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Five Takeaways: Character win, Campbell, Nylander, Ritchie (+)

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There are a lot of ups and downs to deal with early in this Toronto Maple Leafs season.

During a four-game winless skid, tension was high and there was some anxiousness building. Then the Maple Leafs won five straight games and that seemed to settle things down, only to get blitzed 5-1 at home against Los Angeles.

To their credit, though, the Toronto Maple Leafs responded to that loss with a well-rounded effort to win 3-0 in Philadelphia. That’s a quality result against a good team.

“Right from the get-go, you could tell we had a serious purpose out there,” said goaltender Jack Campbell after his 36-save shutout. “Top to bottom, doesn’t matter who it was, everybody did their job, and they did it for 60 minutes. It’s great to see.”

Auston Matthews shared Campbell’s sentiment. “Really good response from us,” said Matthews. “Everybody down the lineup just really solid throughout. Soupy (Campbell) was just unbelievable for us, just like he has been all year.”

Head coach Sheldon Keefe liked the team approach, too. “I thought we did a really good job defending our net., both coming into our zone and in the defensive zone.”

“We get a goal, and I don’t think we gave them much after that,” continued Keefe. “The power play comes through and then you get a nice insurance goal. I liked the intensity our team played with defensively.”

“We needed to be able to be comfortable playing a tight game.”

To the takeaways…

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