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William Nylander scored 40 goals at the end of the regular season

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The Maple Leafs finished the 2022-23 regular season, winning 50 times and trailing by 111 points.

Similar to the previous game, against Tampa Bay, the Leafs didn’t have much to play for in terms of rating. But there were individual steps to follow. Of the first three, only one succeeded, but we had a secret second that ended up winning the game with a 3-2 win over Rangers.

I know this whole season has been a training session for a lot of us. You grow, you get better, you take hits and you get better. Let’s see what they get up to next week, but for now, let’s move on to the reports.

The first star

William Nylander

mission accomplished. It took six shots, but Nylander finally got his chance to beat Jaroslav Halak with his 40th goal of the season.

He has been making shooting attempts since the start of the game, moving his feet to throw pucks and shooting them from dangerous areas. Despite having his hands lightly handcuffed on a pass before Kapu Kaku’s goal, Nylander put in an impressive 60-minute effort to finish the season.

The second star

Wall Joseph

He didn’t have to stop as many takes as on his previous tour, but Wall added another confidence sticker to his notebook after this performance. Of his 22 saves, his shortstop ability on Artemy Panarin was the strongest.

Woll is really good at the forehand and all the way to the top of the crease, removing as much of the net as possible. He puts a lot of confidence into his defensive line when he drops down both sides of the crease, but his demeanor in front of goal has been another bright spot this year.

The third star

Noel Akari

Nobody was watching the fact that Acciari was sitting on 99 points in the NHL. His 100th goal ended up winning the game after his first putt at Barber and sending the rebound through five holes in the third period.

Player reports


Matthew Knes

Knies is an NHL player. I don’t know if we see him in the playoffs, but he has proven in these three matches that he can play and compete at this level. He figured out how to bring that power and speed all the way down the slope while showing his knack for getting pucks at the net and for his teammates. Another thing that impressed me was his willingness to get the disk back if he lost it. There was a good example of that in the first half.

As the game progresses, his confidence and command of the offense increase, culminating in a huge chance of being kicked out of the game.

Coach Sheldon Keefe kept him on the ice a bit with Austin Matthews and Mitch Marner and never looked out of place.

b +

Ryan O’Reilly

Here’s a nice helping hand with the plate pincher to set up Schenna to shoot.

He also did well with the high point and hole, giving Acciari a chance to score.

Timothy Lillgren

He led all defensemen in time on the ice at 21:42. In a game like this, you have to be lucky to be good. Liljegren’s goal to end the shutout and tie the score at 1-1 was a friendly Rangers shot, but it gave the Leafs the boost they needed to push things further.

Jake McCabe

He grabbed an assist against Liljegren and had a handful of passes and interceptions at the right time. McCabe had the edge on Philip Shettle before brandishing the goal. All Chytil had to do was try his skate to score.


Austin Mathews

He had a few looks but either missed the ball or smashed it in his best scoring opportunity. Matthews’ best scoring chance came in the second half and he saw his shot diminish. Unfortunately, Braden Schneider prevented him from crossing the goal line.

Mitch Marmer

Marner appears to have been struggling to connect passages across and between regions. Then I feed Matthews without looking at the hatch. A few minutes later he found Michael Ponting behind the goal line. He did it all but scored late on a penalty kick in the third period. Marner made four attempts to get into the empty net and patted it, resulting in gifts. His total score of 100 points is the 99th best he finished with this year, although that doesn’t detract from the fact that he was the most valuable player on the team.

TJ Brody

There were some embarrassing moments for Brody during this time. Fortunately, the spin going through Woll didn’t go anywhere as the final shot went wide. He had a good rush in the second half with Matthews and was about to capitalize on him.

Luke Shin

He had good mass on Chytil’s quick shot. He also had the biggest hit of the game when Jacob Trueba entered the penalty area.

Yernrock Street

He didn’t have any shots on goal, but had several moments of solid skating and covering on goal.


Michael Bunting

He had three shots on goal including a powerful shot from the left circle in the third. Since defense is the focus of a game like this, losing cover stands out. Defenseman Jacob Trueba came home after Ponting kept his eyes on the puck in the defensive zone.

Alex Kerfoot

Kerfoot did a good job of forcing players to recheck. The offside decision also saved him.

Justin’s room

His play to keep the puck in the penalty area before Achiari’s goal was solid, but Nylander’s lack of passing control in the second half resulted in the goal being overtaken by Kaku.

David Kampf

He had one of those moments where you switch between praising the play or criticizing the cover. Kämpf made a poor effort to break up the pass to Panarin on the power play. However, it was a great flow from Adam Fox.

Morgan Riley

He had a very calm game from an offensive standpoint while doing some hard reads in his rush.

c +

Connor Timmins

Timmins was comfortable playing the defensive-minded end as he played low and tackled pawns, giving the defense room to get out of the area.


Zack Aston Reese

I would be lying if I said I expected no offense from him. I know some might want him to include him in a synagogue or to include him in Sam Lafferty, but I don’t know if that’s the plan. Especially when the physique gets stronger, which makes Aston Race very comfortable to play.

The result

Final grade: b

The match didn’t have much energy, but chances were there for both sides. Both goalkeepers did a great job of stopping things in the moment and after Kakko’s goal it looked like it was one of those games where the goalkeeper stopped everything. The point-to-point and wall-to-wall action combined with the traffic in front of Halak was the difference maker for the Leafs.

The larger pivot points are the smaller of the two names on the list. Wall undoubtedly proved he could be a playoff option. On the other hand, Knies had to convince Keefe to play him against Tampa. If he can generate the same number of chances in the last six? If O’Reilly is your third-in-line center, that might be something Keefe can work with, especially with him playing the Knies in those last two games. There is a lot to think about.

What’s next for The Leafs?

Qualifications. are you ready?

(Photo by William Nylander: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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