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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Morning-after recap: Still thinking about Jake’s stretch pass

HELLO. Last night’s helter-skelter whirlwind of a game is behind us, and I’m honestly still hype about some of those goals. (Mostly the second Willy goal, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself here.)

Here’s the goal-by-goal recap of whatever last night was. May we witness more fun like that soon, and may we continue to be on the right end of these games.

1-0 Leafs (Auston!!!)

Compared to the rest of the game, the first period was a bore. The bright spot? This Auston wraparound goal. Jake Gardiner and William Nylander did some really nice work in the neutral zone, Zach Hyman bumped the puck out to Auston, and the rest is history.

Also, Ryan Miller, u ok??

1-1 (Ryan Getzlaf)

Don’t you just love getting scored on seconds after a period starts? Yeah. Ugh.

2-1 Leafs (William <3)

This is actually William’s less-beautiful goal on the evening. It’s (once again) good work by Jake Gardiner, who forces the Anaheim turnover and gets the puck onto Willy’s stick. He gets off a quick little wrister and Miller honestly doesn’t have a chance.

2-2 (Rickard Rakell)

So this wasn’t the best showing re: Leafs defensive coverage. It’s probably more on Naz and Zaitsev than Jake, but it definitely wasn’t a good look.

Side note: #RickRakAttack is a fun hashtag, I can acknowledge that. Real recognize real.

3-2 Ducks (Ondrej Kase)

This goal happens about a minute and a half after the Rakell goal and frankly, giving up two goals in such a short span is discouraging. It’s just a netfront scramble, Freddie goes down, Kase cleans up the garbage. Life happens.

OH NO, WE INTERRUPT THE GOALS TO WORRY ABOUT FREDDIE!

In a super unfortunate turn of events, Corey effin Perry clips Freddie in the mask with his skate. It does look accidental, but we can stew in anger anyway, because f*ck Corey Perry.

Hopefully Andersen is fine, but he did leave the game and didn’t return. Obviously there’s some concern here, but there’s no point in speculating until we know whether he’s out or not.

3-3 Leafs (MITCHELL MARNER!)

Anyway, the Leafs are on the power play, Naz makes a beautiful pass, Mitch takes a beautiful shot, and bam. Tied game. Also, Mitch completes the… Buds Trick? Big Three Trick? Triumvirate Trick? Take your pick. Auston, William, and Mitch all with goals in the game. Love to see it.

4-3 Leafs (Uncle Leo??)

I feel like I’ve been heavy on the Jake praise, but that’s at least partially my brand so we’re gonna keep going with that. Anyway, Jake creates another goal. His point shot gets tipped by Komarov, Miller gets beat, and the Leafs suddenly have the lead back.

4-4 (Rickard Rakell Again)

Dear God, this was not so much a good goal by Curtis McElhinney. This is his one mistake all night, though, and he came up big a few times so I’m not inclined to harp on it. But Rakell throws the puck on net from a sharp angle, it sneaks through a little gap, and the game is tied. Again.

5-4 Leafs (WILLIAM x 2!!!)

This is the goal I am STILL thinking of. I don’t know about you guys, but nothing gets me going quite like a perfect stretch pass and boy, did Jake deliver.

And William fulfills his end of the bargain too, with a neat, no-drama, quick finish. Like, holy shit, I enjoyed this goal so much.

6-4 Leafs (AUSTON x 2!!!)

Auston does his job by going hard to the net, but this goal happens because Kasperi Kapanen go ZOOM. Kapanen is, as we know, very fast. The burst of speed he puts on to beat poor Brandon Montour looks like it’s aided by rockets or something, and he creates space for himself before passing the puck through the royal road and to Auston Matthews’ waiting stick.

By the way, this is Kapanen’s first NHL assist. Which is wild, but, uh, maybe give him better linemates once in a while?

7-4 Leafs (Zach Hyman Too!)

The empty net dagger twist comes from Zach Hyman. Connor Brown makes the gracious decision to pass the puck, Hyman clearly didn’t realize Matthews was joining the rush with him, and he shoots, scores, and then sees Matthews.

The two appeared to be laughing about it as they returned to the bench, so clearly there aren’t hard feelings there.

The Leafs’ next game is Wednesday, when the PK Subban and the Nashville Predators come to town. Here’s to another fun one!

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