Rockets unsure of Westbrook’s status for playoffs — VOICE OF THE HWY

4:21 PM ET Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook‘s availability for the beginning of the NBA playoffs is uncertain after an MRI revealed a strained muscle in his right quadriceps, the team announced Wednesday. Westbrook will not play in the remainder of the seeding schedule and will be reevaluated before the playoffs begin next week. The […]

Rockets unsure of Westbrook’s status for playoffs — VOICE OF THE HWY

BLUE JACKETS-MAPLE LEAFS GAME 5: Pregame Notes.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (2-2) vs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (2-2)

AUGUST 9, 2020 ▪ 8:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪
TV: SPORTSNET ▪ RADIO: TSN 1050

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus COLUMBUS


ALL-TIME RECORD
: 14-11-1-4
ALL-TIME at HOME: 6-6-1-3

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF SERIES RECORD: 0-0

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORD: 2-2
2019-20: 1-0-1

THE SERIES SO FAR

GAME FOUR – AUGUST 6, 2020: Toronto 4 vs. Columbus 3 OT

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Nylander, Tavares, Hyman, Matthews

Columbus Goals: Atkinson, Gavrikov, Jenner

TOR PP: 1/4; CBJ PP: 0/3

Shots: 53-39 Toronto; Hits: 26-20 Columbus; Faceoff %: 59% Columbus

GAME THREE – AUGUST 6, 2020: Columbus 4 vs. Toronto 3 OT

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Ceci, Nylander, Robertson

Columbus Goals: Dubois (3), Jones

TOR PP: 1/2; CBJ PP: 0/3

Shots: 43-36 Columbus; Hits: 27-19 Columbus; Faceoff %: 51% Toronto

GAME TWO – AUGUST 4, 2020: Toronto 3 vs. Columbus 0

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Matthews, Tavares, Rielly

Columbus Goals: N/A

TOR PP: 0/5; CBJ PP: 0/4

Shots: 39-20 Toronto; Hits: 28-18 Columbus; Faceoff %: 53% Columbus

GAME ONE – AUGUST 2, 2020: Columbus 2 vs. Toronto 0

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: N/A

Columbus Goals: Atkinson, Wennberg

TOR PP: 0/1; CBJ PP: 0/2

Shots: 35-28 Columbus; Hits: 37-26 Columbus; Faceoff %: 58% Toronto

MAPLE LEAFS SERIES LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADERCATEGORYLEADER
GOALS(Matthews, Nylander, Tavares)BLOCKED SHOTS10 (Holl)
ASSISTS4 (Marner, Matthews)TAKEAWAYS7 (Matthews)
POINTS(Matthews)HITS9 (Hyman)
SHOTS21 (Matthews)TOI PER GAME28:20 (Rielly)
FACEOFF WIN%63.6% (Nylander)PP TOI PER GAME4:00 (Matthews)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %62.2% (Engvall)SH TOI PER GAME3:36 (Holl)

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus COLUMBUS

GAMES: John Tavares (27), Jason Spezza (22), Kyle Clifford (20), Morgan Rielly (20)
POINTS: John Tavares (33), Mitch Marner (12), Jason Spezza (12)

GOALS: John Tavares (14), Mitch Marner (5), Jason Spezza (4)

ASSISTS: John Tavares (19), Morgan Rielly (9), Tyson Barrie (9)

PENALTY MINUTES: Kyle Clifford (23), John Tavares (16), Jake Muzzin (14)

BLUE JACKETS CAREER LEADERS versus TORONTO

GAMES: Nick Foligno (46), Brandon Dubinsky (32), Gustav Nyquist (27)

POINTS: Brandon Dubinsky (23), Nick Foligno (22), Gustav Nyquist (20)

GOALS: Gustav Nyquist (11), Nick Foligno (10), Brandon Dubinsky (7)

ASSISTS: Brandon Dubinsky (16), Nick Foligno (12), Seth Jones (9), Gustav Nyquist (9)

PENALTY MINUTES: Nick Foligno (38), Brandon Dubinsky (26), Nathan Gerbe (16)

MAPLE LEAFS ACTIVE PLAYOFF LEADERS

GAMES: Jason Spezza (84), Jake Muzzin (59), Kyle Clifford (59)

POINTS: Jason Spezza (70), John Tavares (30), Jake Muzzin (22)
GOALS: Jason Spezza (25), John Tavares (15), Auston Matthews (12)

ASSISTS: Jason Spezza (45), Jake Muzzin (15), John Tavares (15)
PENALTY MINUTES: Kyle Clifford (62), Jason Spezza (37), Jake Muzzin (22)

2019-20 SEASON SERIES

October 4, 2019: Toronto 4 vs. Columbus 1

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Marner (2), Ceci, Matthews

Columbus Goals: Atkinson

October 21, 2019: Columbus 4 vs. Toronto 3 OT

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Kapanen, Matthews, Nylander

Columbus Goals: Nash, Dubois, Wennberg, Nyquist

MAPLE LEAFS SNAPSHOTS

Postseason Appearances– The 2020 postseason marks the Maple Leafs’ 69th appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Series History– The Maple Leafs have played a total of 114 series in their previous 68 playoff appearances, winning 58 of them.
Playoff Record– Toronto has a record of 264-287-4 in 555 franchise playoff games.
Best of Five– The Toronto franchise (Arenas, St. Pats, Maple Leafs) has played in 15 best-of-five series in its history and have a 7-8 record in that span
Toronto vs. Columbus– This is the first time the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets have met in a postseason series.
Postseason Experience– Frederik AndersenKasperi KapanenZach HymanAuston MatthewsMitch MarnerWilliam Nylander and Morgan Rielly have appeared in all 23 postseason games contested by the Maple Leafs since the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, per NHL Stats.
In the Atlantic– Toronto finished third in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the NHL standings with a record of 36-25-9 (.569 points percentage).
Team Discipline– The Maple Leafs took the sixth-fewest penalties in the NHL (219) and averaged the third-fewest penalty minutes per game (6.7). 
Faceoffs– The Maple Leafs finished third among NHL teams in faceoff win percentage (52.5%) and tied for second among NHL teams in offensive zone faceoff win percentage (54.0%).
Goals by Strength– The Maple Leafs were third in the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (159).
Power Play– The Maple Leafs have the third fewest power play opportunities (195) among NHL teams that have scored at least 40 power play goals (45).
Penalty Kill– Toronto was shorthanded 193 times this season, which was the eighth-fewest times shorthanded in the NHL.
Scoring First– Toronto had a .774 win percentage when scoring first, which tied for the third highest in the NHL.

MAPLE LEAFS NOTABLES

Frederik Andersen– Made 36 saves on 39 shots to earn the win in game four.  – Since joining the Maple Leafs in 2016-17, Andersen is 10-13 in 24 Stanley Cup Playoffs appearances. He ranks eighth among Maple Leafs goaltenders in all-time playoff wins.
Tyson Barrie– Averaging 22:08 in ice time and has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 54.1 in the series thus far.- Has appeared in 25 career playoff games and recorded 14 points (one goal, 13 assists).
Jack Campbell– Could make his Stanley Cup playoff debut this postseason.- Had a 3-2-1 record with a .915 save percentage and a 2.63 goals-against average after being acquired by the Maple Leafs.- Has made two career appearances against the Blue Jackets and is 1-0-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
Cody Ceci– Scored a shorthanded goal on August 6 vs. Columbus to become the first Maple Leaf defenceman to score a shorthanded goal in the playoffs since Jim McKenny on April 9, 1972 vs. Boston- Has skated in 29 career playoff games, recording a goal and three assists.
Kyle Clifford– Has appeared in 59 career playoff games and is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion (2012, 2014) with the Los Angeles Kings.
Travis Dermott– Has averaged 6:30 per game in overtime TOI during games three and four of the series, which is the third highest average among Toronto skaters.- Has two goals and three assists in 18 career playoff games.
Justin Holl– Has played 12:47 in shorthanded time on ice this series, which is the most among Toronto skaters. – Made his Stanley Cup playoff debut on August 2 vs. Columbus. 
Zach Hyman– Had his first career multi-point game in the playoffs on August 7 vs. Columbus.- Leads Toronto in hits (9) through four games of the series.- Has appeared in 24 career playoff games and recorded 12 points (4-8-12).
Kasperi Kapanen– Ranks second among Maple Leafs in hits (8).- Has drawn a team-high four penalties through four games of the series.- Has appeared in 24 career playoff games and recorded five points (4-3-7).
Alex Kerfoot– Had his first career multi-point and multi-assist playoff game on August 6 vs. Columbus.- Has appeared in 22 career playoff games and recorded eight points (2-6-8).
Mitch Marner– Established a new single-game high for assists in the playoffs (3) in game four against Columbus.  – Averaging a team-high 19.70 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time.- Has appeared in 24 career playoff games and recorded 21 career points (5-16-21).
Auston Matthews– Tied for fifth among NHL skaters in points this postseason (2-4-6).- Ranks first among NHL forwards in ice time per game (25:42) through four games of the series.- Has skated in 24 career playoff games and recorded 12 goals and seven assists.- Per NHL Stats, Matthews’ 12 career playoff goals (24 GP) are the second-most among Maple Leafs before the age of 23. He trails Ted Kennedy (20 G in 38 GP).
William Nylander– Tied for the Maple Leafs’ lead in goals (2) and ranks second among Toronto skaters in points (2-2-4).- Averaging 20:47 per game in ice time through four games.- Has recorded four goals goals and nine assists in 23 career playoff games.
Jason Spezza– Leads the Maple Leafs in career playoff games (83), goals (25), assists (45) and points (70).
John Tavares– Ranks second among NHL skaters in faceoff wins (54) through four games.- Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 54.2 percent, which is tied for fourth among Toronto forwards.- Has skated in 34 career playoff games and recorded 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists).
  

