Wednesday, December 1

Campbell does old tricks in Maple Leafs season opener, stars in win against Montreal


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Stable, calm and solid.




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Would you have expected something different from Jack Campbell in the Maple Leafs’ 2021-22 regular season opener on Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena?

We don’t think so.

The Toronto goalkeeper was on point when his Leafs teammates found their legs early in the first period, then made several key saves in the final 20 minutes to help lead his club to a 2-0 win. -1 against the Montreal Canadiens.

Campbell finished with 31 saves, continuing the dominant forms he featured for much of last season.

“He was on fire,” Leafs forward William Nylander said. “Thank goodness… it could have been 2-0, 3-0 from the start. We got out pretty slow. “

Campbell will have a night off Thursday when Petr Mrazek makes his first start with the Leafs in Ottawa against the Senators.




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“It was fun,” Campbell said. “Having everyone back in the building was electrifying … I think the crowd gave us an advantage to get the two points.”


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Jake Evans of the Montreal Canadiens fights David Kampf of the Maple Leafs during Wednesday's game.  CLAUS ANDERSEN / GETTY IMAGES
Jake Evans of the Montreal Canadiens fights David Kampf of the Maple Leafs during Wednesday’s game. CLAUS ANDERSEN / GETTY IMAGES

A nice little delay from Nylander before firing the puck over Jake Allen’s right shoulder for the winning goal at 1:06 of the third … A fairly large display of penalties from the Leafs in the third came when Montreal managed just one shot on goal during a two-man lead that was one minute 44 seconds long. Shot blocks from David Kampf, Justin Holl and TJ Brodie were significant… A game later, and we have a lot of respect for Kampf and his work on the kill. His intelligence was a critical factor in Toronto’s 4-for-4 mark while he was tight. “It was amazing,” Holl said. “He’s great in draws, always in the right place, great stick. It’s been great. “… There was little surprise when Jonathan Drouin opened the scoring at 7:22, making it a 2v1 with Josh Anderson. Until then, the Canadiens led the play against a disorganized group of the Leafs … Toronto was much more determined in the second half of the first, ignited by Pierre Engvall’s power play goal at 10:12. Engvall will not be confused with Auston Matthews, but he showed some skill when he faked a shot, he moved to his right hand and beat Allen with a low, hard shot from the top of the circle. The goal was Engvall’s first in the power play in the National Hockey League … Once the Leafs kicked off their check, the The result was some solid scoring opportunities.After Engvall scored, Nick Ritchie’s deflection of a shot from Brodie hit the post and then a shot from Rasmus Sandin found its way before hitting the crossbar… Engvall was involved all night. Ah now, to keep playing that way … I really like Michael Bunting’s game. That nose for the net, whether you score, will help you sink under your opponents’ skin. At one point in the second, three Canadiens were required to take down Bunting as he got stuck on the puck in the fold. Now to the NHL’s alleged crackdown on cross-checking … Defender Morgan Rielly was asked about the Leafs core, returning for another shot after general manager Kyle Dubas refused to pull the commercial trigger on any of the major players during the offseason. . “Hockey is the best team sport,” Rielly said. “This is not a small group of players.” Yes, hockey is a team sport, and yes, with the Leafs, it is about a small group of players. It goes without saying that if the core doesn’t, the Leafs will fail.




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One of the loudest cheers during the Leafs players’ pregame presentation, if not the loudest, went to veteran Jason Spezza … winger Ilya Mikheyev had a successful surgery, Leafs coach Sheldon said Keefe, on his broken thumb Wednesday morning. The forecast is that Mikheyev will miss a minimum of eight weeks. Mikheyev was injured in the Leafs’ final preseason game on Saturday when he fell awkwardly on his left hand when checked by Dillon Heatherington of the Ottawa Senators … Don’t expect to see forward Adam Brooks claimed by the Canadiens on waivers. of the Leafs on Monday, to make his Montreal debut soon. “He will gradually join the group,” Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme said. “By missing camp (since Brooks was still with Toronto), we want to make sure he knows everything we’re doing and from there we’ll see.” Brooks, who will wear No. 24 for Montreal, remained on the ice to do extra work after the morning skating … Maybe it matters, maybe it doesn’t: Mrazek has a 7-1-2 career record with a save of .920 percentage against the Sens … Once Matthews returns, his first goal will be a milestone. Matthews has 199 goals for the Leafs; his number 200 will tie him with Charlie Conacher for 13th on the franchise list … Keefe caught part of the Seattle Kraken’s opening game Tuesday night, a 4-3 loss in Las Vegas. That afternoon, Keefe texted Dave Hakstol, who landed the Kraken coaching position after serving as Leafs’ assistant. “I know he was very excited about the opportunity to go there and start laying the foundation for that organization,” Keefe said. “They will be in good hands with Hak.”

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