Leafs Postgame: Win-in-the-‘Peg

Hockey’s back, and for the first time in a while, the Leafs start the season with expectations that are more than just “Maybe we’ll make the playoffs!” In a change of scenery, the Leafs start their season in Winnipeg against the Jets, who have smaller expectations (maybe winning a playoff game). Regardless, it’s Matthews vs. Laine to start the season, and we couldn’t have asked it any other way, especially considering both of these teams habits of high scoring games and blown leads against each other.

1st Period

…and the season is underway, as the puck has dropped on the 2017-18, and the Leafs discipline seems to have forgotten about it. The Leafs took three penalties in the first 12 minutes of the game, the most interesting of them being a Leo Komarov equipment violation for his visor being too high. This allowed the Jets to dominate the early portion of the game, between the power play time, and the time it took for the Leafs players to get into the groove of the new season, but couldn’t on the bench during the penalty kills.

But, that didn’t last too long for the Jets. Exactly 15 minutes in, Jacob Trouba took a hooking penalty to give the Leafs their first power play of the season. It took the Leafs 45 seconds to capitalize on their first power play, and get their first goal of the season, as a scramble in front saw Nazem Kadri bury the loose puck past a falling Steve Mason. Two minutes later, James van Riemsdyk scored his first of the season off of a faceoff to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead. And then, just 43 seconds later, William Nylander scored on a delayed penalty, as a sneaky Jake Gardiner pass (and a confused Mason) gave Willy a wide open net to give the Leafs a 3-0 lead going into the first intermission.

2nd Period

The second was a little less uneventful, as the Leafs took a couple more penalties, and killed both of them (albeit in maybe not the best way possible). Shortly after the first penalty was killed, Babcock sent out Marleau-Matthews-Marner to give the penalty killers a rest, and they rewarded him with a goal, as a great passing play from Carrick to Marner to Matthews to Marleau, who would pot his first goal as a Maple Leaf, and give them a 4-0 lead. But, that doesn’t mean the lead is safe, as we saw this same building almost a year ago.

3rd Period

…buuuuuut that didn’t happen. Marleau potted his second goal of the game just 36 seconds into the third, and Marner scored a power play goal that resembled Nylander’s in the first period to make it 6-0. After that, it was back and forth. Patrik Laine actually did something and made a nice pass to Mark Scheifele to make it 6-1. Matthews deflected a Connor Carrick shot to make it 7-1. Mathieu Perreault also scored to make it 7-2 for the Jets. All of this in a span of a 1:26. Other than that, it was a slow-paced march to the finish, with the Leafs blowing out the Jets 7-2.

In-Game Tweets

First, we have some fans exposing Babcock for sending out Marner-Matthews-Nylander on the low key.

Also, some people liked Patrick Marleau scoring in his first Leafs games off of an Auston Matthews pass, and made it known that that should happen more

Speaking of Marleau, Christina was feeling a little bit sentimental before the game.

Some fun Auston Matthews stats.

And finally, Platinum Seat Ghosts decided to call out the “passionate” Winnipeg Jets fans.

Keep your eyes peeled tomorrow morning, as we’ll have a more in-depth analysis of the game.

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  • Matmarwill

    Great game. I know the jets had many more shot attempts but on 5v5 i think the buds were fine. Although mason wasnt as good as freddy, i dont think he could be blamed on much other than the third goal.

    Freddy was great. Marleau was great. Nazi was filthy. Auston was fabulous, as was Willy.

    Obviously Babs recognizes the potential of having Pat play a bit with Ausome and Willie, so we’ll being seeing more of those sneaky line combos such as after penalties, etc.

    Thought borgy and hainsey played solid games. Not sure why, but it looks like gards’ time was restricted.

    Fehr and brownie had good games and the fourth line was solid.

    Anyway, real fun game to watch. Keep it up guys.

    • The Russian Rocket

      I think Gards’ time was restricted due to all the penalty killing (majority of that fell on Zaitsev and Hainsey, I think).

      Borg had a couple of rough shifts: going for a stretch pass and hitting the Jets on the tape, or struggling to clear the zone in general. It made me notice how much calmer with the puck Carrick looked in comparison. I imagine Borg was just nervous. Wasn’t a terrible game by him but I think there were a few shifts he won’t want to repeat.

  • walkingman11

    Enough with this whining about Hyman and Marleau! Babcock knows that talent AND hard work win games over the long haul. Nobody works harder than Hyman. He creates space for the more talented players to do their magic.
    Isn’t this obvious?