There have been a number of reasons for the Leafs’ success so far this season, but none more important than the fact that their third line, which has usually included Nazem Kadri, has contributed on a regular basis.
The Leafs have had contributions this season from all four lines, but the output from the all-important third line, with Kadri at the centre of things, has been huge. When the third line ticks, a ton of pressure is taken off the first two units, and that’s been the case this season, especially with Phil Kessel getting off to a slow start and the second line of Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin struggling. In a 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday night, Kadri scored on a power play with Tomas Fleischmann in the box — a penalty he drew — and setup up Clarke MacArthur for Toronto’s third goal on a great backhand pass. He leads the Leafs with 14 points.
THE BEST TRADE IS ...
Ben Scrivens continues to add credence to the theory that GM Dave Nonis is right on not to give up anything substantial to get a veteran goaltender, even with James Reimer still out with injury. The two young goaltenders have both had solid seasons for the Leafs and, more importantly, are showing the Leafs’ brass what they’re all about going forward. Scrivens turned aside 34 shots for a 3-0 win against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday for his first career NHL shutout and made 37 saves in a shutout win over the Panthers on Monday night.
Kadri and the third line helping Leafs immensely
Toronto Sun | Feb 19