‘Cel-le-brate good times, come on’.
One way to celebrate your birthday, light the lamp; we shall toast to Morgan Rielly’s arrival. Another year older and another year spent mastering his craft as the 25-year-old has enjoyed being awarded for his hard work. Fittingly on a night where most of the focus was on Matthews vs McDavid, it was Rielly who kicked off the festivities. Late in the first period, the puck came out to the point and with a flick of the wrist, the rubber biscuit made its way through a maze.
— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) March 10, 2019
Rielly is 2nd in points by defensemen, tied for 1st in game-winning goals, 3rd in plus/minus, a decent calendar resume which should result in ‘Mo’ hearing his name called as a finalist for the Norris this summer in Vegas. Burnzie will be hard to beat, if Rielly catches heat there’s an outside chance, but it’s likely the bearded dragon loving Burns will take home the hardware.
Saturday night was a night of possibilities as a late scratch in the crease led to rarely used Anthony Stolarz between the pipes for the Oilers. Their Hitchcock led charge ran through their usual suspects as once again it was a story of Leon-McDavid and a collection of what looked like their college buddies. In all seriousness, the Oil have been playing a lot better as of late and it feels as though they are getting the right pieces in place to change the vibe around the team.
The Maple Leafs, on the other hand, were busy throwing a perfect road game on the board. John Tavares will go down as one of the biggest free agent signings in league history. Huge pressure for the home town kid and he’s delivered. No load management needed as JT knows how to deal with pressure each and every night he laces them up. From exceptional status into the OHL, onto the World Junior stage, into the show as the first player selected of the options, and onwards to sign a massive contract with his home town team.
Reposition to the back end where Morgan Rielly deserves 75% of the praise and the other 25% is evenly sprinkled on the other 5 guys who dressed. Muzzin buried a nice goal displaying some good reach and finishing on a pass that could have easily bounced over his stick. The trade evaluation of the deal to bring Muzzin to Toronto has begun. The LA Kings called Carl Grundstrom up Saturday afternoon, and the Swedish prospect begins his NHL career on the west coast.
A ‘rarely used collection of words warning’ – Martin Marincin had a good night. Argue all you want he’s a great hockey player, because he plays professionally so I certainly know that, but his numbers as a Leaf are nothing to write home about. Tonight was a revenge game for the Oilers draft pick and it showed as he was as motivated as ever.
The Maple Leafs now head home as they host T-Bay on Monday. A battle of supremacy in the conference. Leafs Nation hopes some momentum from the west will influence the outcome back east. For now, they celebrate two points and 25 years.