The easiest prediction ahead of the 2018/19 season was that the Leafs were going to score. Five games in and scoring is all fans have seen. Auston Matthews has eight goals while John Tavares has six, and it’s gotten to the point where all you can do is laugh whenever the red light comes on.
But there’s been a nice surprise with all this fun chaos. Remember when Brian Burke would continuously say he would’ve taken Morgan Rielly first overall back in 2012? He’s gotten a few raised eyebrows for that statement. However, the Vancouver native is putting up some impressive stuff.
Rielly’s first period goal during the first period of Thursday’s game was his third of the season so far. It was also his 11th point of the year which slots him as the top scoring defenceman and player on the Leafs as well as the number one point-getter in the NHL. Seventeen minutes later, Rielly got the primary helper on Matthews eighth of the season for point numero doce (12) while he added his 13th at the end of the team’s 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.
And here’s something Don Cherry will appreciate. After his goal, Rielly overtook Bobby Orr for the second-most points by a defenceman in his team’s first five games.
Morgan Rielly has tied Bobby Orr for the second-most points ever by a defenseman in his team's first five games of a season:— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) October 12, 2018
Harry Cameron: 9-6—15 w/ 1917-18 Toronto Arenas
Bobby Orr: 2-9—11 w/ 1973-74 Boston Bruins@mriles4: 3-8—11 w/ 2018-19 @MapleLeafs #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/1GTxdPB34c
For a little piece of perspective, it took Rielly 16 games to hit this total and he’s done it in five (5). He’s obviously being hooked up by the monster-like power play (6 PPP), but it’s still an incredible feat and a happy distraction from what Matthews, Tavares, and Marner are doing.
It’ll be pretty farfetched to assume Rielly continues to score at this pace. If he does then he should get a plaque for putting up 197 points. But what this does do early on is possibly project a new high for Rielly. He managed to hit the 50-point plateau last season for the first time in his career. Can he reach the next tenth?
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Can Morgan Rielly reach 60 points this season?
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