INJURY REPORT

Andreas Johnsson (Knee)On injured reserve.
Jake MuzzinLeft Toronto’s game on August 4 and has been ruled out for the remainder of the series.

MAPLE LEAFS – BLUE JACKETS FINAL 2019-20 TEAM STATS

 TORONTOCOLUMBUS
GOALS FOR (Rank):237 (2nd)180 (t-28th)
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):     222 (25th)183 (t-3rd)
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):45/195 [23.8%] (6th)31/189 [16.4%] (27th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):150/193 [77.7%] (21st)138/169 [81.7%] (12th)
SHOTS (Rank):2302 (4th)2272 (6th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):3466 (3rd)3133 (14th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):52.0% (6th)49.2% (19th)
FACEOFF % (Rank):52.5% (3rd)48.5% (26th)

MAPLE LEAFS 2019-20 LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADER
GOALS47 (Matthews)
ASSISTS51 (Marner)
POINTS80 (Matthews)
POWER PLAY POINTS25 (Matthews)
SHORTHANDED POINTS(Engvall, Kapanen)
PIMs43 (Holl)
SHOTS290 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN%55.3% (Tavares)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %54.6% (Nylander)
BLOCKED SHOTS110 (Muzzin)
TAKEAWAYS78 (Matthews)
HITS109 (Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME24:12 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME3:13 (Marner)
SH TOI PER GAME2:50 (Ceci)

Celtics 122, Raptors 100

https://torontosun.com/sports/basketball/nba/toronto-raptors/about-time-we-got-a-raptors-celtics-playoff-series-because-of-you-fittingly-starts-with-embry-raps-mccaw-leaves-bubble/wcm/57ed74eb-7afb-461d-910f-c571ca8a995d/

Celtics send Raptors to first bubble loss in potential playoff preview

Author of the article:Mike GanterPublishing date:Aug 08, 2020  •  Last Updated 39 minutes ago  •  5 minute read

Boston Celtics’ Kemba Walker, and Toronto Raptors’ OG Anunoby compete for the ball last night in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. AP

There’s no question NBA fans are long overdue for a Celtics/Raptors playoff matchup.

Despite the two teams sharing the same conference and each making the playoffs the past five years, a meeting post regular season has never happened.

If it does, the hope is it’s a lot more competitive than the game the two teams played last night.

The Raptors, one of two teams unbeaten in the Bubble since the seeding games began, can no longer make that claim after being thoroughly dominated by a Celtics team that before last night looked to be in a little bit of trouble.

Toronto’s defence, which had been the talk of the NBA campus, seemed to take the night off facing a Celtics team they will very likely see a few weeks from now in the Conference semi-finals barring an upset of either team in the first round.

Toronto’s defence was there in the early going but as soon as it became apparent that the Raptors weren’t having even a mediocre shooting night, the defence fell off precipitously.

A 14-point first quarter by the Raptors seemed to bring every other part of their game down as the Celtics ran away for a 122-100 win.

As for takeaways or learning lessons from this game, head coach Nick Nurse said there was very little, but he did come up with one.

“The only thing I probably did learn is we’ve got to get a couple of our guys playing a little better,” Nurse said stopping short of naming them. “I’m not really concerned about some of the main guys, but there’s a couple guys that need to play a little better since the restart and I’m glad we still have four games to get ’em going and give them that chance. I’m not worried about their work ethic or their conditioning or some of those things, just need to get them a little more confident, have things go their way a little bit more.”

Defensively the Celtics seemed to have more straight-line drives or uncontested gimme’s in this game than the Raptors have given up combined since the re-start.

Norm Powell, who was one of three bench players in double digits did not like what he saw from his team defensively at all.

“That’s us being a step late in the rotation, that’s us not putting in that second effort like we’ve been doing all year,” he said. “That’s something that we can take away from all this and knowing that we let them go where they wanted to go. We weren’t the ones that were being physical into the bodies like the way we were playing the previous three games,” Powell said.

“Each game we’ve been the ones being physical and were bringing that aggressive style and that physicality to them, but they brought it to us and we needed to respond and be a little tougher and stand in there help one another. You know, those straight-line drives and wide-open shots are us in our rotations that we see in film and we can get better at.”

Should these two teams finally meet in the playoffs a few weeks from now, expect a much crisper effort than the one the Raptors put in last night.

‘TRAIL BLAZERS’ RECOGNIZED
Nick Nurse and the Raptors have put together another initiative that is starting to get some notice around the league.

Much like the reaction the Raptors buses with Black Lives Matter logos covering them when they pulled into the bubble in Orlando, the Raptors’ ‘Because of You’ initiative is turning heads.

The players and their head coach were all decked out pre-game last night in shirts with the likeness of Wayne Embry on them. Embry has been the a senior advisor with the Raptors since 2004 but long before that he broke the colour barrier in the NBA twice. The first time came in 1971 when Embry became the first black general manager in league history with the Milwaukee Bucks. Twenty-three years later he became the first black president in the league with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Fittingly the Raptors chose Embry to be the man they began their ‘Because of You’ campaign.
Nurse explained the origin of the campaign pre-game.

“The phrase ‘because of you’ comes from Barack Obama to John Lewis,” Nurse said of the recently deceased civil rights leader. “John Lewis asked Barack Obama to sign a book, or a piece of paper or something, and Barack Obama wrote ‘because of you, John’ and signed his name. With the passing of John Lewis here recently, one of our members of our leadership team came up with this fantastic idea to honour some living legends that did some historic things. And Wayne Embry, right in our own organization, was one of those, becoming the first African-American general manager, then the first African American team president.”

Embry has been a sounding board and father figure in the organization since he arrived 16 years ago and as current team president Masai Ujiri has made very clear, he will be doing that as long as Ujiri is in his position and as long as Embry wants to remain.

Nurse is hoping other teams will follow the Raptors lead on this one and begin their own initiatives.

RAPS DOWN ONE
The Raptors depth took a bit of a hit Friday when guard Pat McCaw was forced to leave the NBA bubble for medical treatment.

McCaw, whose injury has been kept in house until now, is dealing with the reoccurrence of a benign mass on the back of his left knee.

He’ll leave the NBA campus in Orlando to seek treatment from Dr. Riley Williams at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York to determine his next step.

McCaw previously saw Williams in November for the same condition.

“He’s already had it checked and is scheduled to go have it done, to leave on Monday,” head coach Nick Nurse confirmed pre-game. “I think they checked it and it’s hurting him, but it’s not terribly bad. I think we’ll have to see how the procedure goes Monday, but what the reading was as of last night was that it’s not that bad but it needs to be cleaned up just a little bit. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed that it goes well and it’s not too extensive.

McCaw did not take part in any of the scrimmages or seeding games to date. Pre-pandemic this season he appeared in 37 games averaging 24.5 minutes a game with 4.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

Under NBA rules, the Raptors are not entitled to replace McCaw with another player. The roster now stands at 16 players.

An update on his status will be provided when appropriate according to the team.

Late in Friday’s game, Serge Ibaka was forced to leave after getting poked in the eye.

TORONTO 4, COLUMBUS 3 (OT): What the Leafs said.

SHELDON KEEFE

Q. (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet): I’m just wondering what will you remember most about that comeback? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Just the resilience of our team and how it just put new life in our group. It was pretty remarkable to be a part of it.

Q. (Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun): For Sunday now, how do you get to a point where you don’t have to play like that in the last five minutes and maybe have some of that push much earlier in the game than in the final stages of the third? 

SHELDON KEEFE: I think we played a good game today. Obviously, we don’t that we got behind early. It’s a much more difficult team to play against when you’re behind than when you’re even or ahead, of course. They’ve clearly established that as part of their identity. It was a tough road for us today, but our guys played really hard. It wasn’t perfect, but our guys played really hard and it was nice to see them get rewarded.

Q. (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): This core has taken its fair share of criticism. What did they show tonight?  

SHELDON KEEFE: Again, just resilience, just that they weren’t going to quit. Once we got one and got a little bit of life, they kept pushing. It was really nice and fitting the way that the goal was scored, the winning goal, Mitch to JT to Auston. But this was a group effort today. There was a lot of contributions. Look at the play of our fourth line today. They were outstanding. Jason Spezza just did not our season to end today and he played with that level of urgency. You see the fight, that’s just playoff hockey. That’s a guy who’s just not wanting to go down literally without a fight. It was great. It would have been so disappointing, of course, for it to end the way it was looking like it was going to. This is a funny game, a funny, funny game. I think there’s been times in this series where we haven’t been rewarded, perhaps, when we should have. A little bit of good fortune today as a result of some of our resilience. I thought we were pretty good in overtime and made good on our power play.

Q. (Luke Fox, Sportsnet): Can you describe what the mood was like in the dressing room during the second intermission and what the message to the guys was at that point? 

SHELDON KEEFE: The second intermission was actually pretty good. The first intermission, I think, was one that we kind of had to perk the guys up a little bit and get them going. First intermission I think just the way the period went, we didn’t get a whole lot and we were down, of course. The second intermission was actually really positive and felt good about the group. I don’t know that that necessarily materialized into anything productive on the ice necessarily and a credit to Columbus for how they played defensively. As I said, it’s crazy the way that it worked out. We’ve got new life here now. We were getting CPR there for a little bit and then we found our way back. Here we go. 

Q. (Mark Masters, TSN): Sheldon, how would you describe what it was like with four minutes left in regulation. Could you sense the push coming? Did you and the coaching staff have to do anything to prod it out? What was your view of that moment? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Columbus was doing a terrific job of really clogging things up in the neutral zone so we didn’t have a lot of life going. As coaches it’s our job to get the right people on the ice. Obviously, we had to pull the goaltender a lot earlier than you would normally want to. We just thought coming out of the TV timeout and the fact that we needed three goals and our best guys were fresh, it just made sense. We found a way to get one in. Suddenly you get the second one and now you’re in a game. It’s pretty remarkable, it’s been a pretty crazy 24 hours, obviously, from what we’ve been through here. What we’ve been through as coaches and players and staff and I’m sure fans, media, everything all the way around. It’s been a very interesting and unprecedented 24 hours. It’s on us to regroup and recover here and be ready to go for Sunday. 

