Goal drought is not eating away at Leafs' Rielly

WINNIPEG — Three goals in 41 games, on pace for six.

This after Morgan Rielly scored a career-high 20 last season.

The 25-year-old defenceman isn’t lying awake at night wondering when he is going to score again.

“It’s a good work environment, we feel good around each other, and as an individual it’s important to keep the big picture in mind,” Rielly said. “Wins are more important than anything else. I don’t really care about what anyone else has to say. I feel good.”

Rielly has not scored since Oct. 25, a span of 29 games, his longest run without a goal since he went 32 games in 2016-17 without scoring.

Strictly on the scoresheet, Rielly’s offensive value has been apparent. His 22 assists are second on the Leafs, five fewer than leader Mitch Marner and one more than Auston Matthews.

Rielly said he has not found a big adjustment in playing with the offensive-minded Tyson Barrie after skating alongside steady veteran Ron Hainsey in previous seasons.

“There’s not a huge difference, to be honest,” Rielly said. “The goal is the same — break out quick, move pucks, don’t get scored on. I think we can do a better job of it.”

 

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