The Toronto Maple Leafs snapped a three-game losing skid Saturday thanks to a 2-0 win over the Calgary Flames.
Jason Spezza and Zach Hyman scored, as the team improved to 20-10-2 on the season.
Still, the losing stretch was sending ripples of mild panic through the fanbase and the victory in regulation was seemingly a long time coming. The last time the Maple Leafs won in regulation was against the Edmonton Oilers on March 3.
Back then, Toronto was atop the North Division by nine.
By Saturday, however, Toronto was locked in a tie with the Oilers for the top slot with the Winnipeg Jets two points behind. Calgary had just handed the Maple Leafs a 4-3 loss on Friday, too.
So, has the tide turned?
In truth, there’s really no reason to freak out if you’re a Maple Leafs fan. At least not yet.
Goaltender Jack Campbell held the fort Saturday, starting for the second time since suffering a leg injury on January 24. He was more than solid in the win, stopping 31 shots for his second shutout of the season.
Michael Hutchinson was the backup, giving Frederik Andersen the night off.
Toronto’s starter hasn’t been playing his best hockey, generating just one win in his last five outings. He’s sunk to a .897 save percentage and a 2.91 goals against average this season, with a 13-8-2 record overall.
Andersen’s less-than-stellar showings have clearly impacted the Maple Leafs’ bottom line, especially when coming out of the gate. Saturday marked just the second time in their last eight games they were able to score first.
The power play was once again held off the board, charting at a dismal one for 17 across the last eight games.
But there are plenty of bright spots for the Maple Leafs this season. Hyman has scored seven goals in his last 11 games and Alex Galchenyuk picked up his first point in his new sweater, so that’s something.
Most of all, a win is a win is a win.
Toronto’s victory gives the team a chance to take a breath or two. They won’t play again until Thursday against the Ottawa Senators.
Pic: Nathan Denette/CP