Leafs Postgame: 3-on-3, more like 3-for-3

Whether or not you like the steps the Leafs have made over the course of this rebuild, I think there is one thing that we can all agree on; the Habs are the worst. Any time that you get the opportunity to beat the Montreal Canadiens, you go for it – pre-season, regular season, home ice, away ice, Xbox, Sega Genesis. Doesn’t matter. You do it. Tonight was the Leafs’ first attempt to do so on the year, and while it took an extra minute or so, they pulled it off, winning 2-1 in three on three overtime.

The Rundown

This game was a very closely contested one; no team really carried much momentum in the shot department for more than a couple of minutes at a time. For a team to take control of the game, the had to do it on the scoresheet, and late in the first period, the Habs opened things up. Mitch Marner wasn’t able to beat Devante Smith-Pelly a puck in the corner, which lead to Jeff Petry having a wide open opportunity to set up Michael McCarron, and he made no mistake.

Toronto did their best to even the tide, and with a few seconds left in the second period, this happened:

It was regulation’s last goal, which sent the game into overtime. Technically, the NHL requested that this game head into overtime anyway, but these two teams made it happen for real. It didn’t take long for something to give, as Jake Gardiner struck once again for the winner.

Blue Warrior

You have to give it to Jake Gardiner, no? He was part of both odd-man rushes and was on the ice for six more attempted shots for than against while only starting 33% of his shifts in the defensive zone.  Moreover, he was consistently in good position, and was about as mistake free as you can get.

See You Next Time

The Leafs return to the ice on Friday Night, when they’ll take on the Buffalo Sabres. William Nylander is expected to grossly outperform Jack Eichel, so I’d make sure you’re tuned into Sportsnet 360 at 7:30 PM sharp, if you aren’t going to be at the Air Canada centre.

  • TGT23

    The Leafs are going to be deadly 3 v 3 in OT. Gardiner, Reilly on the back end, Kadri, Grabner, Bozy (who is ridiculous on breakaway’s which he could see a fair bit of 3 v 3)…

  • V

    I was at the game. You quickly notice Babcock as the coach. TV timeouts, the team was generally huddled around him, and minus the first thirty seconds of the three periods, he was very vocal.

    My blue warrior definitely has to go to Soshnikov. He may not have put up any points, but he was the most impressive player on the team not named gardiner or nylander. I’d even say he had a more complete game than nylander did.

    Bailey had a rough two first periods and seemed to be step behind or a little soft at times. (Though he picked up in the third with a few decent plays).

    Leivo seemed to be really off. Took a bad fall into the boards early but seemed healthy. Fraser didn’t play very well either.

  • V

    Also, he definitely isn’t making the team this year, but Timashov is a heck of a player. I can see him threatening for a job next year, or definitely stealing first line job with the Marlies next year.

  • BarelyComments

    Question about the game, I unfortunately didn’t get to watch as much marlies games last year as I would have liked to, so I am fairly new to the whole 3 on 3 thing… Since the PPs in OT are 4 on 3 and not 3 on 2, in tonights game if the leafs hadn’t scored on the PP, how would the play return back to 3 on 3? Does the ref just direct a player off the ice, is the whistle blown? Or is the play just 4 on 4 until the next whistle. Just wondering?

    • BarelyComments

      good question bud! Gardiner is looking good. Pinning guys on the boards, playing defense actually. He sure stood out. and a beautiful return pass to Nylander. Good boy.

  • BarelyComments

    Oh wow can Timashov dish the puck. If the rest of his game can develop nicely he can be a heck of a playmaker.

    Marner definitely needs some pounds and seasoning.

    Gardiner still had his moments of “what the hell are you doing?” But luckily no one could take advantage. There was one play in particular where he like, accidentally got it by two people that should have taken the puck if they were any good. But other than that, he was driving the play like I expect out of him.

    Ol’ Willie Nylander looking right at home in the offensive zone, and still making those nice steals that I’ve been seeing, but he still looks well below average in the d-zone. But that no-look dish to Gardiner for the give and go was a beauty.

  • giproc

    I have new found hope for Jake Gardiner… he’s looks really good.

    So has Garret Sparks, Nylander, Marner, Brown, Timashov, Dermott and surprisingly Andrew Neilsen. This preseason is fun to watch and i hope it continues!

    • silentbob

      lets hope, but I need to see Gardiner looking really good for a whole season before I “find new hope” for him. To this point, his career has been full of looking great for a few games but not maintaining it.