Q. (Kevin McGran, Toronto Star): What’s going through your mind the way the game unfolds through the third period with them going up 3-0? What are you thinking in those moments? You’ve tried every line combination you could think of, it looked like. What are you thinking in those moments? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Once they got the third goal, obviously it’s pretty grim. You’re obviously in very tough. I was thinking about some of the great efforts that we’ve had here over the last number of days that I felt maybe we’re not going to be rewarded for it. I felt bad about that because I think we have had some individuals that have been really, really great through all of this. Then it turns, you get a bounce and it comes and all of a sudden you are rewarded for that and we’ve got new life as I’ve said. We’re really, really excited to play on Sunday. 

AUSTON MATTHEWS & JASON SPEZZA

Q. (Kristen Shilton, TSN): What’s the moment like for you when you see that goal go in after coming back from a 3-0 deficit? 

AUSTON MATTHEWS: I don’t really know what to really feel in the moment, to be honest. I think your mind just kind of goes blank and I think it’s a credit to every single guy on our team for just sticking with it, battling back and just not quitting down 3-0 with a couple minutes left. I think that’s a testament to each guy in this locker room and I think everybody should be extremely proud of each other. 

Q. (Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun): Jason, you’ve been around this game a hell of a long time. Do you remember anything like that last four minutes? Anything comparable that you’ve been through? 

JASON SPEZZA: No I’ve never been a part of anything like that. With the firepower we have with these guys, the way they can put the puck in the net, we’re never out of it and there’s a great sense of belief in our group and we stuck with it the whole way and got some big goals by some big players. 

Q. (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): This core has taken a lot of criticism the last few years. What did you guys show tonight? 

AUSTON MATTHEWS: I think just resilience. I think you’re going to go through ups and downs here and I think we’ve definitely been through our share of ups and downs. I think that’s just kind of par for the course here. I think you just try to stick with it, focus on what we can control and focus on what we have in the locker and stick together and play as a team. 

Q. (Luke Fox, Sportsnet): Jason, you don’t have very many fights in your career. What were your emotions coming into this game and what made you drop the gloves tonight? 

JASON SPEZZA: Just trying to spark the guys. I think just trying to show some desperation and have some push back. Sometimes without the crowd you don’t have that so just trying to create some emotion and play the role that I’m in and just try to get everyone going. You’re just trying to do what you can do at this time of year.

ZACH HYMAN

Q. (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): That moment on the tying goal, I think everybody in the building probably thought Auston was going to shoot it. Can you just take us through it? 

ZACH HYMAN: Yeah, I rolled up the wall, I saw Auston in the middle and then it hit him. I thought he was going to shoot it too and then he came back to me and got it off my skate and just tried to throw it to the net. JT had a great screen and it went in. It was crazy. 

Q. (Justin Cuthbert, Yahoo Sports): I’m curious what the mindset was for you and I guess you can only speak for yourself, but the entire team when it was so late and you guys were down 3-0. Were the negative thoughts, the thoughts about what happens next with you guys and bubble life and so on and so forth, did any of that creep in and how were you able to keep everything in check when it was down to the last few minutes there? 

ZACH HYMAN: I think it’s natural that those thoughts start to creep in when they score the third goal but you just put your foot on the gas, keep going, it’s not over until the time runs out. Once you get that first one you’re only down two and then we got the second one pretty quick after that. The belief starts to grow. It grows, it grows and then you give yourself a chance. You keep putting pucks on the net and then we tied it up with 20 seconds there. Then Matts got the OT winner and we’ve got life. I think it’s an exhilarating win. We’ve got to temper our emotions and get back at it for game five. 

MAPLE LEAFS 4, BLUE JACKETS 3 (OT): Game 4, postgame notes.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (2-2) vs.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (2-2)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 7, 2020

 123OTFINAL
TORONTO00314
COLUMBUS11103

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY


ON THE SCORESHEET

  • Auston Matthews registered the primary assist on Tavares’ third period goal and later had the primary assist on Hyman’s third period goal before scoring the overtime-winning goal on the power play at 13:10 of the extra frame. His three points in tonight’s game are a single-game high in the playoffs. The goal is his third career game-winner in the playoffs and first overtime winner in the playoffs. Matthews has assists (4) and points (2-4-6) in three consecutive games to lead the Maple Leafs in playoff scoring. He has 19 points (12 goals, 7 assists) in 24 career playoff games.
  • William Nylander put the Maple Leafs on the board at 16:03 of the third period and later had the secondary assist on Zach Hyman’s third period goal. Nylander has goals (2) in two consecutive games and points (2-2-4) in three consecutive games. He has 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 24 career playoff games.
  • John Tavares scored Toronto’s second goal of the game at 16:54 of the third period and later registered the primary assist on Matthews’ overtime goal. Tonight’s game is his eighth career multi-point performance in the playoffs. Tavares has two goals and one assist in four games this series. He has 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) in 35 career postseason games.
  • Zach Hyman scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the night at 19:37 of the third period. Hyman’s goal is his first of the postseason. He has two points (1-1-2) in four games this postseason. He has 11 points (3-8-11) in 24 career playoff games.
  • Mitch Marner had the secondary assist on Tavares’ third period goal and later had the secondary assist on Matthews’ overtime goal. Marner has assists (3) in two consecutive games. Tonight’s game is his sixth multi-point performance in the playoffs. He has 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists) in 24 career playoff games.
  • Frederik Andersen stopped 36 shots to earn the victory.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)

 1st2nd3rdOTTOTAL
TORONTO15 (12)16 (11)8 (4)14 (13)53 (40)
COLUMBUS13 (13)13 (6)6 (5)7 (7)39 (31

SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)

 1st2nd3rdOTTOTAL
TORONTO21 (18)27 (21)15 (9)20 (19)83 (67)
COLUMBUS21 (21)17 (9)15 (9)21 (21)74 (60)

OF NOTE…

  • The Maple Leafs went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 1-for-4 on the power play tonight.
  • Per NHL Stats, The Maple Leafs are the third team in NHL history to win a postseason game after overcoming a three-goal deficit in the final four minutes of regulation. Toronto joins Edmonton in Game 3 of the 1997 Conference Quarter-Final and Anaheim in Game 5 of the 2017 second round.
  • Toronto recorded 53 shots on goal tonight, which is the fifth highest shot total by the Maple Leafs in franchise playoff history.
  • Martin Marincin was the lone Maple Leaf to not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone.
  • Morgan Rielly was on the ice for a team-high 36 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5. He finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 61.0 percent (36 for, 23 against). 
  • John Tavares won 64 percent (7 won, 4 lost) of his faceoffs against Columbus centre Boone Jenner. 

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

Shots10 (Matthews)
Shot Attempts12 (Marner)
Faceoff Wins12 (Tavares)
Faceoff Win Percentage75% (Nylander – 6 won, 2 lost)
Hits(Spezza, Tavares)
Blocked Shots(Dermott, Matthews)
Takeaways(Six players tied)
TOI33:51 (Rielly)
Power Play TOI4:42 (Matthews, Tavares)
Shorthanded TOI3:54 (Marincin)
Shifts35 (Rielly)
5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage76.0% (Clifford – 19 for, 6 against)
  

UPCOMING GAMES:

  • Sunday, August 9, TBD, Columbus at Toronto (TBD)

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.

MAPLE LEAFS-BLUE JACKETS GAME 4: Pregame Notes

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (1-2) vs.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (2-1)

AUGUST 7, 2020 ▪ 8:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪
TV: SPORTSNET ▪ RADIO: TSN 1050

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus COLUMBUS


ALL-TIME RECORD
: 14-11-1-4
ALL-TIME at HOME: 6-6-1-3

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF SERIES RECORD: 0-0

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORD: 1-2
2019-20: 1-0-1

THE SERIES SO FAR

GAME THREE – AUGUST 6, 2020: Columbus 4 vs. Toronto 3

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Ceci, Nylander, Robertson

Columbus Goals: Dubois (3), Jones

TOR PP: 1/2; CBJ PP: 0/3

Shots: 43-36 Columbus; Hits: 27-19 Columbus; Faceoff %: 51% Toronto

GAME TWO – AUGUST 4, 2020: Toronto 3 vs. Columbus 0

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Matthews, Tavares, Rielly

Columbus Goals: N/A

TOR PP: 0/5; CBJ PP: 0/4

Shots: 39-20 Toronto; Hits: 28-18 Columbus; Faceoff %: 53% Columbus

GAME ONE – AUGUST 2, 2020: Columbus 2 vs. Toronto 0

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: N/A

Columbus Goals: Atkinson, Wennberg

TOR PP: 0/1; CBJ PP: 0/2

Shots: 35-28 Columbus; Hits: 37-26 Columbus; Faceoff %: 58% Toronto

MAPLE LEAFS SERIES LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADERCATEGORYLEADER
GOALS(Six players tied)BLOCKED SHOTS9 (Holl)
ASSISTS3 (Kerfoot)TAKEAWAYS6 (Matthews)
POINTS3 (Kerfoot, Matthews)HITS8 (Hyman)
SHOTS13 (Tavares)TOI PER GAME26:29 (Rielly)
FACEOFF WIN%63.6% (Tavares)PP TOI PER GAME3:46 (Matthews)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %66.6% (Marincin)SH TOI PER GAME3:19 (Holl)

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus COLUMBUS

GAMES: John Tavares (27), Jason Spezza (22), Kyle Clifford (20), Morgan Rielly (20)
POINTS: John Tavares (33), Mitch Marner (12), Jason Spezza (12)

