Auston Matthews: Matthews was good as usual, scoring a goal on a 5 on 3 and basically wreaking havoc around the net, creating opportunities out of nothing. He was a lone bright spot in a game full of mistakes by the Leafs
Andreas Borgman: I’m sure I’ll get ripped for this because he’s become a cult hero already, but as good as Borgman is and as much potential as he has, he’s got a long way to go to reach it. I get that people love him because of his physical play, but a couple of things I’ve noticed that need work ar, he’s very soft on clearing attempts in the defensive zone. Multiple times in each game this season, I’ve seen him attempt a clear only to have it picked off by the opposition, so far it hasn’t cost the Leafs, but it will eventually. Additionally, in the offensive zone, he seems to shoot every time he touches the puck, which is fine, but the puck needs to end up somewhere near the net, or it’s going to result in a rush the other way. These are both things that can be edited out of his game with coaching and experience, and I think Borgman has a very bright future with the Leafs.
Jake Gardiner: I’m a pretty staunch defender of Jake, I think he’s probably the Leafs best dman if we’re being honest, although Nikita Zaitsev has been fantastic so far this year, but man was he bad tonight, he fumbled the puck a couple of times, leading to the 3 on 5 goal against and a couple of other odd man rushes, and took a penalty that although a pretty soft call, he needs to be more in control of his stick, especially since it happened a couple of times on Monday as well.
Frederik Andersen: Granted, Freddie got exactly zero help from the players in front of him tonight in terms of limiting chances, but he also made approximately one save on a good scoring chance against. The Freddie that kept the Leafs in games last year hasn’t seemed to be around much so far this season, and he’ll need to make a few appearances if they’re going to go far into the playoffs.
Paul Romanuk and Greg Millen: Yep, we get it, Cory Schneider has a great record against the Leafs. You know why that is, Paul. It isn’t what Greg told you, which was because he’s comfortable against them, it’s because for a good portion of Schneider’s career as a starter, the Leafs have been terrible! Most goalies have a good record against them, and most current superstars have a good numbers against them, because they sucked for the better part of 11 years!
Calle Rosen: UGH. If it could go wrong for Rosen tonight, it did. Starting with him misplaying a puck with his glove leading to the Devils second goal, continuing with a couple of giveaways, and ending with his taking a late minor penalty, it was pretty much a nightmare for the young Swede. Granted, like his counterpart Andreas Borgman, it was his third career NHL game, and about his eighth on North American ice, so there will be growing pains, and hopefully he’ll bounce back from this, because like Borgman, he has a world of potential.
Toronto Goal 8:33 — J. van Riemsdyk (3) (power play) assisted by M. Marner and M. Rielly
New Jersey Goal 9:07 — M. Wood (1) assisted by S. Santini and W. Butcher
New Jersey Goal 10:45 — M. Wood (2) assisted by A. Henrique and W. Butcher
Toronto Goal 13:33 — D. Moore (2) assisted by N. Zaitsev and R. Hainsey
New Jersey Goal 9:58 — P. Zacha (1) (power play) assisted by J. Bratt and M. Johansson
New Jersey Goal 14:54 — B. Gibbons (2) (short-handed) assisted by A. Henrique
New Jersey Goal 3:35 — B. Coleman (1)
Toronto Goal 13:34 — A. Matthews (3) (power play) assisted by W. Nylander and P. Marleau
New Jersey Goal 17:21 — P. Zacha (2) assisted by J. Moore
SHOTS ON GOAL