Phil Kessel and James Van Riemsdyk were amazing in the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ solid 5-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Although neither had the best individual performance of the night, (an honor that needs to go to Nathan MacKinnon, who in all fairness to Kessel and JVR, was completely amazing) they were a part of a line with Tyler Bozak that produced six points (three goals, three assists).
Kessel had two goals (it sometimes seems like literally all he can do is score goals, though he is a well-rounded player, he does seem to score at the most opportune moments).Van Riemsdyk had a PP goal and an assist, and Bozak had two assists (on Kessel and JVR’s goals).
The Leafs simply have been on a tear of late, winning six in a row and beating Semyon Varlamov in regulation for the first time in over a month. They made a very good goalie look mediocre as he was pulled after giving up three goals on ten shots in favor of Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who played very well and prevented the game from getting further out of hand by only letting in one shot out of the 20 Toronto attempts that he faced.
I cannot say enough about how the Leafs played on Tuesday night. They gave an extremely gutsy effort after having played the night before and always seemed in control after jumping out to a 4-0 lead just like they did against the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday.
I think this hot streak is more than just an indication of the puck consistently bouncing their way. This is a talented offensive team that is being thorough in its checking, hard on the puck and playing hungry. They have also been good on the power play of late, and their top line has been very solid.
Outside of the top line, Nazem Kadri has played very well recently also. That and an offensively engaged blue-line has given them production from a number of different sources.