.
– Ranks 10th among NHLers who have appeared in multiple games in average time on ice (25:33).- Has the second-highest 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (57.4%) among NHLers who average at least 19:00 (19:16) per game in 5-on-5 ice time.
– Tied for the NHL lead in points (2-3-5) through three games.- Tied for the lead among NHL skaters in power play shot attempts (9).- Has the second-highest faceoff win percentage (67.4%) among NHLers who have taken at least 40 faceoffs.
– Leads the Maple Leafs in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (67.5%). – Recorded his first point as a Maple Leaf on January 16 at Ottawa with a goal.
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
Four points from 200 NHL points
Five points from 300 NHL points
One point from 500 NHL points
First NHL game (Jan. 13 vs. MTL)
First game as a Maple Leaf (Jan. 13 vs. MTL)
First game as a Maple Leaf (Jan. 13 vs. MTL) First point as a Maple Leaf (Jan. 16 at OTT)
First NHL regular season game (Jan. 16 at OTT)
First game as a Maple Leaf (Jan. 13 vs. MTL)
600th NHL assist (Jan. 13 vs. MTL)
First game as a Maple Leaf (Jan. 13 vs. MTL) First point as a Maple Leaf (Jan. 16 at OTT)
First game as a Maple Leaf (Jan. 13 vs. MTL) First goal as a Maple Leaf (Jan. 13 vs. MTL) First point as a Maple Leaf (Jan. 13 vs. MTL)
Left Toronto’s game on Jan. 16 and did not return.
Man Games Lost: 0
Recalled forward Nick Robertson from the club’s taxi squad. Loaned forward Alexander Barabanov to the taxi squad.
Los Angeles Clippers players wear shirts to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) Indiana Pacers players wear shirts to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. before an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Sunday,…
SHELDON KEEFE Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Can I start by asking Robertson’s condition? Sheldon Keefe: It looks like he’s definitely going to miss some time, the extent of it we don’t quite know yet. He’s going to get an MRI I believe tomorrow. I’m not sure, but we’ll hear very soon. We’ll know more then. Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: What did you think of Joe and the goal? Sheldon Keefe: I thought it was a great goal, a great sequence by that line. That line you could tell right from the drop of the puck today was going to have a night. They’ve been working really hard, haven’t had the results here quite yet, but they’ve been really working and it was just a matter of time for the line and for Auston, certainly. I felt that line was going to break out today, I don’t know that I had Jumbo maybe being the first one to get on the board, but you could tell that the line was going to break out and have a good night. It did so it was great. Q. Mark Masters, TSN: What did you like the most about that line? Mitch felt like maybe they were being a bit more creative, letting that flow. What did you see from that group? Sheldon Keefe: We had talked before the game, I had talked to the team, I had talked to you guys, about offensively we just needed to really increase our pace and that’s been something we’ve been talking about and working at since day one of training camp. It hadn’t really shown up in our first two games. With how Ottawa is playing and they’re competing defensively and how they’re content to defend, it was a real challenge for us to make sure we’re doing that. I thought we did that tonight. As a result I just thought those guys were just way more involved, they were all over the puck and they were getting pucks back, they were getting second and third opportunities in the offensive zone. It just really opened the game up for them. We didn’t get an abundance of great chances, again credit to Ottawa with how they play and defend, but those guys were quite good today. You lose sight of the fact that just how good defensively they were at the same time. Q. Mark Masters, TSN: Jack Campbell was talking to us about how it could be tough with the long layoff to stay sharp as a goalie. How did he look to you tonight? Sheldon Keefe: He looked excellent. I think it’s a tough night for a goalie. He goes long stretches without shots and we did still give up some looks at the net, guys in behind us and all those kinds of things – in behind us in our own end, I should say, not so much breakaways or rushes or anything like that. They got some clean looks at the net. Obviously, their power play was pretty dangerous, the 5-on-3 and they had some looks there and looks at the end, and obviously the game saving save there at the end is big time stuff. It’s great, it’s what you want to get from your goaltender coming in like this. It’s a back-to-back game for our team and we needed to have a great response and we need great goaltending and he brought that for us. Q. Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun: What were the differences for you, do you think, from the hashmarks down or in the defensive zone as a whole? Sheldon Keefe: We really didn’t spend much time in our own end at all tonight. I think that’s a bigger part of it. We had the puck a lot, when we didn’t have the puck we were above the thing very quickly and we got it back quite quickly. It wasn’t perfect. At times I thought they had some looks at our net. We want to do a better job there of picking up coverage and things, but we really didn’t spend very much time in our own end today. Frankly, we didn’t spend much time in our end yesterday either, but when we did we weren’t very good in that regard. Today we were in and out pretty quick and that helps a great deal. Q. James Mirtle, The Athletic: Joe Thornton’s minutes were down to around 14, is that just a case of it being a back-to-back or was it game situations? How did you settle on that today? Sheldon Keefe: A little bit of both, James. I was mindful, not just of him, but some of our other guys in trying to spread out the minutes a little bit better. We lost Robertson and that changed the flow of our team a little bit. I was spotting in Simmonds with that line a little and moving things around a bit. I was mindful of the back-to-back, but it was also just circumstantial, really. I thought Joe had really great legs right until the very end of the game. Some of our best tracks and catching guys from behind and having a stick on the puck and creating a turnover in the last couple of games here against Ottawa came from Joe and his efforts there. Feeling real good about what he’s been able to do and how he looks in that area. JACK CAMPBELL Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: How did it feel in there tonight and what has the dynamic been with you, Freddie and Aaron all being together? Jack Campbell: It’s been great. Deller’s a great person and Freddie and I really have enjoyed having him. He brings a great attitude and work ethic. Freddie’s been doing his thing and we’re just trying to keep building and get better every day. Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: How did you feel tonight yourself? Jack Campbell: Not bad. It’s been a little bit so I’ve got to get the rust off. I know I can be a lot better, but thankfully the boys were amazing tonight and I thought we deserved that two points. The boys played awesome. Q. Mark Masters, TSN: You mentioned the layoff, your first game since March, your first win since February. What have you done well or done to stay as sharp as you can be? Jack Campbell: I’ve definitely used the time to work on things that I’ve needed to clean up within my game, as well as things off the ice that I wanted to turn weaknesses into strengths. I think I’ve done that. Thankfully we have a great training staff here and I spent the offseason, summer, whatever you want to call it right here getting better and we had a great crew pushing each other. You can see tonight how hard we worked and the condition that we’re all in. It was really fun to be a part of tonight. MITCH MARNER Q. Mark Zwolinski, Toronto Star: Can you talk about your line’s play tonight compared to the other nights? I think it just clicked more tonight, but can you address that? Mitch Marner: I think we felt better. I think it was really our first good game together. We were moving well. Down low, we were really creating a lot of chances holding onto the puck. We weren’t rushing plays. I think we were really using our creativity out there and that’s something I think we weren’t doing in the first two games. I feel like were really kind of rushing, throwing pucks away, so that’s a better game by us three. Obviously, we were working hard, we were moving, we were physically engaged and winning puck battles down low in the O-zone so that’s something that if you do that well, you’re going to come out with the puck a lot of times. I think we did that well tonight and we got a lot of scoring chances off of it. Q. Mark Zwolinski, Toronto Star: Can you talk about the team’s confidence with Jack Campbell in net? Mitch Marner: Whoever we have in that net, we have major belief in them. Soupy’s shown multiple times that he can go in there regardless and play an amazing game. Again tonight he did that. He’s been awesome every time he’s stepped on that ice and played in that net. Like I said, we have faith in either goalie going out there and playing in our net and he had another amazing game for us. JAKE MUZZIN Q. Mark Masters, TSN: What stands out the most about Joe Thornton as a teammate, the energy he brings and also what he’s bringing on the ice right now? Jake Muzzin: Yeah he’s playing well. He brings a lot of experience, obviously. He’s been around a long time, played a lot of hockey games and seen a lot of stuff. He’s been through it all, seen it all and it helps with young guys coming up in this league. He’s fun in the room, he’s loud, he brings energy, he’s great to have around, for sure. Q. Mark Masters, TSN: What was the biggest difference for you guys as a team tonight? Jake Muzzin: Well we stayed with it. Last game we got off to a good start and we got away from it for a little bit and they capitalized on a couple chances and we were chasing the game. Tonight, again we got off to a good start and then we just stayed with it for most of the game. A little bit of penalty trouble but other than that we were pretty good most of the night. JOE THORNTON Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: I’m sure if you knew, you are the second oldest Leaf to score and the oldest forward ever to score. Joe Thornton: Who’s the oldest? Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: Allan Stanley. Joe Thornton: And how old would he be? Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: He was 41 and 6-7 months older than you. Hall of Famer. Joe Thornton: So I’ve got to play a couple more years you’re saying, eh? Q. Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun: I guess the goal in a game like this was just as big. You guys needed to take a split from this series. Joe Thornton: We did. We didn’t feel too good about our game last night. It was just a good 60-minute effort. Just happy to contribute for the guys tonight. Q. Mark Masters, TSN: Mitch was just describing you as a version of himself 20 years from now because of how energetic you are. How would you describe what it’s like being around Mitch? Joe Thornton: Oh, I love all the boys, to be honest with you. It’s been so fun with Mitchy and [Matthews]. We have a lot of fun out there. I think we’ll continue to keep growing as a line because we are having fun and we get excited before every game and I think you can tell each game we’re getting better, and that’s a real good sign. I love playing with those two kids. Q. Mark Masters, TSN: Mitch was saying that you were calling for it on the play where scored. What did you see on that sequence? Joe Thornton: I wanted to give it over to [Matthews] but they kind of took him away so I kind of saw the goalie cheating a bit so I shot. The amount of attention that these two guys get, I’ve just got to get open for them and just be ready to shoot the puck and be ready to distribute to these guys.