GOALS: John Tavares (14), Mitch Marner (5), Jason Spezza (4)

ASSISTS: John Tavares (19), Morgan Rielly (9), Tyson Barrie (9)

PENALTY MINUTES: Kyle Clifford (23), John Tavares (16), Jake Muzzin (14)

BLUE JACKETS CAREER LEADERS versus TORONTO

GAMES: Nick Foligno (46), Brandon Dubinsky (32), Gustav Nyquist (27)

POINTS: Brandon Dubinsky (23), Nick Foligno (22), Gustav Nyquist (20)

GOALS: Gustav Nyquist (11), Nick Foligno (10), Brandon Dubinsky (7)

ASSISTS: Brandon Dubinsky (16), Nick Foligno (12), Seth Jones (9), Gustav Nyquist (9)

PENALTY MINUTES: Nick Foligno (38), Brandon Dubinsky (26), Nathan Gerbe (16)

MAPLE LEAFS ACTIVE PLAYOFF LEADERS

GAMES: Jason Spezza (83), Jake Muzzin (59), Kyle Clifford (58)

POINTS: Jason Spezza (70), John Tavares (28), Jake Muzzin (22)
GOALS: Jason Spezza (25), John Tavares (14), Auston Matthews (11)

ASSISTS: Jason Spezza (45), Jake Muzzin (15), John Tavares (14)
PENALTY MINUTES: Kyle Clifford (62), Jason Spezza (30), Jake Muzzin (22)

2019-20 SEASON SERIES

October 4, 2019: Toronto 4 vs. Columbus 1

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Marner (2), Ceci, Matthews

Columbus Goals: Atkinson

October 21, 2019: Columbus 4 vs. Toronto 3 OT

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Kapanen, Matthews, Nylander

Boston Goals: Nash, Dubois, Wennberg, Nyquist

MAPLE LEAFS SNAPSHOTS

Postseason Appearances– The 2020 postseason marks the Maple Leafs’ 69th appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Series History– The Maple Leafs have played a total of 114 series in their previous 68 playoff appearances, winning 58 of them.
Playoff Record– Toronto has a record of 263-287-4 in 554 franchise playoff games.
Best of Five– The Toronto franchise (Arenas, St. Pats, Maple Leafs) has played in 15 best-of-five series in its history and have a 7-8 record in that span
Toronto vs. Columbus– This is the first time the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets have met in a postseason series.
Postseason Experience– Frederik AndersenKasperi KapanenZach HymanAuston MatthewsMitch MarnerWilliam Nylander and Morgan Rielly have appeared in all 23 postseason games contested by the Maple Leafs since the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, per NHL Stats.
In the Atlantic– Toronto finished third in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the NHL standings with a record of 36-25-9 (.569 points percentage).
Team Discipline– The Maple Leafs took the sixth-fewest penalties in the NHL (219) and averaged the third-fewest penalty minutes per game (6.7). 
Faceoffs– The Maple Leafs finished third among NHL teams in faceoff win percentage (52.5%) and tied for second among NHL teams in offensive zone faceoff win percentage (54.0%).
Goals by Strength– The Maple Leafs were third in the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (159).
Power Play– The Maple Leafs have the third fewest power play opportunities (195) among NHL teams that have scored at least 40 power play goals (45).
Penalty Kill– Toronto was shorthanded 193 times this season, which was the eighth-fewest times shorthanded in the NHL.
Scoring First– Toronto had a .774 win percentage when scoring first, which tied for the third highest in the NHL.

MAPLE LEAFS NOTABLES

Frederik Andersen– Stopped 39 of the 43 shots he faced in game three of the series. – Since joining the Maple Leafs in 2016-17, Andersen is 9-12 in 22 Stanley Cup Playoffs appearances. He is tied for eighth among Maple Leafs goalies in all-time playoff wins.
Tyson Barrie– Averaging 20:37 in ice time and 15.43 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time through three games in the series.- Has appeared in 24 career playoff games and recorded 14 points (one goal, 13 assists).
Jack Campbell– Could make his Stanley Cup playoff debut this postseason.- Had a 3-2-1 record with a .915 save percentage and a 2.63 goals-against average after being acquired by the Maple Leafs.- Has made two career appearances against the Blue Jackets and is 1-0-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
Cody Ceci– Scored a shorthanded goal on August 6 vs. Columbus to become the first Maple Leaf defenceman to score a shorthanded goal in the playoffs since Jim McKenny on April 9, 1972 vs. Boston- Has skated in 28 career playoff games, recording a goal and three assists.
Kyle Clifford– Has appeared in 58 career playoff games and is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion (2012, 2014) with the Los Angeles Kings.
Travis Dermott– Played a playoff career-high 24:58 in ice time on August 6 vs. Columbus.- Has two goals and three assists in 17 career playoff games.
Justin Holl– Leads the Maple Leafs in shorthanded ice time per game (3:19) in the series thus far. – Made his Stanley Cup playoff debut on August 2 vs. Columbus. 
Zach Hyman– Ranks second among Toronto forwards in even-strength time on ice per game (18:20).- Has appeared in 23 career playoff games and recorded 10 points (3-7-10).
  
Kasperi Kapanen– Had his first multi-assist playoff game on August 6 vs. Columbus.- Has drawn a team-high three penalties through two games of the series.- Has appeared in 22 career playoff games and recorded five points (4-1-5).
Alex Kerfoot– Had his first career multi-point and multi-assist playoff game on August 6 vs. Columbus.- Leads Maple Leaf forwards in blocked shots with six through three games.- Has appeared in 22 career playoff games and recorded seven points (2-5-7).
Mitch Marner– Registered his first point of the postseason with an assist in game three of the series.- Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 61.6 percent through three games, which leads Toronto forwards.- Has appeared in 23 career playoff games and recorded 18 career points (5-13-18).
Auston Matthews– Ranks third among NHL forwards in ice time per game (23:22) through two games of the series.- Has skated in 23 career playoff games and recorded 11 goals and five assists.- Per NHL Stats, Matthews’ 11 career playoff goals (20 GP) are tied for the second-most among Maple Leafs before age 23. He trails Ted Kennedy (20 G in 38 GP) and is tied with Wendel Clark (11 G in 23 GP).
William Nylander– Registered his first goal of the postseason on August 6 vs. Columbus.- Averaging 21:06 per game in ice time through three games.- Has recorded four goals goals and nine assists in 23 career playoff games.
Jason Spezza– Leads the Maple Leafs in career playoff games (83), goals (25), assists (45) and points (70).
John Tavares– Ranks second among NHL skaters in faceoff wins (42) through three games.- Leads the Maple Leafs in shots on goal (13) through two games. – Has skated in 33 career playoff games and recorded 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists).
  

INJURY REPORT

Andreas Johnsson (Knee)On injured reserve.
Jake MuzzinLeft Toronto’s game on August 4 and has been ruled out for the remainder of the series.

MAPLE LEAFS – BLUE JACKETS FINAL 2019-20 TEAM STATS

 TORONTOCOLUMBUS
GOALS FOR (Rank):237 (2nd)180 (t-28th)
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):     222 (25th)183 (t-3rd)
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):45/195 [23.8%] (6th)31/189 [16.4%] (27th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):150/193 [77.7%] (21st)138/169 [81.7%] (12th)
SHOTS (Rank):2302 (4th)2272 (6th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):3466 (3rd)3133 (14th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):52.0% (6th)49.2% (19th)
FACEOFF % (Rank):52.5% (3rd)48.5% (26th)

MAPLE LEAFS 2019-20 LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADER
GOALS47 (Matthews)
ASSISTS51 (Marner)
POINTS80 (Matthews)
POWER PLAY POINTS25 (Matthews)
SHORTHANDED POINTS(Engvall, Kapanen)
PIMs43 (Holl)
SHOTS290 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN%55.3% (Tavares)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %54.6% (Nylander)
BLOCKED SHOTS110 (Muzzin)
TAKEAWAYS78 (Matthews)
HITS109 (Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME24:12 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME3:13 (Marner)
SH TOI PER GAME2:50 (Ceci)

BLUE JACKETS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 3 (OT): Postgame notes

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (1-2) vs.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (2-1)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 6, 2020

 123OTFINAL
TORONTO12003
COLUMBUS01214

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

  • Cody Ceci opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs with a shorthanded goal at 18:52 of the first period. Ceci’s goal is his first career playoff goal and first point of the 2020 postseason. He had a goal and seven assists in 56 games this season. He has four points (1-3-4) in 28 career playoff games. Ceci’s first period goal is his first NHL goal to come while shorthanded in regular season or postseason play. He is the first Maple Leaf defenceman to score a shorthanded goal in the playoffs since Jim McKenny on April 9, 1972 vs. Boston.
  • William Nylander scored the second Toronto goal of the night at 7:08 of the second period on the power play. Nylander’s goal is his first goal of the playoffs. He has points (1-1-2) in two consecutive games. In 23 career playoff games, he has recorded 13 points (3-10-13).
  • Nick Robertson scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the game at 8:48 of the second period. Robertson’s goal is his first in NHL competition. At 18 years, 330 days old, he is the third Maple Leaf in franchise history to score a playoff goal before the age of 19, joining Jack Hamilton and Ted Kennedy, per NHL Stats. He is the first NHLer to score a playoff goal before turning 19 since Sam Bennett with Calgary in 2015. He led the Ontario Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League in goal-scoring with this season with 55 goals in 46 games.
  • Alex Kerfoot registered the primary assist on Ceci’s first period goal and later added the secondary assist on Robertson’s second period goal. Kerfoot has assists (0-3-3) in two consecutive games. Tonight’s game is his first career multi-point and multi-assist playoff game. He has eight points (2-6-8) in 22 career postseason games.
  • Kasperi Kapanen collected the secondary assist on Ceci’s first period goal and later had the primary assist on Robertson’s second period goal. Kapanen’s first period assist was his first point of the 2020 playoffs. Tonight’s game is his third career multi-point and first career multi-assist playoff game. He had 13 goals and 23 assists in 69 games during the 2019-20 regular season. He has seven points (four goals, three assists) in 23 career playoff games.
  • Mitch Marner recorded the primary assist on Nylander’s second period goal. Marner’s assist is his first point of the 2020 postseason. He had 16 goals and 51 assists in 59 games during the 2019-20 season. In 23 career playoff games, he has recorded 17 points (5-12-17).
  • Auston Matthews picked up the secondary assist on Nylander’s second period goal. Matthews has points (1-2-3) in two consecutive games. He has 16 points (11-5-16) in 23 career playoff games.
  • Frederik Andersen stopped 40 shots in the loss.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)

