POSTGAME: Singing the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouges

Photo Credit: Eric Bolte/USA TODAY SPORTS

This is a night that Leafs fans will prefer to forget as soon as possible. Despite a filthy, filthy goal by rookie and alleged saviour Auston Matthews, the Toronto Maple Leafs were blown out by the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Let’s take a quick look at what happened tonight.

The Good

Bless Auston Matthews. His first goal in a Leafs uniform against an opposing team came against the Montreal Canadiens, in the Bell Centre, on Carey Price, with Shea Weber acting as a screen. Extremely brilliant stuff.

He also did this:

But, uhh, that’s just about it as far as offensive creativity goes. The Leafs were outshot 32-29, and out-attempted 38-37 at even strength despite being down for pretty much the entire game. That’s not something to really really brag about.

The Bad

Well, you see, the Montreal Canadiens scored six goals tonight. Typically, when you let in six goals, you lose the game, and you often lose it by a lot. But each of them had their own problems, and it’s a lot more than just Frederik Andersen having post-injury jitters.

On the first goal, Andrew Shaw scores on a wraparound, earned in no small part because Matt Hunwick is focused on imposing himself on Daniel Carr. He goes behind the net to finish his check on him, takes long enough to stare him down and get out of it that Nikita Zaitsev has to stay on his opposite side to cover him, and rather than prepare for Shaw, Hunwick continues to check Carr in front of the net. Granted, he was likely expecting Andersen to get back to the other side in time to take the shot on, but it didn’t work. 

I’ll spare you all the embedding of six Habs goals into this postgame article, but if you click onto that embedded tweet, you’ll see that Hunwick and Rielly had very, very, rough nights, with at least one of them ending up somewhat complacent in every Montreal goal.

On the second goal, Rielly accidentally sets up a full screen for Andersen and lets the puck fly through his legs and into an open area. On the third, Hunwick loses his board battle when Shaw uses Hunwick’s looks to the other side to identify a pass target to get his stick and leg into position. On the fourth, Hunwick screens Andersen, and while he’s not super at fault, Rielly is also one of the actively involved defenders in goals five and six. 

Needless to say, it was a rough night for the two. It was for Andersen, who didn’t get much help on those plays but still could have been at least a bit closer to the puck on a few of them.

The Possession


Definitely not as lopsided as last game. Shoutout to the Jake Gardiner – Conor Carrick pairing, that were the only duo to really stay above water tonight, and by a large margin.

The Consolation

The Toronto Marlies played against the St. John’s IceCaps, Montreal’s affiliate for one more year, in pre-season action in Newfoundland today. They won thanks to a goal from Chase Witala. I’d tell you more, but there’s next to nothing available about the game.

What’s Next

The Leafs return to action tomorrow evening. They’ll be playing against the Red Wings in Hamilton, and likely playing their B roster to get the rest of the group some rest. Check back tomorrow for our pre-game to see what exactly is expected to go down!

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