Joe Thornton put the Maple Leafs on the board at 14:17 of the first period before collecting the secondary assist on Auston Matthews’ third period goal. Thornton’s goal is his first point as a Maple Leaf and first goal as a Maple Leaf. Tonight’s game is his first multi-point game of the season after he had four multi-point games in 2019-20. In 70 games with San Jose last season, he recorded seven goals and 24 assists.
Mitch Marner registered the primary on Thornton’s first period goal and later scored Toronto’s second goal of the night at 1:10 of the second period before recording the primary assist on Auston Matthews’ third period goal. Tonight’s game is his first multi-assist and multi-point game of the season after he had 13 multi-assist and 17 multi-point games in 2019-20. He has a goal and two assists through three games this season.
Auston Matthews recorded the lone assist on Marner’s second period goal and later scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the game on the power play at 2:42 of the third period. Matthews has a goal and two assists in three games to begin the season. Tonight’s game is his first multi-point game of the season after he had 25 in 2019-20. In 17 career games against Ottawa, he has recorded 24 points (14 goals, 10 assists).
TJ Brodie had the secondary assist on Thornton’s first period goal. Brodie’s assist his is first point as a Maple Leaf. He recorded 19 points (4-15-19) in 64 games with Calgary in 2019-20.
Jack Campbell stopped 17 of the 19 shots he faced to earn his first win of 2020-21.
RAPTORS NOTES • The Toronto Raptors continue a five-game homestand by hosting the Charlotte Hornets at Amalie Arena on Saturday. Including the preseason, this will be the fourth game the Raptors and Hornets have played in the last month. Toronto has won 15 of the last 21 regular-season meetings against Charlotte since 2015. A win Saturday would secure at least a season-series split against the Hornets for the sixth time since 2014-15. • Toronto is the only team remaining in the NBA that has not faced an opponent with a sub .500 record entering the game. Opponents had at least a .500 record through the first 11 games. Toronto was 32-5 last season when facing opponents with a sub .500 record. • Toronto tied a season-high by making 20 3-pointers on 50 attempts Jan. 14 vs. Charlotte. It marks the second time this season the Raptors have attempted 50 or more 3-pointers in a game (last: Dec. 31 vs. New York) and fourth time overall in franchise history. Toronto also had two games last season with 50+ three-pointer attempts. Since 2015-16 the Raptors are one of nine franchises that have recorded 50+ three-pointers in a game multiple times – Houston (62), Dallas (11), Brooklyn (9), Milwaukee (8), Atlanta (4), Toronto (4), Boston (3), Oklahoma City (2). • Fred VanVleet (5) and Kyle Lowry (4) combined on nine three-pointers to lead Toronto Jan. 14 vs. Charlotte. A total of six players contributed multiple three-pointers against the Hornets, while all five players that came off the bench contributed at least one. Toronto is averaging 19.0 three-pointers in its three wins this season, compared to 14.9 in eight losses. • Kyle Lowry became the first player in franchise history to record 4,000 career assists Jan. 14 vs. Charlotte. Lowry is currently the longest serving player on the Raptors roster (nine seasons) and the franchise’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (1,417), assists (4,011) and steals (840). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is 64 points away from joining Stephen Curry (Golden State) and Damian Lillard (Portland) as the only active players to recorded 10,000 points and 4,000 assists with their current team. • Chris Boucher tied a career-high by scoring 25 points Jan. 14 vs. Charlotte. He shot 8-for-12 from the field, including two three-pointers and 7-for-8 at the free throw line. Boucher also led the team with 10 rebounds for his ninth career double-double (last: Jan. 8 at Sacramento) and fourth game with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Through 11 games this season Boucher has scored 15+ points six times (last: Jan. 14 vs. Charlotte). He had a career-best seven games last season with 15+ points. Boucher is one of seven undrafted players on Toronto’s roster. His also scored 25 points Aug. 10, 2020 against Milwaukee at the NBA Restart in Orlando. • Fred VanVleet has made at least one three-pointer in a franchise-record 43 consecutive games (Dec. 20, 2019 -Jan. 14, 2021). He passed the previous record of 38 games set by C.J. Miles (Dec. 10, 2017 – Mar. 15, 2018). VanVleet is the eighth player in franchise history to record 400 three-pointers. He joins Steph Curry, Buddy Hield and Joe Harris with active three-point streaks of 40+ games.
Zach Hyman put the Maple Leafs on the board with a power play goal at 9:59 of the first period. Hyman’s goal is his first of the season. He has points (1-1-2) in two consecutive games to begin the season. Hyman had two assists in two games against the Senators in 2019-20.
Alex Kerfoot scored Toronto’s second goal of the night at 9:15 of the second period. Kerfoot’s goal is his first of the season. In 65 games during the 2019-20 season he recorded nine goals and 19 assists. He has three goals and three assists in eight career games against Ottawa.
John Tavares registered the primary assist on Hyman’s first period goal and later scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the game on the power play at 7:07 of the third period. Tavares has goals (2), assists (3) and points (2-3-5) in two consecutive games. He has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 18 career games at Ottawa.