 1st2nd3rdOTTOTAL
TORONTO9 (7)8 (7)10 (10)9 (9)36 (33)
COLUMBUS6 (6)10 (8)14 (14)14 (14)44 (42)

SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)

 1st2nd3rdOTTOTAL
TORONTO28 (26)15 (12)17 (17)18 (18)78 (73)
COLUMBUS20 (19)23 (16)21 (21)18 (18)82 (74)

OF NOTE…

  • The Maple Leafs went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 1-for-2 on the power play tonight.
  • The Maple Leafs are 58-57-1 all-time in playoff overtimes.
  • Justin Holl was on the ice for a team-high 30 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5. He finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 47.6 percent (30 for, 33 against). 
  • Martin Marincin played in his first game of the series.
  • John Tavares won 83 percent (10 won, 2 lost) of his defensive zone faceoffs and was 11-for-16 (69%) in the faceoff circle against Columbus centre Pierre-Luc Dubois. 

MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

Shots4 (Hyman, Nylander, Rielly)
Shot Attempts(Mikheyev)
Faceoff Wins16 (Tavares)
Faceoff Win Percentage100% (Spezza – 2 won, 0 lost)
Hits(Hyman, Marincin)
Blocked Shots(Holl)
Takeaways(Matthews, Tavares)
TOI32:26 (Rielly)
Power Play TOI2:10 (Nylander)
Shorthanded TOI3:17 (Marincin)
Shifts36 (Rielly)
5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage73.3% (Spezza – 11 for, 4 against)
  

UPCOMING GAMES:

  • Friday, August 7, 8 p.m., Toronto at Columbus (Sportsnet, NBCSN, TVA)
  • Sunday, August 9, TBD, Columbus at Toronto (TBD)*
    *If Necessary

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.

F

Nate Pearson starts for Blue Jays in Atlanta

TODAY’S GAME:
NATE PEARSON
Taking a Major League mound for the 2nd time, both in interleague games (7/29 vs. WAS).
Nate Pearson, RHP #24 Born: Odessa, FL AGE: 23
Making his 2nd MLB start tonight, coming off his MLB Debut on 7/29
vs. WAS…Threw 5.0 scoreless innings, taking a no-decision as the
Jays were shutout, 4-0, by Max Scherzer and the Nationals…
Allowed 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 batters…Struck out
the 1st batter he faced (Trea Turner), becoming the 7th pitcher in
team history to debut as a starter and strike out the 1st batter faced
(last: Matt Boyd on 6/27/15 vs. TEX)…Became the 3rd pitcher in
Blue Jays history to throw 5+ scoreless innings in an MLB debut,
joining Mauro Gozzo (8/8/89 vs. TEX) and Trent Thornton (3/31/19
vs. DET)…Also became the 49th player in team history to make his
MLB debut as a starting pitcher, following up a debut by Thomas
Hatch, 3 days earlier (7/26 at TB).
Entered the season as Toronto’s top-rated prospect by MLB and
Baseball America (7th overall by BA; 8th overall by MLB).
ST: 5G, 2GS, 4.22 ERA, 10.2 IP, 7H, 5ER, 1HR, 5BB, 16K, .194 AVG
2019 HIGHLIGHTS:
Started his campaign with A+ Dunedin and posted a 0.86 ERA (2
ER/21.0 IP) across 6 starts.
Promoted to AA New Hampshire on 5/7 and held a 2.59 ERA (18
ER/62.2 IP) in 16 starts.
Finished the year with 3 starts for AAA Buffalo…Went 1-0 while
allowing 6 runs over 18.0 innings for a 3.00 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP
(15K/3BB).
Threw 7.0 shutout innings in his AAA debut on 8/20 at Rochester…
Allowed 3 hits and struck out 3 batters without issuing a walk on
what was his 23rd birthday.
2018 HIGHLIGHTS:
Made just 1 start in the 2018 regular season before having his
campaign ended with a fractured right ulna when he was hit by a
line drive.
Played for the Surprise Saguaros in the 2018 Arizona Fall League
and went 2-2 over 6 starts…Had his fastball reach as high as 104
MPH while there and was named to both the AFL Rising Stars
Team and the All-Prospect Team.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:
Ranked by MLB as Toronto’s No. 1 prospect heading into 2020…
Listed as Baseball America’s 7th-best overall prospect.
Selected by the Blue Jays in the 1st round (28th overall) of the
2017 First-Year Player Draft.
Attended Florida International for a year before transferring to Central Florida Community College in Ocala, FL…Went 5-2 with a 1.56
ERA in his 13 starts for Patriots in 2017 and struck out 118 batters over 81.0 innings (23 walks).
PITCH SELECTION (2020)
Four-seam Fastball (55.1%, 95.7mph), Slider (33.3%, 84.6mph),
Change (9.4%, 88.8mph) Curve (2.2%, 77.0mph)
YEAR W-L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO AVG
2020 0-0 0.00 0 0 5.0 2 0 0 2 5 .118
2019 (AA) 1-4 2.59 16 16 62.2 41 18 4 21 69 .186
2019 (AAA) 1-0 3.00 3 3 18.0 12 6 2 3 15 .185

Maple Leafs-Blue Jackets Game 3: PREGAME NOTES

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (1-1) vs.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (1-1)

AUGUST 6, 2020 ▪ 8:00 PM EST

SCOTIABANK ARENA (TORONTO, ON) ▪
TV: SPORTSNET ▪ RADIO: SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus COLUMBUS


ALL-TIME RECORD
: 14-11-1-4
ALL-TIME at HOME: 6-6-1-3

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF SERIES RECORD: 0-0

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORD: 1-1
2019-20: 1-0-1

THE SERIES SO FAR

GAME TWO – AUGUST 4, 2020: Toronto 3 vs. Columbus 0

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Matthews, Tavares, Rielly

Columbus Goals: N/A

TOR PP: 0/5; CBJ PP: 0/4

Shots: 39-20 Toronto; Hits: 28-18 Columbus; Faceoff %: 53% Columbus

GAME ONE – AUGUST 2, 2020: Columbus 2 vs. Toronto 0

GAME SUMMARY        |           EVENT SUMMARY       |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: N/A

Columbus Goals: Atkinson, Wennberg

TOR PP: 0/1; CBJ PP: 0/2

Shots: 35-28 Columbus; Hits: 37-26 Columbus; Faceoff %: 58% Toronto

MAPLE LEAFS SERIES LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADERCATEGORYLEADER
GOALS(Matthews, Rielly, Tavares)BLOCKED SHOTS5 (Muzzin)
ASSISTS1 (Five players tied)TAKEAWAYS4 (Matthews)
POINTS2 (Matthews)HITS6 (Kerfoot)
SHOTS10 (Matthews)TOI PER GAME23:31 (Rielly)
FACEOFF WIN%70.3% (Tavares)PP TOI PER GAME4:37 (Matthews)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %68.1% (Marner)SH TOI PER GAME3:47 (Holl)

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus COLUMBUS

GAMES: John Tavares (27), Jason Spezza (22), Kyle Clifford (20), Morgan Rielly (20)
POINTS: John Tavares (33), Mitch Marner (12), Jason Spezza (12)

GOALS: John Tavares (14), Mitch Marner (5), Jason Spezza (4)

ASSISTS: John Tavares (19), Morgan Rielly (9), Tyson Barrie (9)

PENALTY MINUTES: Kyle Clifford (23), John Tavares (16), Jake Muzzin (14)

BLUE JACKETS CAREER LEADERS versus TORONTO

GAMES: Nick Foligno (46), Brandon Dubinsky (32), Gustav Nyquist (27)

POINTS: Brandon Dubinsky (23), Nick Foligno (22), Gustav Nyquist (20)

GOALS: Gustav Nyquist (11), Nick Foligno (10), Brandon Dubinsky (7)

ASSISTS: Brandon Dubinsky (16), Nick Foligno (12), Seth Jones (9), Gustav Nyquist (9)

PENALTY MINUTES: Nick Foligno (38), Brandon Dubinsky (26), Nathan Gerbe (16)

MAPLE LEAFS ACTIVE PLAYOFF LEADERS

GAMES: Jason Spezza (82), Jake Muzzin (59), Kyle Clifford (57)

POINTS: Jason Spezza (70), John Tavares (28), Jake Muzzin (22)
GOALS: Jason Spezza (25), John Tavares (14), Auston Matthews (11)

ASSISTS: Jason Spezza (45), Jake Muzzin (15), John Tavares (14)
PENALTY MINUTES: Kyle Clifford (62), Jason Spezza (30), Jake Muzzin (22)

