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.
Trash Buffalo heads home the losers they are. Good work, kids. pic.twitter.com/6bwjUSp88w
— The Tank Nation (@TLNdc) March 20, 2016
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.