Another game, another debut. Tonight saw Frederik Gauthier slot in as the third-line centre, which is – in a way – Babcock throwing him to the wolves. “Hey this is what we envision you as in the future, get used to it.” But because Gauthier is big and good at faceoffs, his debut naturally led to a better result than Connor Brown’s. 

The Leafs, infected with the energy, size, and mass provided by one more youth, dominated the game for 55 minutes. You can see that this is true with the chart below:


One who doesn’t watch the games would look at the scoresheet and see Nylander’s two-point night, Parenteau’s two assists, or the three third period goals as the reasons the Leafs won. But that’s what happens when you don’t watch the games – you miss what really happened. It was clear from the get-go that Gauthier’s presence helped put everyone else at ease. Nylander won faceoffs because Gauthier is good at them, Soshnikov played big despite being small because Gauthier is big – the list goes on.

After going down 1-0 in the 1st on a goal by Brian Gionta, who is apparently still in the NHL, Willie rocketed a shot top corner in Big Style.

To celebrate the pretty boy’s goal, Friedman announced that the Leafs are the favourites to sign Lithuanian goalie and male model Mantas Armalis in their pursuit of creating the best looking team in the NHL. 

The third was where the Leafs lit up the Sabres, who are really bad. Connor Carrick scored during a 4-on-4, elite (offensive) defenseman Martin Marincin scored his 1st as a Leaf (wonder why the Oilers traded him?), and veteran presence Milan Michalek scored on a beautiful toe drag. It was a dominant finish to a dominant game. It just goes to show that when you have big players in the lineup, your team plays bigger in every way, including putting up a bigger number of goals.

In conclusion:

Blue Warrior

The Leafs are 1-0 with Frederik Gauthier in the lineup. I’m no nerd, but I’m pretty sure that’s a 100% winning percentage. 

See You Next Time

The Leafs keep their home ice advantage going on Monday against the Flames. That’s right, Monday, not Tuesday. Game starts at 7:30, but you’re welcome to hang out here all day leading up to the game.

  • TGT23

    I have to say you guys at leafsnation can be worse then Simmons at times. At least he gave Kessel and Kadri more then one game before he went at him for eating hot dogs or being a baby. Take the higher road here and lay off Gauthier please. Yes he is a big boned and yet that is no reason to manufacture and create a hate-fest on him.

    Instead of complaining how terrible the Sun and Star are, and then putting their same player bashing to print be an example of what better journalism might look like. We preach sample size, so let’s wait till he plays 20 or so games and then look at what his puck possession and other analytics suggest rather then perpetuating a weak strawman grit narrative that no one in the MSM is suggesting, though perhaps the previous management who is long gone have.

    The leafs have upgraded their management team and philosophy – likewise, it is time for you guys to upgrade your tired narratives.

  • Gary Empey

    This was a classic Babcock type of game. Out-skating and out-working the opposition (Sabres) until they lose their composure. Then start pumping the goals in the net.

  • Kanuunankuula

    Look at that, the supposedly useless Marincin got a goal.

    I think he may grow up to be a good defensive D-man.

    Also gotta love that big Willie style snipe.

  • magesticRAGE

    The GOAT will be a solid fixture on the 3rd line for years, but he needs time.

    I thought he had a solid first game. What I find though, his teammates don’t really trust him to carry the puck, he has a decent shot when used. Had decent speed as well, good on him.