The post Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 6-3 Win Over Sabres appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

The Toronto Maple Leafs scored five straight goals in the game, and then held on for a 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres last night. The newly put-together second line of John Tavares, Ryan O’Reilly, and Mitch Marner line had simply an amazing game. The line was dominant right from the start, and the first period was one of the team’s best periods of the season.

Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe was effusive in his praise. Given the team’s overall play, no wonder. Coach Keefe noted that the team’s counter-attacking style of play was crucial to its offense. It was a full team game, and each line contributed in different ways to the win.

Coach Keefe also emphasized the importance of striving to have games like this one night after night. What a difference from the game on Sunday in Chicago. When the Maple Leafs execute all the facets of its game – like they did last night – it would be tough to beat them.

Takeaway One: Mitch Marner Has Five-Point Night

Mitch Marner had an outstanding game against the Sabres. He had a point on all but one of the Maple Leafs’ six goals (five assists in total). His impressive performance brings his total of points to 20 goals and 51 assists (for 71) in 58 games this season.

This is the third time Marner has passed the 70-point mark in a season. Although most people think that Auston Matthews is THE key player for the Maple Leafs, given this season some votes have to be thrown toward Marner as well. His playmaking skills were on full display, and these make him one of the most dangerous offensive players in the entire NHL.

MItch Marner Maple Leafs 4

Coming off a night like this one, Marner suddenly is on pace to exceed his career-high point total of 97, which he set last season. If he continues to play at the level he has over the past while he could reach the 100-point level.

Related: Could Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews Be Past His Prime?

Takeaway Two: Ryan O’Reilly Impresses His Old Fans with Hat Trick

Ryan O’Reilly played three seasons in Buffalo with the Sabres, but he probably never looked as good as he did last night. Talk about a strong start with his new team. He made an immediate impact in his third game with the Maple Leafs, scoring a career-best five points in a 6-3 win over his old Sabres team.

Could he get better with practice? We’ll see. He has not had a full practice with the team since coming in the trade from St. Louis Blues last Friday. O’Reilly’s reputation is one of being a communicator on the ice. Obviously, whatever’s going on on the ice surface is working well. He’s meshing well with his new linemates. The result? He’s making a huge contribution to the game.

Mitch Marner: 5 assists
Ryan O’Reilly: 3 goals, 1 assist
John Tavares: 1 goal, 3 assists

Yeah, the @MapleLeafs might have something here with this line. ?

— NHL (@NHL) February 22, 2023

O’Reilly shared his excitement about joining the Maple Leafs. From what I’ve read, he dreamed about being a Maple Leafs’ player. Already he’s found great chemistry with his linemates. This impressive performance likely has many Maple Leafs’ fans proposing that this trade might be one of the best the team has made in a long time.

Now for a long playoff journey.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: McMann, Petruzzelli & Bottom Six

Takeaway Three: John Tavares Garners Four-Point Night

As part of the team’s second line, John Tavares also had a strong performance in the Maple Leafs’ win last night. He scored a goal and contributed three assists to the team’s victory.

In 58 games on the season, Tavares has recorded 26 goals and added 34 assists (for 60 points). He’s been hot over his last 11 games, scoring six goals and having 15 points. What’s interesting is that Tavares is playing on the wing, which is something that has been talked about for a long time.

Wherever he plays, Tavares is the captain and a key player for his team. He’s aging, but he remains a consistent offensive threat and crucial to his team’s success.

Related: Sending Some Praise to Maple Leafs’ Defenseman Justin Holl

The post Three Takeaways from Maple Leafs’ 6-3 Win Over Sabres appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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