William Nylander collected the secondary assist on Hyman’s first period goal. Nylander has assists (2) and points (2-2-4) in two consecutive games. In 17 career games against Ottawa, he has recorded 15 points (4-11-15).
Justin Holl recorded the primary assist on Kerfoot’s second period goal. Holl has assists (2) in two consecutive games.
Ilya Mikheyev picked up the secondary assist on Kerfoot’s second period goal. Mikheyev’s assist is his first point of the season. He had eight goals and 15 assists in 39 games during the 2019-20 season.
Frederik Andersen stopped 19 of the 24 shots he faced in the loss.
The Maple Leafs went 4-for-5 on the penalty kill and 2-for-5 on the power play tonight.
Justin Holl, Zach Hyman, Alex Kerfoot, Ilya Mikheyev and Jake Muzzin were the lone Toronto skaters to not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone.
Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews were on the ice for a team-high 16 shot attempts at 5-on-5 tonight. Marner finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 48.5% (16 for, 17 against), while Matthews finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 51.6% (16 for, 15 against).
Saturday, January 16, 7:00 p.m. at Ottawa Senators (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)
Monday, January 18, 7:00 p.m. vs. Winnipeg Jets (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050)
Wednesday, January 20, 7:00 p.m. vs. Edmonton Oilers (Sportsnet, FAN 590)
Friday, January 22, 7:00 p.m. vs. Edmonton Oilers (TSN4, TSN 1050)
Sunday, January 24, 4:00 p.m. at Calgary Flames (Sportsnet Ontario, FAN 590)
Stats reflect official NHL stats at the time of distribution. Please consult official NHL game sheets (links above) to confirm no statistical changes were made.
• The Toronto Raptors host the Charlotte Hornets at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Thursday night. This marks the first game at Amalie Arena that will not include fans. Due to rising COVID numbers in the area, both the Raptors and Tampa Bay Lightning agreed to suspend fans attending games until at least Feb. 5. The Raptors had an average attendance of 3,663 through three home games with fans in attendance. • Thursday’s game vs. Charlotte marks the start of a five-game homestand (Jan. 14-22) – the longest on the first half schedule. Charlotte is also the first opponent the Raptors will face in a new series model incorporated into the 2020-21 schedule to help reduce travel. The Hornets will stay in Tampa and face the Raptors again Saturday at Amalie Arena. The Raptors will play five opponents in a series (vs. Miami, at Indiana, at Milwaukee and vs. Philadelphia). Only the Indiana series will be played in a traditional back-to-back. • Toronto was 14-5 last season in games decided by five points or less and 3-2 in games decided by one point. The Raptors dropped both games of a back-to-back for the first time since Dec. 26-27, 2017 – a streak of 32 sets. • Pascal Siakam recorded his first career triple-double Jan. 11 at Portland with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. He becomes the 11th player in franchise history to record a triple-double, and the first player (other than Kyle Lowry) since Jose Calderon in 2012. Lowry holds the franchise-record with 14 triple-doubles. Calderon and Damon Stoudamire are the only other players in team history with multiple triple-doubles. • Fred VanVleet has made at least one 3-pointer in a franchise-record 42 consecutive games (Dec. 20, 2019 – Jan. 11, 2021). He passed the previous record of 38 games set by C.J. Miles (Dec. 10, 2017 – Mar. 15, 2018). VanVleet is the eighth player in franchise history to record 400 3-pointers. • Kyle Lowry is the longest serving players on the Raptors roster (nine seasons) and the franchise’s all-time leader in three-pointers made (1,413), assists (3,999) and steals (838). He is currently 80 points away from joining DeMar DeRozan (13,296) and Chris Bosh (10,275) as the only players in franchise history to reach 10,000 points. He also needs one assists to reach 4,000. According to the Elias Sports Bureau only three active players have recorded 10,000 points and 4,000 assists with their current team – James Harden (Houston), Stephen Curry (Golden State) and Damian Lillard (Portland). • Chris Boucher has led the bench in scoring six times this season, including 20 points Jan. 11 at Portland. Through 10 games this season Boucher has scored 15+ points five times (all on the road), including a season-high 24 points Jan. 2 at New Orleans. He had a career-best seven games last season with 15+ points. Boucher is one of seven undrafted players on Toronto’s roster.
