Leafs Postgame: Beat Em On The Ice

Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

Things are very heated in the two cities last night over what happened in the final stages of this game. Because of this, we’re going to give everybody an opportunity to sleep on it and come back to the violent end of the action in the morning. But, in the meantime, let’s talk about the Leafs winning on the scoreboard.

The Rundown

The Leafs took control of this game somewhere around the midway mark of the first period, as they began to shut the Canucks out of their own zone and quickly invaded theirs. It worked, too, as Nikita Zaitsev curled out from behind the net and found Nazem Kadri, who made no mistake in converting his pass to make it 1-0. Just four minutes later, Tyler Bozak added his fourth of the season, grabbing a loose puck in the slot and beating Ryan Miller. 

Derek Dorsett responded seconds after the Bozak goal by ending an embarrassing multi-game goal drought for the Canucks, but that was about as close the momentum got. Bozak responded with a second tally late in the second, and Henrik Sedin quickly responded to that with a play that, quite frankly, showed an embarrassing defensive effort from Toronto’s top pair.

That was a pretty poor showing, but the Leafs followed it up strong. Mitch Marner got some payback after setting up Bozak’s pair by being the finisher on their third collaboration early in the third period, and Nikita Soshnikov added to the madness two minutes later. Daniel Sedin soon followed with his third of the year, but after Jake Gardiner scored to make it 6-3, balance was once again restored to the universe.

Oh, and Nazem Kadri dangerously hit Daniel Sedin, Alex Burrows speared Morgan Rielly, Derek Dorsett jumped Leo Komarov, Matt Martin jumped Tyson Stetcher, lots of fights happened, and the goalies threw punches too. Again, though, tomorrow.

Why The Leafs Won

Fired on all cylinders from the start, and the Canucks are putrid defensively. It was a great night to exploit their lack of mobility, especially on sequences like this:

Blue Warrior

Tyler Bozak had a night tonight. Toronto’s shot-attempt king at over 65% CF, two goals, a bunch of key faceoff wins, and a generally solid effort. Not overly shocking when you consider that the Kadri line usually faced the twins and the Matthews line usually took on Horvat, but a good use of a top-9 nonetheless.

See You Next Time

The Leafs get a few nights off, taking on the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday evening at the Air Canada Centre. Puck drop is at 7:30, but check back for updates before then! Especially tomorrow. We’ll get violent.