2019-20 SEASON SERIES

October 4, 2019: Toronto 4 vs. Columbus 1

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Marner (2), Ceci, Matthews

Columbus Goals: Atkinson

October 21, 2019: Columbus 4 vs. Toronto 3 OT

GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY

Toronto Goals: Kapanen, Matthews, Nylander

Boston Goals: Nash, Dubois, Wennberg, Nyquist

MAPLE LEAFS SNAPSHOTS

Postseason Appearances– The 2020 postseason marks the Maple Leafs’ 69th appearance in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Series History– The Maple Leafs have played a total of 114 series in their previous 68 playoff appearances, winning 58 of them.
Playoff Record– Toronto has a record of 262-285-4 in 551 franchise playoff games.
Best of Five– The Toronto franchise (Arenas, St. Pats, Maple Leafs) has played in 15 best-of-five series in its history and have a 7-8 record in that span
Toronto vs. Columbus– This is the first time the Maple Leafs and Blue Jackets have met in a postseason series.
Postseason Experience– Frederik AndersenKasperi KapanenZach HymanAuston MatthewsMitch MarnerWilliam Nylander and Morgan Rielly have appeared in all 20 postseason games contested by the Maple Leafs since the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, per NHL Stats.
In the Atlantic– Toronto finished third in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the NHL standings with a record of 36-25-9 (.569 points percentage).
Team Discipline– The Maple Leafs took the sixth-fewest penalties in the NHL (219) and averaged the third-fewest penalty minutes per game (6.7). 
Faceoffs– The Maple Leafs finished third among NHL teams in faceoff win percentage (52.5%) and tied for second among NHL teams in offensive zone faceoff win percentage (54.0%).
Goals by Strength– The Maple Leafs were third in the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (159).
Power Play– The Maple Leafs have the third fewest power play opportunities (195) among NHL teams that have scored at least 40 power play goals (45).
Penalty Kill– Toronto was shorthanded 193 times this season, which was the eighth-fewest times shorthanded in the NHL.
Scoring First– Toronto had a .774 win percentage when scoring first, which tied for the third highest in the NHL.

MAPLE LEAFS NOTABLES

Frederik Andersen– Stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced in game one. He has allowed one or fewer goals in 12 of his 49 playoff appearances.- Since joining the Maple Leafs in 2016-17, Andersen is 9-12 in 22 Stanley Cup Playoffs appearances. He is tied for eighth among Maple Leafs goalies in all-time playoff wins.
Tyson Barrie– Averaging 18:34 in ice time and 21.49 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time through two games in the series.- Has appeared in 23 career playoff games and recorded 14 points (one goal, 13 assists).
Jack Campbell– Could make his Stanley Cup playoff debut this postseason.- Had a 3-2-1 record with a .915 save percentage and a 2.63 goals-against average after being acquired by the Maple Leafs.- Has made two career appearances against the Blue Jackets and is 1-0-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
Cody Ceci– Has recorded four blocked shots through two games of the series after recording 79 blocked shots in 56 games during the 2019-20 regular season.- Has skated in 27 career playoff games, recording three assists.
Kyle Clifford– Has appeared in 57 career playoff games and is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion (2012, 2014) with the Los Angeles Kings.
Justin Holl– Leads the Maple Leafs in shorthanded ice time per game (3:47) in the series thus far. – Made his Stanley Cup playoff debut on August 2 vs. Columbus. 
Zach Hyman– Registered his first point of the postseason with an assist in game two. Ranks fourth among Toronto skaters in even-strength time on ice per game (15:38).- Has appeared in 22 career playoff games and recorded nine points (3-7-10).
Kasperi Kapanen– Has drawn a team-high three penalties through two games of the series.- Has appeared in 22 career playoff games and recorded five points (4-1-5).
  
Alex Kerfoot– Leads the Maple Leafs in hits with six through two games.- Has appeared in 20 career playoff games and recorded five points (2-3-5).
Mitch Marner– Had a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 68.1 percent (47 for, 22 against) which leads the Maple Leafs.- Has appeared in 22 career playoff games and recorded 17 career points (5-12-17).
Auston Matthews– Ranks third among NHL forwards in ice time per game (23:22) through two games of the series.- Had his fourth career multi-point playoff game on August 4 vs. Columbus (1-1-2). – Has skated in 22 career playoff games and recorded 11 goals and four assists.- Per NHL Stats, Matthews’ 11 career playoff goals (20 GP) are tied for the second-most among Maple Leafs before age 23. He trails Ted Kennedy (20 G in 38 GP) and is tied with Wendel Clark (11 G in 23 GP).
William Nylander– Registered his first point of the postseason with an assist on August 4 vs. Columbus. Has started 65.2 percent of his 5-on-shifts in the offensive zone.- Has recorded three goals and eight assists in 20 career playoff games.
Jason Spezza– Leads the Maple Leafs in career playoff games (82), goals (25), assists (45) and points (70).
John Tavares– Recorded his first point of the playoffs with a goal on August 4 vs. Columbus. Leads the Maple Leafs in shots on goal (10) through two games. – Has skated in 33 career playoff games and recorded 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists).
  

INJURY REPORT

Andreas Johnsson (Knee)On injured reserve.
Jake MuzzinLeft Toronto’s game on August 4 and has been ruled out for the remainder of the series.

MAPLE LEAFS – BLUE JACKETS FINAL 2019-20 TEAM STATS

 TORONTOCOLUMBUS
GOALS FOR (Rank):237 (2nd)180 (t-28th)
GOALS AGAINST (Rank):     222 (25th)183 (t-3rd)
POWER PLAY [%] (Rank):45/195 [23.8%] (6th)31/189 [16.4%] (27th)
PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank):150/193 [77.7%] (21st)138/169 [81.7%] (12th)
SHOTS (Rank):2302 (4th)2272 (6th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank):3466 (3rd)3133 (14th)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank):52.0% (6th)49.2% (19th)
FACEOFF % (Rank):52.5% (3rd)48.5% (26th)

MAPLE LEAFS 2019-20 LEADERS

CATEGORYLEADER
GOALS47 (Matthews)
ASSISTS51 (Marner)
POINTS80 (Matthews)
POWER PLAY POINTS25 (Matthews)
SHORTHANDED POINTS(Engvall, Kapanen)
PIMs43 (Holl)
SHOTS290 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN%55.3% (Tavares)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %54.6% (Nylander)
BLOCKED SHOTS110 (Muzzin)
TAKEAWAYS78 (Matthews)
HITS109 (Muzzin)
TOI PER GAME24:12 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME3:13 (Marner)
SH TOI PER GAME2:50 (Ceci)

TORONTO 3, COLUMBUS 0: What the Leafs said:

SHELDON KEEFE

Q. (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet): I’m wondering if you could tell us if Jake was taken to hospital and if you have any update on his condition yet? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Yeah, he was taken to hospital. I’m told he’s responsive and all of that. Just awaiting his assessment. 

Q. (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): Just wondering what the difference was today. You guys were able to generate a lot more. What was the difference from game one? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Every game is going to be slightly different, it’s going to have its own personality. Today I thought we forechecked really hard right from the start of the game and some loose pucks became available, gave us an extra opportunity to attack the net. That was a really good sign for us but our guys brought it to another level today from a competitive standpoint and that really helped us in all regards.

Q. (Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun): What was happening in the defensive zone that really negated the forecheck that Columbus had in game one? What were you guys doing a lot better today? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Well we were doing a better job up ice in their half of the ice. As a result, most of the time when it entered our half of the ice they were in line changes and not forechecking as a full unit. That makes it a lot easier for us. That’s obviously every team’s goal going into a game and today worked out for us there. 

Q. (Kevin McGran, Toronto Star): I guess if Jake Muzzin is going to hospital he’s out of the bubble and can’t come back even if he could. What will you have to do without him? What will losing him mean to this team?

SHELDON KEEFE: I’m not really certain on exactly what the protocol is for this situation. There are protocols in place for these types of situations and I’m not exactly certain what the details are. Our focus is and always will be just on his well-being and making sure he’s okay.

Q. (Mark Masters, TSN): Was there any frustration with the fact Korpisalo seemed locked in and you’re getting the chances and you couldn’t find the back of the net? How do you feel the group handled that?

SHELDON KEEFE: I think we handled it well. It was on my mind, of course, just making sure that we stayed with it. I just kept monitoring our bench and monitoring our players’ mannerisms and how they were coming back to the bench. You see guys talking to themselves and I think we were just focused, focused on what we had to do on the ice and staying with it. So that was really good to see. It was not unlike what happened in game one in terms of us just staying with it, but obviously we were generating more today so there was a little bit more happening in and around the net. The goalie was a big difference for them but I really liked how our guys just took a drink of water and got ready for the next shift and stayed with it and believed in what we were doing.

Q. (Ken Campbell, The Hockey News): Mitch [Marner] just said that on the Muzzin play when you guys asked the official what had happened, he said that he was crosschecked. If that’s the case, do you wonder why they don’t call that more in the NHL? It seems like the crosscheck goes so uncalled and that might have been a reason why something like this could have happened. 

SHELDON KEEFE: I think the refs are out there doing their best, doing their job and I’ve got to focus on doing my job, which is preparing our team and keeping us ready to go and that moment there was about keeping us focused. A lot of things happen in the game and it’s our job to just play through it. 

Q. (Sean Farrell, NHL.com): What has Fred [Andersen’s] play through the first two games meant to the team? 

SHELDON KEEFE: It means a great deal. Obviously, goaltender is very important. You’re seeing it on the other side as well with Columbus. He gives us belief in what we’re doing and if we crack, he’s going to be there for us. It’s two excellent games by him here now. Today when we did crack and they had a little bit of a look or a little bit of a push, he was there. He gives our guys even more life and energy.

AUSTON MATTHEWS AND JOHN TAVARES

Q. (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): What’s it like, the feeling of being two minutes away from the win and then seeing a teammate go down like that and just the quietness of the building? 

JOHN TAVARES: No question, seeing one of your teammates go down, especially a guy like Muzz, you know the type of warrior he is. I think what he brings to our team is unmeasurable. Obviously, very tough. All signs are very positive being around him and nice to close it out for him, but certainly tough to see, especially how much we love that guy. 

