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Insider Only The Greatest Show on Ice? Murray returns to the net against Toronto’s offensive juggernaut

The Greatest show on ice?

The Toronto Maple Leafs with star power are playing the brand of hockey that makes them must watch TV every night.

Off to a 6-1 start, the Leafs are averaging 4.71 goals/game and are 47% on the power play.

Austin Matthews is lighting up the league with 10 goals and 6 assists in seven games. Puck moving defenseman Morgan Reilly is tied for second in the NHL with 13 points.

That John Tavares guy signing with home-town team is going to work out just fine.

Tavares has 6 goals, 11 points in seven games as the 1-2 combo of Matthews/Tavares down the middle has combined for 16 goals and 27 points thus far this season.

LEAFS LEADERS

1. Austin Matthews | 16 Pts

2. Morgan Rielly | 13 Pts

3. John Tavares | 11 Pts

4. Mitchell Marner | 11 Pts

5. Kasperi Kapanen | 8 Pts


— With Matthews/Tavares already combining for 16 goals, this matchup tonight for the Penguins starts to put the microscope on Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin having one combined goal through five games.

It’s very, very early, but those two have to start putting the puck in the net.

You look around the league and the top tier group of forwards are putting the puck in the net at a great rate to open the season, a number of the top 10-12 clear cut forwards in the game are at a goal per game pace or better rate right now.

Among them:

Austin Matthews 10 goals in seven games
Nathan MacKinnon 7 goals in six games
Alex Ovechkin 6 goals in six games
Patrice Bergeron 6 goals in six games
Patrick Kane 5 goals in five games
Connor McDavid 4 goals in 4 games

Time for Crosby and Malkin to get in on the action.


Matt Murray’s performance will be fascinating to watch tonight. Murray hasn’t played in 12 days and the way the Leafs are putting the puck in the net and how poor defensively the Penguins have been in stretches, you have to wonder if Mike Sullivan is throwing Murray to the wolves by not starting him Tuesday night against a rebuilding Canucks team at home to get a game under Murray’s belt.

Instead Sullivan rolled with Casey DeSmith vs Vancouver, citing DeSmith’s .935 save percentage goaltending he was providing. Maybe Murray shines tonight as he’s made a career of rising to the occasion, but the priority should always be getting Murray’s game back on track than rewarding the backup with an extra start.

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Toronto will start Freddie Andersen.


— Penguins 2014 first round pick Kasperi Kapanen Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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