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As the calendar shifts to November, could it be that the Maple Leafs have finally fixed their alarm clock for game night?

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His first eight games had a worrying trend, whether it’s a flat start with defensive failures or being frustrated up front and letting those missed opportunities seep into his psyche. Toronto was conceding goals early in the period and had allowed 12 during the second frame, the most of any team in the Eastern Conference, as of Sunday afternoon.

The fortunes began to turn when they came back 2-0 to beat Chicago in overtime and then deflated the Red Wings with a few goals of their own in Saturday’s 5-4 win.

They dominated the first 10 minutes of the night, scoring in the last 20 seconds of the first and second periods, first a franchise, and then again in the first minute of the third.
Detroit held its ground until the end of 5-4 but, for a change, the Leafs weren’t chasing the game all night. His first consecutive victories this year included a winning goal from Mitch Marner.

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“The main part is that we haven’t had enough of an advantage at the end of games this season,” coach Sheldon Keefe said. “We have more than enough experience to be better than that. Being comfortable with an advantage is a staple of a good hockey team. ”
Leading the swarm early Saturday was the line of Alex Kerfoot, John Tavares and Marner.

“We had a lot of zone time, moving the puck well and some movement,” said Kerfoot, who scored and assisted in one of Tavares. “It is difficult to get victories in this league. We are moving towards something and we have not yet achieved it. Tonight we show that it is not clean enough, we have to close the games better. We’ve given up a lot of easy opportunities, we have to get back to where we’re not cheating for offense. “

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TAKE OF JAKE

Jake Muzzin has been a bit terse in his recent media appearances, which may be tied to a slump in his game before scoring in Saturday’s win. Muzzin and his regular partner Justin Holl had parted ways with the latter on the bench and Muzzin is now paired up with TJ Brodie.

“It’s part of his personality, he’s not going to show much (to the public),” Keefe said.

“Whether he’s playing really well and the team is rolling that much or not, that’s part of Jake.

“But this guy has won the Stanley Cup, he has high expectations, high standards of himself and our team.”

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UNION STATION

Kerfoot is the Leafs’ new NHLPA representative, and he went straight into the fire with an executive board conference call Monday that will put leader Donald Fehr in the spotlight over the union’s reaction to the sexual assault allegations. in Chicago brought to light by Kyle Beach.

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“I don’t have enough information in terms of the NHLPA’s handling to make an accurate comment at this point,” Kerfoot said when asked about Fehr and the meeting. “I’m sure I’ll find out before then and we’ll have a discussion among the group.”
Kerfoot volunteered to take on the role of representative for the late Zach Hyman.

“When you’re in a profession like this, you want to get as involved as possible,” Kerfoot said. “This is how I am, I want to be informed, to be on board with what is happening in the league, to provide information and to help each other. It doesn’t mean other guys like Jason Spezza and JT (Tavares) won’t be involved. “

AUTOMOTIVE HITCH-HIKER

Wings general manager Steve Yzerman had a special passenger when he was driving from Detroit to Toronto for Saturday’s game.

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Joe Veleno, top scorer for the Wings farm team in Grand Rapids, was called up and Tyler Bertuzzi was unable to cross the border because he refuses to get vaccinated. Rather than bother with a flight, Yzerman took Veleno straight to the SBA, where he had a goal and an assist.

Hockey historian Bob Duff recalls that the Leafs did that once for a call-up. In future captain Red Horner’s first game in 1928 as a Marlies call-up, manager Conn Smythe picked him up and dropped him off at Mutual St. Arena since Horner had no car.

LOOSE LEAVES

The Leafs had Sunday off before starting a practice routine for most of the next two weeks … The Newfoundland Growlers won’t be coming to Toronto this month, after all. The Leafs’ ECHL farm team, evicted from its arena in St. John’s in a dispute over the management of the building, chose to play a series of games at home on a small track in nearby Conception Bay South, rather than moving here and use Coca-Cola Coliseum while the Marlies are away … Josh Ho-Sang’s five goals were tied for third in the AHL as of Sunday afternoon … Goalkeeper Michael Hutchinson has been loaned to the AHL Marlies … While Saturday’s goals with less than 20 seconds left in consecutive stints had never happened, it was the fourth time the Leafs had a pair in the final 30 seconds according to NHL Stats, the time before was when Andy Bathgate and Bob Pulford scored in the first and second periods against Montreal on November 14, 1964.

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