Q. (Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun): Auston, could I get your thoughts on the goal that you scored and what you were feeling after Korpisalo had stopped the first 55 shots he saw in games one and two? 

AUSTON MATTHEWS: Yeah, obviously excitement. It’s postseason, everything is tight out there and goals are hard to come by. It was nice to get that one and kind of jump start a nice push. I thought we played pretty well in the first period and second period and I think we just tried to stick with it. [Hyman] made a great play and I just tried to deflect it towards the net and it just happened to go in.

Q. (Rosie DiManno, Toronto Star): Question for John, earlier on in the first and second period, there were times when you were shaking your head during the power play and casting eyes to the ceiling in disbelief. Can you just contrast that with the celebration on your goal? 

JOHN TAVARES: He made some great saves. I thought there was a couple that were deflected and were a little bit more fortunate on his side, but he’s obviously playing really well, he’s a really good goalie. You want to see those go in. I just tried to focus on the next shift, next opportunity. On the goal they really were aggressive and I think both D kind of jumped in and I was our last forward coming back and I kind of saw the play getting broken up so as I saw that, I just kind of anticipate that puck might be coming the other way so I was able to get a good bead on it and lucky enough to get that opportunity and nice to finish it off, especially after some of the chances I had. 

Q. (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet): Auston, I’m wondering what the biggest factor was for the team in being able to create so many good looks in this versus the first one?  

AUSTON MATTHEWS: I think both games, to be honest, we had some pretty good looks, probably more so tonight. I think just upping our compete level, getting to the net, dirty areas and trying to get on the inside where we can beat guys to the net. I thought we came out with a strong push to start the game and I think just the communication factor was there tonight for us and just full effort throughout the lineup. 

Q. (Mark Masters, TSN): John, what allowed you guys to do a better job generating chances off the rush considering how well Columbus usually does against that? 

JOHN TAVARES: I think we were just quicker tonight and that’s not just necessarily the way we’re moving our feet but I think just our execution and the way we moved the puck. I thought D did a great job of just handling their forecheck, which they do really well, and then I think as forwards we were just in sync reading off each other and doing good job of, when we had to, getting pucks in behind and getting on the inside and first on those races that allowed us to then set up the next couple of plays to break them down and create some opportunities, some more possessions. Obviously, it was a positive tonight for us, it’s something we have to continue, especially when you expect them to make some adjustments. I like the way we were just in sync and connected today.

Q. (Marty Klinkenberg, The Globe and Mail): In a game like this where you very much dominated but still it’s late in the second and it’s 0-0, does it start to get more tense as you’re playing? 

JOHN TAVARES: Certainly those thoughts can creep in, but I think as a team when we’re playing like that I think we have so much belief in each other. I think the type of team we have that eventually it’s going to pay off, we’re going to find a way to break through. Don’t get discouraged and stick with it, we’re playing, we’re doing the things we want to do, we’re creating opportunities. Just sticking with it and not getting discouraged, like I said, just kind of staying one shift at a time. A little cliche but you’re just kind of staying in the moment, waiting for the next opportunity. Great play by [Matthews] to break the ice for us. It was a big goal and something he always does for us. As a team we just kind of fed off one another and he led the way. 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN AND MITCH MARNER

Q (Kevin McGran, Toronto Star): Your thoughts on seeing Jake Muzzin go down. He’s been such a warrior for you guys and so close to the end of the game too. What’s going through your head when you’re seeing him lying there in injury and being taken off on a stretcher? 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN: Yeah it’s difficult. Seeing a guy like Jake that everyone cares about, he’s well loved in the locker room. Being as tough as he is it’s really hard to see him being told to lay down and not move. We’re really just thinking about him and making sure all the right steps are being taken and hopefully he recovers soon. 

MITCH MARNER: Yeah, just like Freddie said, he’s a big part of this team, penalty kill, even-strength against the best players against the other teams. He really does mean a lot to us. Being beside him there when he went down and stayed down, obviously it’s a little worrisome and to see the stretcher come out, a lot of things running through your mind. Like Freddie said we’re all on his side, we’re all praying for him and just want to make sure when he does come back he’s 100 percent. There are a lot bigger things than hockey.

Q (Josh Clipperton, Canadian Press): For Freddie, what are you thinking when you’re seeing the guy at the other stop shot after shot? I think it was the 55th or 56th shot that they finally found a way through. What’s your mindset when you see the other guy doing that? 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN: Just keep doing what I’m doing. What happens in their end is useless to think about. Just keep doing what I can do and be ready for when they do come. They’re putting a hell of a pressure on him and both games I think we’ve had the puck a lot and obviously been playing well, but I think we did a better job of getting in and getting second chances and having confidence in guys being able to score. 

Q. (Jonas Siegel, The Athletic): Mitch, you were right there with Jake. When did you realize something wasn’t right? 

MITCH MARNER: I just remember clearing the puck, I remember kind of turning over and seeing him on the ground. Kind of saw him get up on all fours. At this time I think the puck just exit, I was still kind of standing beside him and then I realized after drawing up to the blueline to try and stop them from entering, they dumped it in and hit the ref. At that point he was back down, full lying down. I just kind of skated over to him, I just asked him if he was okay. Obviously, he just kind of said, just give him a second and a couple of other things that doesn’t matter, it’ll stay between us. Like I said, we just want to make sure all the right things are happening to make sure he’s back to being 100 percent. He’s a big part of this team. Hopefully he recovers quickly. Like I said, there’s a lot bigger things than hockey, especially outside this world and his family is a major priority. You’ve got to make sure you’re able to still play with your kids. 

Q. (Mark Masters, TSN): What was it like reuniting with Auston and how did you feel your game grew in today’s game versus game one? 

MITCH MARNER: For myself I think I was just a lot more competitive with the puck, on the puck, a lot more dialed into my battles and being better consistently all over the ice. I think we worked the puck nicely around, we were using our speed, something we’re going to have to just keep doing and keep using our speed coming through the middle and supporting each other. The chemistry kind of just kicked right back with [Hyman] as well and we were making plays, we’ve just got to find ways to get around these guys trying to block our shots. 

Q. (Ken Campbell, The Hockey News): Mitch, I just wanted to ask you as a forward out there who’s in the thick of the battle, that hit on Jake Muzzin was a crosscheck from behind. It was a fairly innocuous one but still a crosscheck from behind that seems to go uncalled almost all the time in this league now. Do you think the League has to do more about crosschecking now? A couple of years ago it was the casual slash and now they’re cracking down on that. Do you think they need to crack down on the crosscheck? 

MITCH MARNER: It’s hard for me to say at this moment. I was beside [Muzzin] when the play happened and I was turning and shooting it while he was coming down so I haven’t seen the actual play yet. I think the player’s off two to three feet from the boards and a crosscheck does happen, usually it doesn’t matter how good you are on your feet, there’s a possible chance of you going head first into the boards. It’s always a scary incident. Like I said, I have not seen that play yet, reviewed or on my phone or anything like that, but we were asking the refs and their response was just he got pushed, he got crosschecked, he hit one other player and that’s how it all happened. I think usually when a player is two or three feet from the wall, that’s when the dangerous stuff happens and the injuries come in part. Like I said, I haven’t seen it, we’ll leave it to the League to discuss what they think is necessary. 

BRAVES 10, BLUE JAYS 1: POSTGAME NOTES

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 – Truist Park – Atlanta, Ga.

 123456789RHELOB
Toronto Blue Jays0000100001506
Atlanta Braves02004004x1013010

Win: Max Fried (2-0, 2.04)  |  Loss: Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 5.91)  |  Save: None

  First Pitch: 7:10 p.m.  |  Game Time Temp.: 86 degrees  |  Time of Game: 3:06 |  Attendance: —

Series Information

Braves vs. Blue Jays: The Braves and Blue Jays tonight played the first of a three-game series, the only meetings between the teams this season…This is the fourth consecutive season Toronto and Atlanta have played…The Braves have gone 29-24 all-time in their regular season meetings, including 22-10 (.688) since 2009…Atlanta has not lost a series with Toronto in that time, going 5-0-3 in series play…The Braves took three-of-four games from the Blue Jays last season, including both games in Atlanta.

Toronto Blue Jays (3-5)

Return to Play: The Blue Jays returned to action tonight for the first time since last Thursday, July 30…Their three-game weekend series with Philadelphia was postponed…Toronto spent the weekend working out in Nationals Park in Washington, D.C…The Blue Jays played a four-game, home-and-home series with Nationals last week…All four games were at Nationals Park, and Toronto served as the “home” team for the final two games.

Interleague Play: The Blue Jays fell to 2-3 (.400) in Interleague Play this season following tonight’s loss…Despite the loss, they are still just one victory shy of their Interleague win total in 20 games last season…Toronto’s 3-17 record against National League opponents in 2019 produced a .150 winning percentage, the third lowest all-time, trailing the 2010 Pirates and 2012 Rockies, who both went 2-13 (.133)…The Blue Jays’ 17 total losses in Interleague play last season were the most by any team in a single season.

Matt Shoemaker: Made his 100th career start tonight and allowed six hits and six runs over 4.2 innings to take the loss…The outing was the first of his career against Atlanta, and he has now pitched against 21 of the 30 major league teams.

Vlad Guerrero Jr.: Logged his first two doubles of the season and his second multi-hit game…Went 2-for-5 on July 26 at Tampa Bay…He opened the season batting just .172/.200/.276 with five hits in 29 at-bats.

RISP: The Blue Jays went just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position tonight and are 10-for-54 (.185) in such situations through eight games…Toronto’s .185 average with runners in scoring position is third lowest in the majors, ahead of just Philadelphia (.179) and Detroit (.143).

Atlanta Braves (8-4)

Runs: Atlanta plated 10 men tonight and have scored a majors-most 69 runs on the season…Only one other team in the majors entered play with as many as 60 runs scored, the Padres with 64.