Gordon Hayward (Left Hip Strain) – PROBABLE Cody Zeller (Left Hand Fracture) – OUT
THE SERIES MODEL: The 2020-21 schedule incorporates steps to reduce travel, including the use of a “series” model. In some instances where a team is scheduled to play twice in one market, those games have been scheduled to be played consecutively. Each team will play an average of four “series” in the First Half – two at home and two on the road. Additional steps include more instances of teams playing consecutive road games against teams that are geographically close, and roughly 50 percent fewer instances of teams making single-game road trips. • Nick Nurse was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year for the 2019-20 season. Nurse guided the Raptors to a 53-19 record during the regular season (second best in the NBA) and set a franchise-record with a .736 winning percentage. Highlighting Toronto’s season was a franchise-record 15 straight victories (Jan. 15 – Feb. 10) – the longest winning streak in Canadian sports history. He earned Eastern Conference Coach of the Month honours twice and also coached Team Giannis at the NBA All-Star Game. • Terence Davis was named to the 2019-20 NBA All-Rookie Second Team. Davis became the 11th player in franchise history, and first since Jonas Valanciunas in 2013, to receive All-Rookie honours. He averaged 7.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 16.8 minutes last season and was the only Raptor to appear in all 72 games. Davis ranked fifth among rookies in three-point percentage (.388) and eighth in field goal percentage (.456). • The Raptors added Chris Finch and Jama Mahlalela (Jah-MAH MAH-lalay-lah) as assistant coaches to Head Coach Nick Nurse’s staff. Finch spent the past three seasons in New Orleans (2017-20). He has also served as an assistant coach with Denver (2016-17) and Houston (2011-16). Mahlalela rejoins the Raptors coaching staff where he was an assistant for five seasons (2014-18). Mahlalela was head coach for Raptors 905 the past two seasons where he accumulated a record of 51-42 (.548). • Kyle Lowry has 16 career triple-doubles, including 14 in a Raptors uniform. Lowry’s 14 triple-doubles are more than all other Raptors combined (12). The last player to record a triple-double for Toronto other than Lowry was Jose Calderon (Dec. 16, 2012 vs. Houston). • The Raptors have finished with a winning record each of the past 24 calendar months (February 2017 – August 2020). The streak is the longest in franchise history and the longest current streak in the NBA. The last month in which Toronto did not have a winning record was January 2017 (8–9). • Toronto has not lost games on consecutive days since Dec. 26–27, 2017 (at Dallas and Oklahoma City). The Raptors have played 32 pairs of games on back-to-back days since then, sweeping both games 14 times and splitting 18 times.
GETTING IT DONE ON THE DEFENSIVE END: During the 2020-21 season, the Hornets have been one of the better defensive teams in the NBA as they are holding their opponents to 107.3 points per game, which ranks eighth in the NBA. Charlotte has a defensive rating of 107.0 points per 100 possessions, the seventh best rating this season as the Hornets are giving up 107.3 points per game, the eight lowest opponent scoring average this season. The Hornets are holding their opponents to just 39.4 field goals made per game, which is tied for sixth in the NBA while the team is 11th this season in opponent field goal percentage at .449%. Charlotte is averaging 54.8 contested shots per game, including 25.3 contest 3-point shots, which is tied for sixth in the NBA as Hornets opponents are shooting just .330% from beyond the arc, the fourth lowest opponent field goal percentage from 3-point distance. Charlotte is working hard and running around on the defensive end as the Hornets lead the league in distance traveled of miles traveled on defense per game at 8.81. GONE STREAKING: With a win over the New York Knicks on Jan. 11, the Hornets won four straight games, marking their longest win-streak of the season, which began on Jan. 6. This streak marked the Hornets longest win-streak since the 2018-19 season when Charlotte won four games in a row from Apr. 3 to Apr. 9, 2019. During the four-game span, Charlotte averaged 110.5 points, 43.0 rebounds, 27.5 assists, 10.0 steals and 6.5 blocks per game. Over the Hornets last five games, the team is averaging 107.0 points, 45.0 rebounds, 27.2 assists, 9.6 steals, 6.6 blocks and 13.2 turnovers per game, ranking sixth in assists, third in steals, tied for fifth in block s and ninth in turnovers per game over every team’s last five outings. Charlotte has been solid on the defensive end as well during the last five games as their opponents are shooting are averaging just 36.4 field goals per game on .409% shooting from the field as their opponents only averaging 100.2 points per game. Over their last five games, the Hornets rank first in opponent field goals made per game and opponent shooting percentage while holding their opponents to the second lowest scoring average over that time. Charlotte is forcing 14.6 turnovers per game, the 10th most over each team’s last five games. Charlotte is second in the league in defensive rating and sixth in net rating over every team’s last five contests, giving up 103.9 points per 100 possessions with an 6.6 net rating. Forward Gordon Hayward is averaging 26.