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The Toronto Maple Leafs were able to improve to 4-2 in the young 2022-23 NHL season with their 4-1 victory over the host Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night, and it was captain John Tavares pacing the offense with two goals. Meanwhile, the reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner Auston Matthews racked up another three points, but in the form of a trio of assists.
Matthews isn't lighting the lamp in his usual expected fashion, nor is forward Mitch Marner. But there's nothing for the Leafs to worry about, according to Tavares.
“It’s inevitable,” Tavares said of Matthews and Marner scoring. “I see really good signs with them. Look at the way they’re hounding pucks. A bunch of our goals we got on the power play with those two winning battles, keeping pucks alive and giving us second, third opportunities. They may not always get rewarded on it, but they’re making key plays.”
The balanced scoring has paced Toronto to a positive start on the season, and it's a comfort to the team and coaching staff knowing that they're getting key contributions from those who aren't known as the marquee scorers.
“We’re getting contributions from everybody,” Tavares said. “They don’t have to score every night. They have that capability. And we obviously rely on them for that. But they make such a positive impact all around the game and around the puck, creating opportunities. So it’s just a matter of time.”
“We’re finding ways to win and getting comfortable playing in tight games,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Getting used to having to grind through games, finding ways to win, being resilient and shutting it down defensively, those are all things that usually take some time. And we’ve had lots of practice with it in the early going.”