In the absence of Auston Matthews, the Leafs simply continue to flourish with an abundance of scoring. Toronto had goals from six different scorers en route to a 6-1 pounding of the New Jersey Devils on Friday. The game marked the annual Hockey Hall of Fame game, at which this year’s class of inductees was recognized prior to puck drop: Gary Bettman, Martin Brodeur, Jayna Hefford, Willie O’Ree, Martin St. Louis and Alexander Yakushev.

The Good

  • Frederik Andersen had a solid 38-save outing, and is tied for the league lead with nine victories.
  • Andreas Johnsson, the Marlies’ Calder Cup MVP, scored his first goal of the season.
  • Patrick Marleau collected his 600th career assist, the 88th player in league history to reach the milestone.
  • Nazem Kadri registered his fifth goal in his past seven games
  • John Tavares, Connor Brown, Morgan Rielly and Tyler Ennis also scored for the Leafs.
  • Ennis, on the play of his line with Frederik Gauthier and Josh Leivo: “I think our line has been trying to generate when we’re out there. Play sound defensively, but when we get in their end we try to create, get a good forecheck going, cycle and then get pucks to the net. It definitely felt good to score.”

The Bad

    • Credit goes to Ron Hainsey for a pair of great plays that led to two assists. However, he also wears the goat horns on New Jersey’s only goal, in not being able to properly contain Travis Zajac.

  • The power play went 0-for-4 and is now just 3-for-25 (12%) in the past nine games .

The Ugly

  • Kudos to Joe Bowen on winning the 2018 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award and recognition into the broadcasting wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Bowen of course called the game on the radio while TSN had regional coverage. No disrespect to Gord Miller, or SportsNet’s John Bartlett – both fine play-by-play men – however Leafs fans of all ages are still longing for the days when Bowen’s voice, including his signature “Holy Mackinaw” call, could be heard on televised weeknight games.

Rob Del Mundo is the author of Off The Post, and is a regular columnist at TMLfans.ca.

In 2016, Rob wrote “Hockey’s Enforcers: A Dying Breed”, now available at Chapters and Indigo stores everywhere.