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while shooting .517% from the field, .500% from 3-point range and .900% from the free throw line over his last five contests. Hayward has the 12th highest points per game average among all players last five games as only him and Kawhi Leonard have averaged 25.0 points per game and shoot .500% or better from the field and from beyond the arc during the five-game stretch. Guard LaMelo Ball is accumulating averages of 11.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game over his last five game as he’s 13th in rebounds and 14th in assists per game over every players last five outings. Guard Devonte’ Graham has recorded at least seven assists over his last five games marking the longest streak of games with five-plus assist in a single season for the third-year guard since the 2019-20 season when he did it in nine straight games from Jan. 28 to Feb. 20. Graham is fifth in the NBA over his last five games in steals per game at 2.4 while guard Terry Rozier is tied for the sixth highest steals per game average over every player’s last five games, averaging 2.2 steals per game over his last five games. Rozier has had at least one steal over that span, the longest for Rozier since he had eight consecutive games with a steal from Dec. 13 to Dec. 29, 2019. SCORING IN THE FOURTH: The Charlotte Hornets have seen strong fourth quarter showings from forward Gordon Hayward and guard Terry Rozier as Hayward leads the NBA this season in total points scored in the fourth quarter with 72 points. Rozier has scored 65 total points in the fourth quarter this season, which ranks seventh as the Hornets are currently the one of two teams this season with two players in the top 10 in fourth quarter scoring, including the Los Angeles Lakers (LeBron James, 67 points; Montrezl Harrell, 64 points). Rozier’s 21 points in the fourth quarter in the season opener at Cleveland on Dec. 23 are the most in the fourth quarter in the NBA this season. Hayward has scored 14 points in the fourth quarter in two games (1/6 at ATL, 1/8 vs. NOP) this season as only Nets forward Kevin Durant has two games this season with 14+ points in the fourth quarter of that respective game. Hornets forward Miles Bridges also had 14 points in the fourth quarter on Dec. 26 vs. Oklahoma City as the Hornets have the most players this season (3) with 14+ points in the fourth quarter as well as the most games (4) where a player totaled 14 or more points in the final quarter of regulation. HAYWARD’S FIRST HALF HEROICS: The Hornets beat the New York Knicks, 109-88, behind a strong performance from forward Gordon Hayward who scored 34 points going 11-for-17 from the field and 10-for-10 from the free throw line. Hayward scored 28 of his 34 points in the first half, setting a new career-high for points in any half as this is the second time this season he’s scored 25+ points in the first half. Since the 1996-97 season, Hayward’s 28 first half points are tied for the second most by a Hornets player with Glen Rice (28, 2/19/97 vs. PHO) and behind Kemba Walker who scored 35 points in the first half vs. Memphis on Mar. 22, 2018. Hayward also joins Rice (3 times, 1996-97) and Walker (2 times, 2018-19) as the only two players since the 1996-97 season with multiple games scoring 25+ points in the first half of that respective game. Hayward is one of two players this season along with Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo to score 25+ points in the first half in two games and one of five players with 25+ points in two games in any half, also joining Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Bulls guard Zach LaVine. Hayward has now scored 30+ points in two games this season Hayward is one of nine players this season to go perfect from the free throw line while taking 10 or more free throw attempts and the first Hornets player to do so since Marvin Williams on Dec. 2, 2019 vs. Phoenix when Williams went 10-for-10 as well. This is the fifth time Hayward has done this in his career and the firs time since Dec. 1, 2018 when he went 10-of-10 from the charity stripe for Boston in a win at Minnesota. Hayward’s teams are 4-1 in his career in those instances. SHARING IS CARING: The Charlotte Hornets are leading the league in assists (28.7) with Washington (27.3) , Denver (27.2), Memphis (26.8) and Miami (26.8) rounding out the top five. The Hornets have dished out at least 30 assists in fives games this season, which is the most by any team this season. The Hornets also lead in assist percentage at 73.8% and in assist ratio at 20.1. Charlotte also lead’s the NBA in assists points created at 72.8 per game and in secondary assists (3.8) per game as the Hornets are second in the NBA in passes made per game, averaging 314.3 passes made per game. Guards Devonte’ Graham and LaMelo Ball rank 15th and 26th in assists per game respectively The Hornets set a season high with 35 assists on Dec. 27 vs. Brooklyn, which is the team’s most in a game since Apr. 9, 2019 against Cleveland. Their assist total against Brooklyn is the tied for the sixth most by any team in the league this season as Charlotte has managed to stay in the top 5 among league leaders in assists per game since the season began in their opener against Cleveland (Dec. 23, 2020). second in the Association in percentage of their total points coming off the fast-break.
