Toronto Maple Leafs Must Convert on their Chances

Gordon Brown
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Zach Hyman Acknowledges Urgency of Playoffs

TORONTO — Tight-knit playoff games are on the horizon and scoring opportunities will become increasingly scarce, even for a Toronto Maple Leafs team that boasts a plethora of playmakers and six 20-goal scorers.

Zach Hyman is the most recent addition to the club, reaching 20 for the first time in his career on Monday, but recognizes the importance of converting on chances at this time of year.

A 7-5 win over Florida may not demonstrate the impending adversity, but the New York Rangers waltzed into Scotiabank Arena this past weekend with a gentle reminder. Perhaps the narrow 2-1 loss served as a wakeup call.

“That’s kind of the type of hockey you’re going to get as you move on here, and come playoff time you’ve got to start converting on your chances when they’re going to be tight games like this one,” Hyman said, during a locker room scrum after Saturday’s game.

Alexandar Georgiev made 44 saves en route to a 2-1 victory for the visiting New York Rangers. It was his second straight win against the Maple Leafs, totalling 99 saves and three goals against across both appearances. 

Goaltending can be a blessing or a curse in the postseason. It’s often what makes the difference in winning a game or series.

The importance of scoring on opportunities is apparent.

“It’s very important. I thought they played really hard, they’re obviously out of a playoff spot but those guys worked really hard and they wanted to win,” said Hyman.

Auston Matthews, for instance, had 16 shot attempts towards Georgiev but failed to light the lamp. He slightly missed the short side of the net three times in the first period alone on Saturday. Only four official shots on goal were recorded.

Games will only continue to get tighter down the stretch and into the playoffs.