Maple Leafs Credit ‘More Connected’ Improved Mindset and Work Ethic

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Do not deviate from focus and the result should not change.

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When the Maple Leafs host the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena, Toronto will look to take its winning streak to six games, which would equal its longest streak of good fortune last season.

What has contributed to the success, which comes after the Leafs lost four in a row and seemed on the verge of making changes?

“Overall, our mindset and our work ethic have been much better,” veteran defender Jake Muzzin said after participating in optional morning skating.

“I feel like we are much more connected. Guys have a great mindset to work in teams and outperform teams looking for opportunities, rather than just trying to force opportunities.

“It has been good. It is a long season. It’s good to start some games here and have some confidence in the group ”.

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Of course, wins wouldn’t pile up without the play of goalie Jack Campbell, who will face the Kings for the first time (and the first time in his NHL career) since the Leafs acquired him from Los Angeles in February 2020.

With Petr Mrazek on the bench for the next four weeks with a groin injury, Campbell will continue to carry the ball into the Leafs’ net. He hasn’t lost it this season, with a .936 save percentage in 10 games.

Campbell is trying to improve himself so as not to be as self-critical as he has been in the past.

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“It’s a good quality in the sense that he judges his game harshly and expects a lot from himself, but as teammates, they remind him that it’s a team game,” center Jason Spezza said. “A lot of times there are situations where he feels that his fault (really) is not like that, and you have to help him with that. It shows the passion you have and the drive you have and why you have been as successful as you are. It has shown great growth in that department.

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“You don’t see a lot of guys (in the NHL) carry the workload that he carries. It speaks of his dedication to prepare day after day. “

Jonathan Quick will start in goal for the Kings, who will not have an injured Drew Doughty.

In 11 career games against Toronto, Quick is 6-4-1 with a .922 save percentage and an average of 2.32 goals against with a shutout.

Los Angeles, which is kicking off a four-game trip that includes stops in Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg, has won four in a row.

“This is a Los Angeles team that, like us, have been on a streak and feel good about themselves,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “They are a very good five-on-five team and we have to play patiently and hope that it is difficult to go through the neutral zone and difficult to access the goalkeeper.”

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Two players called up by the Toronto Marlies on Sunday, forwards Kirill Semyonov and Joey Anderson, participated in optional morning skating.

TJ Brodie, who did not practice Sunday for maintenance reasons, also took the option.

Keefe said he did not anticipate making any changes to the lineup since Saturday’s win against the Boston Bruins. That means defender Justin Holl will sit for the fifth straight game as the Leafs finish a five-game home position, the highest of the season.

THE LINE OF PROJECTED SHEETS

FORWARD

LW-C-RW

Michael Bunting-Auston Matthews-William Nylander

Alex Kerfoot-John Tavares-Mitch Marner

Pierre Engvall-David Kampf-Ondrej Kase

Nick Ritchie-Jason Spezza-Wayne Simmonds

DEFENDING

Morgan Rielly-Travis Dermott

Jake Muzzin-TJ Brodie

Rasmus Sandin-Timothy Liljegren

GOALKEEPERS

Jack campbell

Joseph Woll

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Reference-torontosun.com

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