P.J.’S BLOCK PARTY: Hornets forward P.J. Washington notched 22 points, seven rebounds and six blocks in Charlotte’s win over Atlanta on Jan. 9. Washington is the first Hornets player with 20 points and six blocks since Dwight Howard on Dec. 8, 2017 vs. Chicago and just the seventh player with at least 20 points and six blocks in franchise history. Washington is the first Hornets player to block six-plus shots in a single game since Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on Oct. 20, 2018 at Miami. Washington currently ranks 17th in the NBA in blocks per game this season as he’s one of six players with six blocks in a game single-game. WELCOME TO THE CLUB: Hornets forward Gordon Hayward entered the 2020-21 season with 9,813 career regular season points over his first 10 seasons. With a 3-point field goal at the 7:54 mark in the third quarter at New Orleans, Hayward reached the 10,000-point mark. Hayward currently has 10,077 career points in the regular season as he is 43rd in points among active players in the NBA as he passed 76ers forward Tobias Harris on Jan. 9, who is now 44th on that list with 10,017 career points. . DEFENDING THE BASKET EARLY: In the Hornets win at Atlanta on Jan. 6, Charlotte scored 112 points and allowed just 94 points to the Hawks. Charlotte was stingy on the defensive end in the first quarter, giving up only 11 points on 5-of-22 shooting to the Hawks in the first 12 minutes of the game. With the Hornets allowing the Hawks to score only 11 first quarter points, this is the lowest points allowed in a first quarter by any team all season and tied for the second lowest points given up in any quarter this season. In franchise history, this is just the ninth time where the Hornets held their opponent to 11 points or less in the opening quarter of a game with the last time being on Feb. 10, 2020 at Detroit. Against Atlanta, 11 points is the fewest the Hornets have given up in any quarter in all games played against one another in team history with the previous low being 13 points; all those games came on Atlanta’s home court as well (Apr. 14, 2014, Oct. 31, 2000, Mar. 25, 2000). FIGHTING UNTIL THE END: The Hornets picked up a second straight victory in comeback fashion, defeating the New Orleans Pelicans, 118-110, despite being down by as many as 18 points. Charlotte was down by 12 points at halftime, 59-47, but managed to pull within five points to start the fourth quarter with the score at 87-82. The Hornets went down by 10 early in the fourth, but were able to take the lead with 5:46 to go and aside from a tie on the next possession, Charlotte went back up, 106-105, and never looked back to secure the win. In the second half, the Hornets totaled 71 points setting a new season-high for points in a half as this marked the second time this season Charlotte has scored 70+ points in a half (70 points in the second half at Cleveland (12/23,). In franchise history, this is just the second time where the team has had multiple second halves with 70 points or more in a single season with the other time coming during the 1995-96 season (71 points on Nov. 4, 1995; 74 points on Nov. 22, 1995), according to Basketball Reference. The Hornets knocked down 13 field goals from beyond the arc in the second half, including nine in the third quarter alone, marking the fourth time in franchise history where Charlotte has had nine-plus 3s in a single quarter. Charlotte’s franchise record for 3-pointers in a quarter is 10 (3/24/19 at TOR, Q3) with the Hornets making nine shots from 3-point distance on Jan. 25, 2016 at Sacramento in the third quarter and on Jan. 13, 2020 at Portland in the third quarter as well. Through games played on Jan. 7, only the Warriors had made nine 3-point field goals in a quarter, doing so vs. Sacramento on Jan. 4 in the fourth quarter. This was the fifth time this season a team has faced a deficit of 18+ points and gone on to win as only seven other teams have completed a comeback of 18+ points, including Portland (1/13 vs. SAC), Brooklyn (1/12 vs. DEN), Toronto (1/8 at SAC), Golden State (1/8 vs. LAC), Detroit (1/8 vs. Phoenix), New York (1/7 at UTA), and Chicago (1/5 at POR). The Hornets 18-point comeback is the largest for the team in a win since being down by 20 points in a win at Miami on Mar. 11, 2020.
OH, BROTHER: With LaMelo and Lonzo Ball matching up against one another on Jan. 6, the pair become the first brothers drafted in the top 5 over their respective draft in NBA history as they are also the only brothers in the NBA to both be drafted on the top 5, according to Elias Sports Bureau via ESPN Stats & Info. Among players who have appeared in at least one game since the 2018-19 season, there are 13 sets of brothers in the NBA. During the 2019-20 season, there were seven games where relatives appeared in a game against one another, which included Juancho and Willy Hernangomez (2/12/20, CHA at MIN; 1/15/20, CHA at DEN), Jrue, Aaron and Justin Holiday (2/8/20, NOP at IND, 12/28/19, IND at NOP), Markieff and Marcus Morris Sr. (7/30/20, LAL at LAC; 3/8/20, LAL at LAC; 11/6/19, DET vs. NY). Among the list of relatives who are active players, Brook and Robin Lopez, Jrue and Aaron Holiday, Markieff and Marcus Morris Sr. and Cody and Tyler Zeller were all selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. According to ESB, the Hornets are one of four teams that had five or more players appear in at least one game for them in a season, who also had at least one brother appear in an NBA game before or during that season. The 2020-21 Hornets join the 2019-20 Milwaukee Bucks (five players: G. Antetokounmpo, T. Antetokounmpo, B. Lopez, R. Lopez and Sterling Brown), the 2018-19 Memphis Grizzlies (five players: Marc Gasol, Delon Wright, Andrew Harrison, J. Holiday and T. Zeller) and the 2014-15 Suns (six players: Seth Curry, Goran Dragic, Zoran Dragic, Miles Plumlee and the Morris twins). BISMACK HITS THE BOARDS: Bismack Biyombo finished the Jan. 1 game against Memphis with 16 points and 12 rebounds, leading the team in both scoring and assists for the night. Last season he recorded four double-doubles and was tied for fourth most on the Charlotte Hornets. Biyombo surpassed a career total of 4,00 rebounds against Memphis as he currently has 4,051 for his career. In the Hornets game against Dallas on Jan. 13, Biyombo grabbed nine rebounds, which helped him pass Anthony Mason for sixth on the Hornets All-Time rebounds list as he currently has 2,361 overall. On December 26th Biyombo grabbed nine rebounds against the Thunder, the most of any Hornet for the night. Biyombo finished with three offensive rebounds, surpassing Gerald Wallace for fourth on the Hornets All-Time offensive rebounds list as he currently has 802 offensive rebounds in his Hornets career. BRIDGES AND BALL BRING IT OFF THE BENCH: Hornets forward Miles Bridges recorded his first double-double of the season with 20 points and 16 rebounds on December 27th vs. Brooklyn. Bridges 16 rebounds marked a career-high in both defensive rebounds (16) and rebounds overall. off the bench making him the fourth player in franchise history with a 20-point, 15-rebound game as a reserve. Bridges 20 points combined with rookie LaMelo Ball’s 22 points marked the first time that the Hornets had two 20+ point scorers off the bench since April 5, 2019 (Frank Kaminsky and Jeremy Lamb). DEVONTE’ AND THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham posted 10 points and 10 assists on Dec. 23 at Cleveland and 14 points and 10 assists on Dec. 26 vs. Oklahama City. Graham is the first Hornets player in franchise history to open a season with consecutive point-assist double-doubles. On December 26th, Graham’s 10 assists helped him advance past Kelly Tripucka’s 607 career assists for 17th on the Hornets All-Time assist list as Graham is currently at 664 career assists. Graham’s 10 points and 10 assists in the season opener made him the third player in franchise history with a points-assist double-double to kick off the season.
