Leafs Postgame: Flip an old loss upside down, its 6-2 now

Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

If the Toronto’s 9-2 loss to the Nashville Predators in the Air Canada Centre on November 18th, 2014 was the straw that broke the back of the previous incarnation of the Toronto Maple Leafs, this was certainly the encouraging pat on the back for this generation. A tight by momentum by wide by the scoresheet 6-2 win will no doubt do wonders for the team’s confidence moving forward.

The Rundown

The Leafs came flying out of the gate in this one. Well, Mitch Marner did, at least coming out of the left wing with the puck and absolutely ripping his sixth of the year past Marek Mazanec. This was followed up fifteen minutes later by a goal from James van Riemsdyk, giving Toronto a welcome multi-goal lead.

That lasted for about four minutes, because, well, this. Why are Matt Hunwick and Martin Marincin together? Why aren’t either of them doing much to James Neal? Why are the Leafs giving up a goal in a situation where one man covered the pass and two covered the shooter? It’s baffling as all hell, but it’s the result that occurred. 

To the Leafs’ credit, they restored the two-goal gap midway through the second period with a great Bozak-to-Marner feed, giving the line their third tally of the night. That again was responded to by the Predators, though. With four minutes remaining in the middle frame, an attempt by Jake Gardiner to set up William Nylander was batted down by the shaft of Viktor Arvidsson’s stick, leading to Colin Wilson sending him off on a breakaway, in which he made no mistake beating Frederik Andersen. 

But Toronto were unphased, and let it pour in the third period. Leo Komarov deflected a Martin Marincin Point shot, van Riemsdyk finished off his hat trick, and William Nylander snapped his goal drought with an unassisted goal drought.

Why The Leafs Won

The third line really made the most of their opportunities tonight. While the puck spent most of its time near Andersen when they were on the ice, a combination of him deflecting most of what was in his path and the trio of JVR, Bozak, and Marner turning the few chances they had into magic really helped the team pick up two points.

Blue Warrior

Of course you go with JVR here. Three goals and an assist? That’s a night where you keep the puck and frame the box score on your wall. The NHL.com one, though; I’d stay away from Corsica or Hockeystats tonight. Not that it matters, though; as said above, they more than over compensated for their deficiencies in this game.

See You Next Time

Only a short break this time! Check back in two days when the Leafs take on Seth Griffith and Canucks Army the Florida Panthers. Puck drop will once again be at 7:30.