Morning After: Leafs Tie Game 2-2, Lose 4-1.

I hope you’re still as angry as I am about that no-goal call.

Last night, the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club tied a game 2-2 and lost 4-1, because the NHL. Despite not being their flashiest of games, this was, by the end, a game that the Leafs probably did deserve to win, and certainly did not deserve to lose by the score that they did.

Let’s run through everything that happened last night.

Kicking things off, the Leafs were sporting their signature look of being slow out of the gates. The Coyotes controlled the bulk of the play early on, generating shot after shot on Frederik Andersen, who held his own early on.

After one promising-looking shift by the fourth line, Connor Carrick would find himself in the box, and the Coyotes would go to the Power Play.

1-0 Coyotes (Brendan Perlini Goal)

The Coyotes ran the show on the Power Play, spending the entirety of it in the Leafs zone. A failed clearing attempt by Nikita Zaitsev ultimately led to a tired group of penalty killers being caught on the ice for far too long, and Brendan Perlini made them pay. Taking a cross-ice pass, Perlini notched his fifth goal of the season, beating Frederik Andersen. The goal brought Andersen’s shutout streak of 141:27 to an end; the first goal allowed by Andersen since November 10th. The Leafs, outshot 10-1 in the early going, were on their heels.

1-1 (James van Riemsdyk Goal)

After Nazem Kadri drew a late penalty in the first period, the Leafs would carry the bulk of their man advantage over to the second frame, and would convert to tie things up. Mitch Marner, reaping the benefits of finding his game again, fed a slap-pass into the slot and onto Nazem Kadri’s stick. The deflection would find its way to James van Riemsdyk in his signature spot in front of the net, and JVR would pot his 11th goal of the season. Van Riemsdyk has been exceptionally hot of late, and once again came in clutch to help the Leafs draw even after upping their game.

2-1 Coyotes (Oliver Ekman-Larsson Goal)

With Mitch Marner in the box for hooking, the Coyotes would once again pull ahead. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, goalless in his last eight games and hungry, lets go a shot from the blue line with traffic in front of the net that eludes Frederik Andersen. It wasn’t the flashiest goal, but it was proof of the benefit of having bodies in front of the net. The goal would put the Coyotes Power Play at 2-for-2 on the night at that point, and would give Arizona a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

Disallowed Tying Goal (Auston Matthews)

We’re all still fuming about this, right?

With time running out for the Leafs, Auston Matthews streaks around the back of the net, comes out in front, and appears to beat Antti Raanta to tie the game at 2-2. However, the Coyotes would go on to challenge the goal. It was eventually determined that Zach Hyman’s stick pushed Antti Raanta into the net, interfering with him enough to have the goal called back.

But here’s the thing — it appears Raanta had plenty of time to regain his bearings and reposition himself before Auston Matthews was able to shoot the puck, as he slides to the other side of the net and prepares for the shot long after the Hyman interference. This no-goal call once again reinforces the lack of clarity on what is and isn’t goaltender interference, especially considering the play was called a goal on the ice. I’m not sure that degree of interference long before the shot is enough to merit the call coming back.

3-1 and 4-1 Goals (Empty Net)

The Leafs would pull Frederik Andersen and put together a few more valiant efforts to tie things up, but they would prove unsuccessful. Max Domi and Tobias Rieder would notch their second and fifth goals of the season, respectively, and the Leafs would go on to lose this one 4-1.

A tough pill to swallow for the Leafs, as their six-game win streak was snapped and Auston Matthews’ 100th game spoiled in heartbreaking fashion. With a 54.87 CF%, the Leafs did not deserve to lose this game, and arguably did not deserve to have their tying effort called back.

Nevertheless, it’s time to move on and look ahead. The Leafs take on the Florida Panthers tomorrow evening down south and hope to get rolling on their next winning streak.

  • lukewarmwater

    The refs will blow calls for all teams as the leafs have also got the benefit of the doubt. So yeah it rightly so is infuriating but that is N.H.L. officiating. But again I repeat it was the Wayner show in between periods that leaf fans have seen umpteenth times , yep I’m referring to the infamous 1993 where the N.H.L. was determined to get L.A. into the finals. If a dollar was given to leaf fans every time that has been shown we would all be millionaires.

    • CMpuck

      For some reason just I expected a Kerry Fraser chant after Freddy got run over about a minute after the goal was taken back. Should have a least gotten the PP as a make up for their awful call.

  • Brandon

    Is it goaltender interference if you’re pushed into the goaltender? I’m unclear on it but that doesn’t seem to be much of a talking point on that goal.