Part of the deal for the slumping Maple Leafs going into Monday night’s game at Carolina was that the Hurricanes were precisely not the kind of team that might help the Leafs change their current trajectory. Even with Auston Matthews getting the Maple Leafs on the board first, scoring his 200th career goal, the Maple Leafs were not up to the Hurricanes level.
Carolina has won each of their five games this season and they have been dominant in the process. That it turned into a 4-1 loss for Toronto was a relatively expected result.
“I thought our guys competed at a much higher level today, but it wasn’t high enough,” said Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe after Monday’s loss. “Unfortunately, it’s still not high enough. You’re playing against a Carolina Hurricanes team, I think they set the standard, really, in the league in that regard.”
“We stuck with our game, even though it was difficult,” Keefe continued. “That was the hardest game we have played this season, by a wide margin, in terms of the pressure, in terms of how difficult it is, in terms of how little time you have with the puck.”
“This shows there is another level we need to get to.”
To the takeaways…