FROM A to D: Maple Leafs' first half report cards

Our Lance Hornby grades the Maple Leafs on their performance in the first half of the season:

GOALTENDERS

Frederik Andersen = A

20-8-4, 2.66 GAA .915 Save %

Over-reliance on the Dane has cost the Leafs in previous seasons so they have to proceed cautiously approaching April.

Michael Hutchinson = D

2-5-1, 4.03 GAA .883 Save %

Everyone in the dressing room is in his corner, now the rest is up to him.

DEFENCEMEN

Morgan Rielly = C+

41 GP, 3-22-25, +7

Doesn’t have the offensive numbers from last year and currently in a goal funk, but at this stage of his Leaf career, he’s only thinking team success.

Tyson Barrie = B-

41 GP, 4-17-21, -3

Perhaps the veteran who most benefitted from the coaching change.

Cody Ceci = C-

41 GP, 1-6-7, +7

Hard to get a read on the former Senator, who has had different partners and a new system to learn. Has had coverage issues.

Justin Holl = B-

39 GP 1-10-11, +12

Up around 20 minutes of vital ice time a night for last year’s frequent healthy scratch.

Jake Muzzin = B+

38 GP, 3-10-13, +8

The warrior of the blueline is shelved for a bit. Leafs need him at 100% for playoffs.

Travis Dermott = C+

28 GP, 3-4-7, +7

A whiz with the puck, but how he stands up to physical punishment dictates his effectiveness.

FORWARDS

Auston Matthews = A-

41 GP, 27-21-48, +15

Heat was on at the start of the year for off-ice antics, but he persevered through that and a late November slide. Hit it off with new coach.

Mitch Marner = A

30 GP, 10-27-37, +2

Delivering on his new big contract and has begun to take a vital leadership role.

Zach Hyman = B+

22 GP, 9-6-15, +8

How much did Babcock miss this guy? Leaf penalty killing and line deployment improved once he returned from knee surgery.

John Tavares = A

34 GP, 16-19-35, Even

Consistent in scoring and maintaining team narrative in the media. Whether you think Leafs needed a captain or not, it’s good to see someone wearing a C again.

William Nylander = C+

41 GP, 17-18-35, +5

This is his best stretch of hockey as a Leaf right now, but the acid test will come in playoffs.

Kasperi Kapanen = C-

41 GP, 9-12-21, -2

Been off his game from the start when he he was put on Hyman’s spot, but will be? heard from befor the season is through.

Alex Kerfoot = B-

36 GP, 7-8-15, +1

As advertised, he’s a strong checker and though he doesn’t have Nazem Kadri’s snarl, he’s not gone over the edge, either.

Frederik Gauthier = C

37 GP, 4-4-8, +1

A 58.3% success rate on the draw is just one of the things The Goat can do on the fourth line.

Jason Spezza = C

29 GP, 5-10-15, -4

The ‘Swiss Army Knife’ on the Leafs can still cut it, despite a rocky start under Babcock.

Dmytro Timashov = C

29 GP, 3-5-8, +1

Will likely be pressed the most of all the Marlie call-ups to hold his job when injured forwards start returning.

Trevor Moore = C

22 GP, 3-2-5, -1

Won a spot last year, but now challenged by his recent injuries.

Pierre Engvall = C+

19 GP, 4-4-8, +3

Already being trusted with vital minutes with veterans and special teams’ work, the biggest surprise of the Marlie call-ups so far.

Ilya Mikheyev = C+

39 GP, 8-15-23, +7

What could’ve been the Leafs best rookie story in awhile was derailed by hand surgery. But if he fully recovers as expected, a vital piece of playoff help.

Andreas Johnsson= C+

30 GP, 6-10-16, +2

Little Swede goes to the front of the net where angels fear to tread, but paid the price last month for his shot blocking.

Incomplete grades – D Martin Marincin, F Nic Petan, F Adam Brooks

Coach Sheldon Keefe = B+

What’s not to like about a record of 13-4-1 when the Leafs were close to falling out of playoff contention? His team still has some own-zone issues to address.

General manager Kyle Dubas = C+

Promoted Keefe to the Leafs at the right moment, but elements of the slow start were still on him. Second half will say a lot about his future.

lhornby@postmedia.com

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