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Photo Credit: © Marc DesRosiers | USA Today

Leafs Postgame: Basically a Home Win

The Leafs are now 1 for 3 vs Ottawa this season!

Okay, starting out we have some good news and some bad news.

The bad news: Morgan Rielly did not play. He was a game-time decision after getting banged up against Philadelphia on Thursday, and the decision was no.

The good news: Andreas Borgman, Connor Carrick, and Travis Dermott all got to play! In the same game!

The other bad news: Roman Polak still played. (We’re all totally over it, promise.)

There’s more good news though: I mean, we won, didn’t we?

I’d like to point out that Erik Karlsson was playing sick, supposedly.*

Corsis

(via corsica.hockey)

Yep, seems about right. The Leafs had a decent first period, really struggled in the second, and pulled ahead in the third.

1st Period

It took five minutes for either team to get a shot on goal, but this period was actually pretty fun. The Leafs had some jump, and obviously scoring is cool.

Zach Hyman got things started by working hard in front of the net, as usual. Auston Matthews had the primary assist, which broke his four-game pointless drought (coincidentally, the same four games the Leafs lost in a row).

The excitement of scoring is a little diminished when I remember that the Leafs keep getting the first goal and then losing anyway. So let’s not do that tonight, please?

A lot of the Leafs had a strong period, and shots were 12-4 Toronto, so I think we can call Period One a win. Too bad there’s two more left to go…..

2nd Period

Mark Stone was in some pain as he went knee-first into the boards right off the bat. He did return to the game, but seemed a little worse for wear. Jokes aside, Mark Stone is good at hockey and I hope he doesn’t miss time (unless maybe it’s the next Toronto-Ottawa matchup, let’s be honest).

A high stick on Ceci is Auston Matthews’ second penalty of the entire season. *shrug*

*Erik Karlsson, on the power play, took advantage of some Leaf-on-Leaf crime and got one past Freddy (who was busy being assaulted by Roman Polak). It’s fine.

The Sens scored two more times, too. Mike Hoffman’s goal was, you know, not ideal. Tom Pyatt’s goal was short-handed. Totally fine. First SHG of his career. Absolutely fine.

Summary of thoughts on this period: Thanks, I hate it.

3rd Period

I think we all started out this period on the same page.

But we forgot how well Auston Matthews performs in Ottawa…

Goal #20! True to form, he didn’t seem very happy about it. Luckily, his teammates can make up for his lack of enthusiasm (see below).

It’s safe to say the third period went much much better than the second, moving on to a game-tying PPG!

Now that was a Mitch Marner goal (and a celly to match). It was his first goal in ten games, and the timing really couldn’t have been better, after a rough couple of games and a move to the fourth line tonight. (I say “move” rather than “demotion”, because even though it’s silly that Connor Brown and Mitch Marner can’t both be in the top six–or even the top nine?!–bumping Marner to play with Matt Martin for a game or even a shift or two tends to get him going.)

Aaaaand make it three in a row to cap off the evening! I wish Connor Carrick would play shoot more often. It’s a good time.

You have to love how the arena just absolutely erupted when Carrick got the GWG. There are always hundreds of jokes on-line whenever the Leafs play in Ottawa, but wow. That moment.

Nazem Kadri and Leo Komarov had the assists on Connor Carrick’s goal…. And Twitter helpfully supplied the following stats:

And in a surprising turn of events, the Leafs manage to hold on and win it 4-3!

Notes

  • Jake Gardiner assisted it on the first three Leafs goals, and I’m not saying we didn’t miss Morgan Rielly, but it was great to see Jake step up in his absence.
  • The oldest Leafs goal-scorer tonight was 25-year-old Zach Hyman. This is the future, guys.
  • I hate to bring this up every day, but when will Mike Babcock let Roman Polak quietly and peacefully disappear.
  • Well, of course everyone listens when Dad has something to say:

Tweets

This game yielded some excellent gifs. Please enjoy.

When Mitchell is happy, everyone is happy. Especially Connor Brown. (And me.)

 

Next up, the Avalanche are coming to town… And not only have they won just as many games as the Buds this season (wow and also how), but also Nate MacKinnon is on a nine-game point streak. So we will actually have a game on our hands. See y’all Monday night!

  • Matmarwill

    Good summary, Hayley. I got a real sinking feeling after that shg. But I didn’t turn it off cuz I thought I should watch cuz if the buds got buried maybe that’s what they need to wake up, and I should see this event.

    So, instead a gold medalist vet made a quiet speech during the second intermission, and the boys woke up!

    This win saw several good turns:
    – the leafs stopped their losing streak, and won in regulation
    – they came back from a deficit in the third
    – the grinded out the last ten minutes of the third to keep the lead and win
    – dermott, borgman and carrick all had good games
    – Gardiner had a huge game
    – the buds beat the sens in ottawa

    So, now the boys have another challenge on Monday, to tame the avs. Let’s see whether this learning trend continues.

  • lukewarmwater

    Got to give Stone credit as he was riving in pain on the ice only to come out on the next shift to get an assist. Academy award winning acting. Fooled you. Plus our big 6 foot 3 and 215 lb. star got physical tonight and picked up his second minor of the season. Good to have Matt Martin around to protect the big guy.
    Btw this game brought back memories of 1967, no not the leafs winning the cup but my having to read in English 101 in my first year of U.B.C. Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. I mean leaf fans waited, and waited and waited some more for the $50 million dollar man to finally prod his team into a regulation win in over 3 weeks. Poor Babs it seems these days he ain’t quite walking on water.
    To me the first star of the game was Hainsey as he carried Jake the Snake on his back.

  • Capt.Jay

    Brown would score 30 if he wasn’t on the fourth line. Anyone think he replaces JVR on the second line next year? Marner, Bozak, and brown make that line less of a defensive liability with quite a mix of skill.

    Trading JVR for that 3/4 defenseman becomes much easier with Brown here. I’d love to keep JVR but it isn’t sounding promising apparently.

  • Glen

    The Leafs won by playing the third period the way they should play all their games by going to the offence and let the other team worry about stopping them. The skill players made the difference. I like and appreciate what Polak does but he has to be used as a no. 7. A good thing for Anderson that the Leafs came through in the third because that wasn’t his best game. Lets hope this is the start of a run.