Trevor Moore was a happy guy following his first game in a Leafs uniform.
"I thought I did pretty well, but it was obviously just a start. I'll take a lot from this game and build on it," grinned Moore.
OK, so it was only for the rookie tournament, but there were still a number of things worth smiling about.
For one, Moore scored the Leafs' only regulation goal last night, and it was off a beautiful feed from his linemate Dmytro Timashov that sent him in all alone and he buried it over the shoulder of Sens' goalie Matt O'Connor.
Really, Timashov and Moore tore up the Sens' defence all night, buzzing around the perimeter while slipping passes back and forth. The both got knocked down a lot, but it didn't seem to phase either of them, and with Frederik Gauthier wreaking havoc in front of the net, their line was easily the Leafs' most effective on the evening.
"[Timashov] is a good player. ... It's fun to play with him. We're kind of similar, you know? But he sees the ice well, and when you're open, you know he's going to find you."
Timashov made several brilliant, crisp, cross-ice passes that found Moore for chances throughout the game, both at even strength and on the power play. This bodes well for the upcoming Marlies season.
Size not such an issue
"I think we're good friends, now. I mean, there's a little bit of a language barrier, but we were laughing about that on the bench a little bit. [chuckles] But we complement each other well, and it's good to have a bit of size in the middle with playmaking on either side."
And while it's true that having two undersized wingers may make winning puck battles along the boards a little tougher, it hasn't inhibited their puck retrieval too much.
"I thought it was a good pace. It was definitely physical, but ... both sides got more tired as the game wore on. Everybody's excited to start ... first game of the year. ... I would have liked to win more puck battles than I did but other than that, I thought it was pretty similar [to the NCAA]."
Sheldon Keefe, for his part, was dismissive over questions about the Leafs' smaller wingers being able to handle themselves along the boards.
"I thought guys handled themselves fine," he stated flatly, before ending his press conference.
One player who helped Moore know what to expect in the rookie tournament? Tyler Bozak.
"Me and Bozie skate together in the summer and we work out together. We've got a little history. ... He was the first one there to tell me what training camp was going to be like and what rookie camp was going to be like, so it was good to have him there."