William Nylander put the Maple Leafs on the board at 15:56 of the first period and later Toronto’s second goal of the night on the power play at 18:00 of the second period before collecting the lone assist on Jimmy Vesey’s third period goal. Tonight’s game is his first multi-goal game and multi-point game of 2020-21. He had four multi-goal and 12 multi-point games in 2019-20. He has 14 points (8-6-14) in 14 career games against Montreal.
John Tavares collected the secondary assist on Nylander’s first period goal and later scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the game on the power play at 19:21 of the second period before recording the primary assist on Rielly’s overtime goal. Tonight’s game is his first multi-point performance of 2020-21 after he had 18 in 2019-20. Tavares had 60 points (26 goals, 34 assists) in 63 games last season. In 36 career games against the Canadiens, he has recorded 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists).
Jimmy Vesey scored the fourth Toronto goal of the night at 10:33 of the third period. Vesey’s goal is his first goal as a Maple Leaf and first point as a Maple Leaf. He had nine goals and 11 assists in 64 games during the 2019-20 season with the Buffalo Sabres. Tonight’s game is his first game as a Maple Leaf.
Morgan Rielly scored the fifth Maple Leafs goal of the game at 3:24 of overtime. Rielly’s goal is his fifth career overtime goal. In 2019-20 he scored three goals, including two game winners.
Justin Holl registered the primary assist on Nylander’s first period goal. In 68 games last season, Holl registered two goals and 16 assists.
Jason Spezza registered the primary assist on Nylander’s second period goal. Spezza’s assist is the 600th assist of his career. He has 70 points (32 goals, 38 assists) in 67 career games against the Canadiens.
Zach Hyman had the secondary assist on Nylander’s second period goal. Hyman’s assist is his first point of 2020-21. He registered 37 points (21 goals, 16 assists) in 51 games during the 2019-20 season.
Mitch Marner recorded the primary assist on Tavares’ second period goal. Marner’s assist is his first point of the season. He led the Maple Leafs with 51 assists in 2019-20.
Frederik Andersen picked up the secondary assist on Tavares’ second period goal. Andersen’s assist is his first since November 15, 2018 vs. San Jose.
Auston Matthews had the secondary assist on Rielly’s overtime goal. Matthews’ assist is his first point of 2020-21. He had 47 goals and 33 assists in 70 games played in 2019-20.
Frederik Andersen stopped 28 of the 32 shots he faced in the win.
The Maple Leafs went 1-for-3 on the penalty kill and 2-for-4 on the power play tonight.
Alexander Barabanov made his NHL debut.
Zach Bogosian made his Maple Leaf debut.
TJ Brodie made his Maple Leaf debut.
Zach Hyman, Alex Kerfoot and Ilya Mikheyev were the lone Toronto skaters to not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone.
Auston Matthews and Morgan Rielly were on the ice for a team-high 24 shot attempts at 5-on-5 tonight. Matthews finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 64.9% (24 for, 13 against), while Rielly finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 63.2 percent (24 for, 14 against).
Wayne Simmonds made his Maple Leaf debut.
Joe Thornton made his Maple Leaf debut.
Friday, January 15, 7:00 p.m. at Ottawa Senators (TSN4, FAN 590)
Saturday, January 16, 7:00 p.m. at Ottawa Senators (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)
Monday, January 18, 7:00 p.m. vs. Winnipeg Jets (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050)
Wednesday, January 20, 7:00 p.m. vs. Edmonton Oilers (Sportsnet, FAN 590)
Friday, January 22, 7:00 p.m. vs. Edmonton Oilers (TSN4, TSN 1050)