Max Fried Interleague: Turned in his second consecutively quality start, holding the Blue Jays to four hits and one run over 6.0 innings to earn his second win of the season…Fried has never lost an Interleague game in his career, going 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA (7 ER/30.1 IP) in five starts against the American League, striking out 37 in 30.1 innings (10.98 SO/9.0 IP)…Fried is one of just five pitchers since the advent of Interleague Play in 1997 to open their career with at least five straight victories against the opposing league, joining Justin Verlander (7 straight), Corey Kluber (6), Brett Tomko (6) and Francisco Liriano (5).

Max Fried Pickoffs: Fried allowed a first-inning single to Teoscar Hernández and immediately picked Hernández off first base, his second pickoff of the season…Fried’s two pickoffs are tied for most in the majors, and he’s needed just three pick-off attempts to do so…Since his major league debut on August 8, 2017, Fried’s 12 pickoffs are tied for most in the majors, and he has been successful on 18% (12-for-65) of his attempts…In that same span, the rest of baseball has picked off 645 runners on 37,859 attempts (0.017%).

Early Leads: Matt Adams opened the scoring with a home run leading off the second inning to give the Braves a lead…Atlanta has scored first in every game this season in which the opposing pitcher was not New York’s Jacob deGrom, and improved to 8-2 when doing so….The Braves went 75-26 (.743) last season in games they scored first, the second-best record in the National League…Only Los Angeles (72-21, .774) was better.

Leading After Four: Atlanta lead, 2-0, going into the fifth inning and held on to win, improving to 6-0 when leading after four this season…Braves pitchers held a lead after the fourth inning 77 times last season and the Braves went 71-6 (.922) in those games, easily the best record in baseball…No other team in baseball won even 90% of their games when holding a lead entering the fifth inning in 2019…Houston ranked second, going 76-11 (.874) when leading after the fourth.

Ronald Acuña Jr: Reached base four more times tonight, walking twice, doubling and logging an eighth-inning single… Acuña Jr. has batted .400/.500/.750 in his last five games, after going 4-for-28 (.143) with only one extra-base hit and 14 strikeouts in seven games to open the season…His double and single tonight left the bat at 104.5 and 102.1 mph, respectively, and each of his last seven hits have had exit velocities over 100 miles per hour.

Training Room: Matt Adams left tonight’s game in the bottom of the fifth inning with left hamstring tightness…Prior to his exit, he drove his second home run of the season out to center field. 

COLUMBUS 2, TORONTO 0: WHAT THE LEAFS SAID: “Obviously, they did what they do best and what we were prepared for. We knew it was going to be difficult. Now we go out on the ice and you feel it. Obviously, we didn’t get one to fall for us here today. I thought we did have some chances to get more than what we got on the scoreboard, but it didn’t fall in for us, it fell in for them. That’s the difference.”

SHELDON KEEFE

Q. (Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun): Sheldon, how concerned were you about your offence tonight or was it just a case of Columbus doing what it does best? 

SHELDON KEEFE: I think it’s both. Obviously, they did what they do best and what we were prepared for. We knew it was going to be difficult. Now we go out on the ice and you feel it. Obviously, we didn’t get one to fall for us here today. I thought we did have some chances to get more than what we got on the scoreboard, but it didn’t fall in for us, it fell in for them. That’s the difference. 

Q. (Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun): How difficult is it when you’re putting Auston out there as much as possible and they’re matching with Jones as much as possible and there you have two of the great players in the NHL going up against each other? 

SHELDON KEEFE: It’s a tough matchup. We can’t forget Werenski in that equation also because he’s a great player, and their forwards. They play as a group of five so no matter who is on the ice it’s going to be hard. This is all stuff that we were prepared for coming in. As I said, now we’re on the ice and you feel it. We didn’t generate as much as I wish we could have. At the same, as I said, it’s a very tight hockey game out there. One falls in for them early in the third period after we had what I thought was a pretty dominant start to the third and thought we were going to be rolling pretty good. All of a sudden, you’re down and it changes the nature of the game from there. Obviously we’ve got to find a way to score.

Q. (Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star): This obviously was the team you expected, the game you expected. Is there anything about this game that makes you worry about the way your team matches up against Columbus going forward or could you see places where the Leafs can handle this matchup better? 

SHELDON KEEFE: Well, I think there’s going to be ways. We’re going to look closer at it and we’ll find ways that we can capitalize a little bit more on some of our opportunities and generate a little bit more. As I said, it’s a very tight game, it’s a good hockey team. It’s two teams that were tight together in the standings, two teams that are very competitive. I thought we played a good enough game to win today, but obviously you can’t win when you don’t score. We’ve got to work with that, but there’s a lot of things that we did do well in the game here today that gave us a chance going into the third period to win the hockey game. We’re going to have to regroup here obviously and push back and get one to go our way next time.  

Q. (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet): I’m just wondering what your thoughts were on Freddie’s performance. Made some big saves but he wasn’t happy with the goal that beat him. 

SHELDON KEEFE: I thought he did make some big saves, for sure. There was a few times they had some real quality looks. He was very good on those and there was some perimeter chances down the wing and stuff like that that he did a really good job of holding his ground on. Obviously, he misread the one in the third there that got by him, but he kept them to one goal. He, as far as I’m concerned, did his job. We’ve got to find a way to give him some help.

Q. (Justin Cuthbert, Yahoo Sports): It seemed Mitch Marner and John Tavares had trouble getting going tonight. What challenges did you see in front of them and what needs to happen for them to get going in the rest of the series? 

SHELDON KEEFE: I thought they had a pretty good first period, actually. They had some pretty good offensive zone shifts and were around the net a little bit. They didn’t really get a chance to build upon that so we’ll have to look at it a little bit closer. Obviously, that’s another part of it is they’ve got a tough matchup there too, right? Gavrikov and Savard are tough defenders just the same as we’ve already talked about the other two. It’s a tough matchup for them, we need to get a little bit more from them but we need more from everybody obviously. We didn’t get anything from anyone today, we only generated one power play. All those types of things make it harder than it needs to be, but we expected it to be hard, we expected it to be uncomfortable. I thought this one today could have gone either way. It didn’t go our way so we’ve got to regroup here and find a way to be better next time out. 

Q. (Kevin McGran, Toronto Star): Just a couple of words if you could on your third and fourth lines. Start with Nick Robertson, what you thought of a teenager playing in his first game tonight, and then also your decision to limit the Gauthier line, I guess obviously looking for offence there. 

SHELDON KEEFE: First, I thought Robbie had some good moments in the game. In fact, he had a great look early in the hockey game, just got the toe of the goaltender there and obviously that was a big moment that could have put us in a real good spot. It was good to see him get into that position, available to get the shot. Otherwise, I thought he was good in a game that was difficult to play. That would be, by far, the hardest game he’s ever played in, I would imagine. He’s going to have to continue to find his way through that. I thought that Kerfoot and Kappy again, I thought those guys had legs and they were on the puck and gave us some pretty good shifts as a line. As for our fourth line, I thought they had a real tough start to the game, some long sequences in our own zone, just not what you want out of your fourth line. It made it difficult to really find any sort of rhythm with them and then, of course, once we’re down early in the third period, it becomes even harder. 

AUSTON MATTHEWS & MORGAN RIELLY

Q. (Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun): What happened to you offensively tonight? What do you have to do in game two? 

MORGAN RIELLY: I don’t know. I think we’ve got to look at it. I think that there were chances that we generated, obviously not capitalizing on any, but I think there are good things you have to look at and areas we have to improve on and we’ll do that tomorrow at practice. 

Q. (Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun): It’s one thing to hear about how tight they play and to even watch the film of how tight they play. What was it like to experience it? 

AUSTON MATTHEWS: Well, first of all, it’s unfortunate that I’m getting a question from you at this point, Steve. I just wanted to say I didn’t really appreciate the article you wrote about me a couple months ago. It was a bit unethical, to be honest. Moving along, I thought they obviously play a really structured defence and they make it hard on you to get on the inside. I think we’ve just got to do a better job of maybe shooting more pucks and have guys coming down on it. 

Q. (Chris Johnston, Sportsnet): Was there anything that surprised you that they did or was it kind of what you guys were expecting? 

AUSTON MATTHEWS: I don’t think anything really surprised us. They play a pretty straightforward and you know what you’re going to expect every night. They’re going to compete, they’re going to play physical. I thought we did some good things, there are some things we can clean up. Obviously, we’ve got to create more offence, get guys more on the inside and capitalize on some opportunities. Their goalie made some good saves as well. 

Q. (Jonas Siegel, The Athletic): Auston, what’s it like to face somebody as big and who can move like Seth Jones, shift after shift? 

AUSTON MATTHEWS: They’re good players. They’re good on both sides of the puck. We’ve got to be aware when they’re out there and obviously try to be strong down low, physical on the offensive side as well as the defensive side. 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN & ZACH HYMAN 

Q. (Josh Clipperton, The Canadian Press): How frustrating is it to play against that team, their style? 

ZACH HYMAN: They play playoff hockey, this is playoff hockey. I thought we had our chances, we just couldn’t capitalize. You’re not going to win any games if you don’t score any goals. They got one and we couldn’t get on the board. 

Q. (Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star): Freddie, if you could just take us through what you saw on that goal and how it went for you? 

FREDERIK ANDERSEN: I saw him coming down the wing and his initial release looked to be a little bit higher. I reacted up and obviously made a little mistake. It cost us a goal and eventually the game, unfortunately. That’s what I saw. 

Q. (Jonas Siegel, The Athletic): Zach, what kind of challenges does Seth Jones present? 

ZACH HYMAN: He’s obviously an elite defenceman. He’s big and strong, he can skate. He plays well on the defensive side and the offensive side. Just trying to make his life and just out there and battle against him.