Three takeaways from Toronto Maple Leafs' 5-3 win over Colorado Avalanche

Sporting News

Saturday was a big night for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team is now 2-0 under new head coach Sheldon Keefe as Toronto was able to win its second consecutive game in the form of a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

It was the first time this season that these two clubs have met, and also marked the first time that defenseman Tyson Barrie and center Nazem Kadri would get the opportunity to face their former clubs. Both players were able to contribute to their respective offenses, but Toronto's forecheck was better as the Leafs again managed to score at least four goals.

Auston Matthews also registered a goal and assist in the win, while Kasperi Kapanen also scored.

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MORE: Tyson Barrie scores in return to Colorado

Here are three reasons why the Leafs beat the Avs.

Tyson Barrie is on a roll

The Maple Leafs defenseman has been on a roll of late, and under Keefe he seems to have much more confidence in his offensive ability, which has helped him get back his mojo.

As the first power-play unit quarterback, Barrie was able to score his second of the season and now has a goal in each of his last two games. He also added an assist for his first multi-point outing since Oct. 5. Not only that, but he's now riding a four-game point streak.

The 28-year-old defenseman was brought on board to provide more offense from the blue line, and now that he seems to have more responsibility when it comes to moving the puck, starting the breakout and joining the rush, he's taking the opportunity and running with it.

Frederik Andersen comes up big

Despite a late push from Colorado, Andersen was able to hold his own against the Avalanche, stopping 34 of 37 shots on goal for a .919 save percentage.

Toronto's success considered, Andersen has been strong of late for the Leafs, posting a .917 or higher save percentage in each of his last three performances, and is now 11-5-3 with a 2.68 GAA and .916 save percentage.

If the Leafs can continue to get strong goaltending from the Danish netminder, they could manage a complete turnaround and make the Atlantic Division race tighter and more competitive moving forward.

Jason Spezza heating up

Although he's not playing at the same pace as he did years ago, the Leafs' veteran is heating up over these last few games — and showing prowess in the process.

Spezza notched a primary assist on an outstanding breakaway goal for Kasperi Kapanen and now has points in three of his last four games, totalling four points over that span. The 36-year-old now has eight points in 14 games this season, which isn't bad given his role with the team at start to the season. If he were to play in all 82 games of the season, Spezza would be on pace to contribute 47 points.

For a team to be successful long term, they need to have secondary scoring, especially from the bottom-6. With Spezza starting to find his touch and role with the Leafs, the team will be able to get offense from players beyond the likes of Matthews and company.

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